The first few months of this year have been less eventful than the first few months of 2020, but no less rewarding on the pop front. The afrobeats nation is experiencing a run of outstanding submissions.
Nigerian music, which is also the commercial hub of Afrobeats, is still very much alive and well, flourishing with strength and pomp, despite the major challenges it faced last year - COVID-19.
In 2021, there will still be an eternity to cover, and has become the norm. Naija Afrobeats will run over with a delightful blend of dancefloor soundtracks, activism, and personal feelings, transcending both the shores of Nigeria and the continent. Afrobeats is a malleable music genre, and it's interesting to see how it's beginning to embrace pop from southern Africa, especially the house variant of amapiano.
Olamide's 'Loading,' featuring Bad Boy Timz, Burna Boy's 'Onyeka,' and Wizkid's 'Ginger,' all from the fourth quarter of 2020, have continued to receive significant rotation throughout the new year. Nonetheless, an exciting new stack is forming in the mainstream, led by an almost unprecedented contingent that includes Ayra Starr and Bella Shmurda asserting themselves as new favorites.
The latest installment of our recurring list of the best Naija Afrobeats tracks through 2021 so far is now available. This list will continue to be updated.
Away by Ayra Starr
Don Jazzy's new protégé, Ayra Starr, is the head of Mavin Records. The song "Away" is from the young singer's self-titled EP. Starr has nothing else to do with a guy who obviously spells trouble in the enthusiastic neo-R&B submission. Both the song and the EP have received a lot of positive feedback. As a result, Starr is the latest example of Don Jazzy's ability to produce stars.
Loading by Olamide ft. Bad Boy Timz
‘Loading,' which features the fast-rising Bad Boy Timz and was taken from Olamide's last album Carpe Diem, was a December staple, and its influence has continued into this year. On the one side, the upbeat track extends Olamide's reign as Nigeria's most successful rapper.
Pronto by Ajebo Hustlers ft. Omah Lay
Ajebo hustlers, who rose to national prominence with their song ‘Barawo,' which challenges the merits of jungle justice, team up with lover boy Omah Lay for ‘Pronto,' a song about lustful gratification. TBA directed the accompanying video, which was produced by Semzi.
Early Momo by Vector ft. GoodGirl LA
Vector seems to be over his beef with M.I Abaga as he releases an impressive love song titled "Early Momo" for the love season. On this new project, Vector chose to collaborate with an incredible singer, GoodGirl LA, who delivered incredible lines on the song. Mr Klebb directed and produced "Early Momo."
Kele by Eniola Havoc
Eniola Havoc is a true hip-hop prodigy who was born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria. Ebute Meta is a neighborhood in Ebute Meta. He combines street-oriented Hip-Hop with something unique, a good sense of lyricism, and the spice of African culture. Kele was released by Eniola Havoc a while ago and so far it has been making waves and going viral like the pandemic.
Cash App by Bella Shmurda ft. Zlatan and Lincoln
Bella Shmurda's 'Cash App' is engulfed in gusty vibrations, just like his vocal instrument. The singer uses the mobile payment service as a metaphor to talk about everyday struggles and successes. ‘Cash App,' which was co-written by colleagues Zlatan and Lincoln, premiered in October 2020 to rave reviews. It was released on One World Global Records and has racked up millions of views on digital streaming platforms.
For You by Teni ft. Davido
Teni, like 2018's 'Case,' celebrates love, patience, and sacrifice on the Davido-assisted 'For You.' Teni's debut LP Wondaland, which has been in the works for around two years, is announced with the song "About You," whose Dammy Twitch-assisted video is built around a tale of prison escape.
Focus by Joeboy
‘Focus,' a song from Joeboy's album Somewhere Between Beauty & Magic, was inspired by true events experienced by one of his associates. The majestic highlife album delves into the all-too-familiar topic of unrequited love.
Foreign by Bankulli and Not3s
Bankuli, a renowned songwriter, talent scout, and founder of the Recording Academy, enlists UK singer Not3s for the track ‘Foreign,' whose upbeat vibe toasts financial opulence. ‘Foreign' follows the uplifting ‘Gemiro,' which was released last year.
BBC Remix by Blaqbonez ft. Tiwa Savage
Afrobeats diva Tiwa Savage lends a fresh touch to Chocolate City Rapper Blaqbonez's highly popular vulgar offering "BBC." The song praises the usefulness of a well-endowed man's phallus.
Yaadman (Intro) by Yung L
Reggae-dancehall act Yung L continues to establish himself as a significant reference for the genre in Nigeria with four albums, the most recent of which is Yaadman Kingsize, his sophomore release. The 11-track LP begins with the bass-heavy Yaadman. Yung L's staccato flow, among the record's many features, including the golden trumpet phrases, makes it a winner.
My Life by DJ Manuel and Zlatan Ibile
Zlatan is renowned for his fast-paced beats that inspire spirited dance moves. However, on this new release, he teams up with DJ Manuel for a slow-burning groove, over which they deliver a heartfelt take on the realities of humble beginnings. Finally, the album preaches that there is hope at the end of the tunnel. Zlatan's Zanku Records released "My Life."
The Don by Mr Eazi
Mr Eazi, the singer and emPawa manager, joined 2021 as ‘The Don.' It comes before the release of his latest EP Something Else. It also recognizes the musician's leadership position in both music and business over the years. Killertunes and E Kelly collaborated on ‘The Don,' a song that deftly combines pop and operatic elements.
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