With the influx of releases and notable turn of events, the Nigerian music scene is in full swing compared to the previous quarter. From Kizz Daniel, who doesn’t form a part of Afrobeats’ holy trinity, whizzing to legendary status; to Crayon’s rebound with “Overdose” alongside his label mates. Asake transcends from rookie to proving his mettle as Dunnie and Chike cozy up in a dazzling duet while Davido tours uncharted territory and newcomers like Lade, Slymkrez stake their claim with well-received singles and projects.
As usual, we’ve brought you some of our favorite Nigerian songs from the second quarter of 2022.
Kizz Daniel feat. Tekno
“Buga”, meaning Show off, in Yoruba draws from a well-bred aura in composition and messaging. It has become Afrobeats’ poster record on platforms like Tiktok, accompanied by a uniquely candid choreography that drives home Kizz Daniel’s intent for the song. “As long as people work hard to make legitimate money, they should be proud to flaunt their worth,” he said. It became the fastest song to garner one million streams on Boomplay in 24 hours.
Mavin feat. Crayon, Ayra Starr, Ladipoe, Magixx & Boy Spyce
Mavin’s tenth anniversary culminated in the release of “Overdose” featuring two of the label’s seasoned acts – Crayon & Ladipoe and its newer talents – Ayra Starr, Magixx, & Boy Spyce. “Overdose”, a record made for lovers in the ‘breakfast’ climate, marks an evolution of the label’s roster, inciting a hint of nostalgia for the ‘Dorobucci’, and ‘Adaobi’ sweep in 2014. The record has been one of the hottest songs in Nigeria since release, earning some of the artists their first ‘number one’ on the charts.
On ‘Last Last’, Burna Boy references the pop culture parlance – ‘everybody go chop breakfast’ – to serve a refreshing spin on heartbreak, where he takes a more composed, less emotional turn. The song’s climax would be the resort to ‘Igbo and Shayo’ (colloquially meaning alcohol and weed) for escapism. The record which samples Toni Braxton’s 2000 R&B hit “He Wasn’t Man Enough” comes ahead of the singer’s sixth album, Love Damini.
DJ Spinall ft Asake
Asake teams with DJ Spinall to match his career-defining hit “Sungba”. “Palazzo” is a testament to how well the YBNL-singer has inched towards this moment, giving his delivery against a backdrop of percussion-instrumental as he shuttles between the pidgin-infused chorus and lyrics written in Yoruba. Asake sings about having mixed feelings towards being lustfully desired by the opposite sex, among other things there are to like about him. Unruffled, “Palazzo” held its own on charts despite clashing release dates with heavyweights like Burna Boy, and Davido.
Dunnie feat. Chike
“Already Won” furthers Dunnie’s expansive sonic palette and penchant for wearing her heart on her sleeve. She enlists Chike for the Deeyasso-produced duet that has couples and hopeless romantics swooning. Here, Dunnie references viral pop culture parlance – “done with the streets”, to make a soulful delivery about her biggest win yet – bagging a significant other. “Chike came to mind immediately when the melody hit me and getting him to do this with me was as easy as it was making the song,” she says about her chemistry with the “Running” singer.
Here, Slymkrez holds emotive conversations on the subject of self-positivity, with a profoundly poetic approach. “’Different’ is a song that perfectly explains my feelings. In fact, everything about the composition of this singular track is different,” he says. Enlisting the poetic singer Kpemeshi, “Different” serves as an ode to self, propelling one toward accepting their unique abilities and oddities.
Lade, with a ‘battalion-man chorus’, unpacks the throes and complexities of being an adult in a Tiktok clip that would go viral. It has become a popular record in Nigeria and catapulted Lade to higher realms. “It was intentional and personal because that’s where I’m at right now. The fact that I have to do things myself, cater for and make things happen for myself and I believe a lot of youths are there as well,” she said.
Krizbeatz feat. Bella Shmurda & Rayvanny
Krizbeatz, known for furthering the pan-African axiom, Africa is one, enlists Nigeria’s Bella Shmurda and Tanzania’s Rayvanny for “Wild Party”. The record draws from Krizbeatz’s penchant to synchronize dance music with traditional African elements. “Making people dance is one of my favorite things to do,” he said of the record’s hypnotizing bounce, contagious drums, and summer warmth. “Being able to draw influences from several places on the continent to paint a picture of the African experience is the best part of my creative process,” he continued.
Davido feat. Sunday Service Choir
Davido is reflective about his decade-long reign on “Stand Strong”, a message of hope and persistence. The track’s emotional undertones and serenity mark Davido’s foray into uncharted territory as he recruits Los Angeles’ Sunday Service Choir to make a purposely crafted symphony that mirrors his state of mind. “I know people love it when I make them dance, but now I want to make them feel,” he says, “I know what I’ve experienced over the past 10 years, and for the first time, I want to bring you into the other part of my world. The part where every day is a battle but I have no option but to ‘Stand Strong’”.