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The best Nigerian songs of 2023 so far (Q3)

The Nigerian music scene keeps buzzing with stunning releases. PAM presents you the latest hits from Street-Pop and Afrobeats to superstars and up-and-comers. Dive into 2023's hottest new Nigerian songs.

As we approach the end of the year, the Nigerian music industry continues to make waves with defining moments. Burna Boy’s undeniable star power, Crayon establishing himself as Afropop royalty, Ayox and Qing Madi gearing up for mainstream acclaim, Ruger’s confident swag on “Tour,” and Young Jonn’s impressive transition from producer to a top-tier artist are just some of the highlights. 

Before diving into the year-in-review, here are some songs from the last quarter that we absolutely loved.

Burna Boy – “City Boys”

With an entertaining introduction by J Hus, “City Boys” incorporates a sample from Jeremih’s “Birthday Sex,” giving it a fresh and unique twist. Here, Burna Boy confidently reflects on the rewards of his talent and fame, smoothly navigating subjects like wealth, women, and marijuana. You’re not wrong to assume  “City Boys” portrays Burna Boy’s immersion into hip-hop and black American culture.

Ayra Starr – “Rhythm & Blues”

The tender romantic ballad highlights the singer’s signature warm vocals which blend beautifully with the gentle Sparrq-produced rhythm. Ayra Starr seals a balance between her tough exterior and vulnerability. “I’ve always seen myself as a tough, unyielding woman, averse to vulnerability. I’ve opened up and am allowing myself to both receive and express love through music. It’s safe to say I’ve dropped my guard with ‘Rhythm & Blues’,” she admits.

Ruger – “Tour”

In the Grime-tinged number, Ruger confidently asserts his place in the music industry as he celebrates his success, with a focus on money. He further recounted his libidinous escapades with a fervor reminiscent of Jamaican dancehall veterans. 

Young John – “Sharpally”

Young Jonn further exemplifies his penchant for transforming love songs into bubbly party anthems. Here, Jonn expresses his longing for reciprocated love and commitment from his love interest. His playful yet self-assured delivery contributes to the energetic vibe of “Sharpally”, as smooth melodies intertwine with lively flutes and percussion.

Crazon ft Ayra Starr – “Ngozi”

Expressing devotion and love, Crayon declares his woman a blessing in his life, with an assist from his label-mate, Ayra Starr who sprinkles her pop verve and vocal flair to the record. Buoyed by the riveting production of Sarz,  “Ngozi” exemplifies the earthy brilliance of Crayon’s melodies in Afrobeats reminiscent of his first single, “So Fine”.

Khaid – “No Time”

“No Time”’ continues Khaid’s impressive streak, as he explores the complexities of a deteriorating relationship. The singer subtly appeals to his partner to stay while acknowledging the potential need to move on. The track’s emotional depth and sonic complexity make it one of the standout offerings in his latest project.

Ayox ft Zlatan – “Walking Dead”

One of Nigeria’s rising talents, Ayox pays homage to the late Mohbad, who he’s been likened to, with “Walking Dead”. The singer reflects on the transience of life, suggesting that until death comes, we are all like the ‘walking dead’.

Qing Madi ft BNXN – “Ole”

“Ole” recounts Qing’s yearning for someone else’s partner and an urge to cheat. Qing Madi and BNXN are a match made in heaven as both singers dish catchy melodies capped by an infectious hook that has since become a people’s favorite, taking off from Tiktok.

Lifesize Teddy – “Hypnotic”

Teddy flaunts her versatility as she effortlessly transitions between singing and rapping. “Hypnotic”, off her eponymous debut project, serves as both a fiery statement of intent and a platform for Teddy to experiment with blending different styles as she aims to stake her claim in the music industry.

Blaqbonez – “Like Ice Spice”

Blaqbonez channels three different alter-egos, delivering his verses with a Patois-infused style. His vocals shine with lush melodies that build up to an unforgettable hook as he compares a love interest’s moves to the irresistible Ice Spice. The record opens with a burst of vibrant energy featuring sunny synths, lively percussion, and a rich bassline that complements Blaqbonez’s storytelling.