I stumbled on an excellent thread on Twitter where Ann of Afrolicious shared some of the music by younger Nigerian artist(e)s that she’d been loving. I found so many amazing new acts there that I had to reach out. We asked Ann to compile a playlist for us, and here we are! Big thanks to Ann; Afrolicious is re-launching soon, so watch out for that. Here’s Ann:
1. Nissi – Criminal
The bass line and the horn section plus Nissi’s voice makes this one of my favorite tunes. I can listen to this anytime, but especially when me and my girls are getting ready for a night out. Also the ownership and autonomy of a woman’s body makes for good, affirming listening.
2. Bez – There’s a Fire
Bez is a familiar face in the Naija music scene (and rocks a mean suit, I must say). The horns are really what get me here. They come in and out at the right moments, adding the heat to the fire, reminiscent of Fela tunes.
3. Adomaa – Traffic Jam
What can I say but, more! horns! Adomaa’s voice here is decadent, in every aspect. She takes it high, she trills, she giggles, but it’s richest especially when she bends it low. And just when you think you’re sated? More horns! Perfection. I could listen to her for a really long time, in fact, I listened to this track on repeat until the right word came to mine. It’s just that rich.
4. Odunsi – Adura
Odunsi was one of the first artists I discovered on SoundCloud early November and I found this gem of a track on his track list. Picture me, back-length braids against brown skin, sitting in my car bumping this. This is all I never knew I’ve ever wanted in my life: a Yoruba prayer on a trap beat to bump on my way into work.
5. Ikon – SOLOMON
The gruff opening lines of this track makes me swoon everytime. I couldn’t find any other solo tracks from Ikon, so if anyone knows when his EP or album drops, holla at me.
6. Mojeed – Clockwork
This is a fun one to move to. Also, I just love Mojeed’s flow and I may or may not have choreographed a little dance routine to go along with this track.
7. Three Wise Men – Bastard
Okay this trio is soft fire and I love everything about it: the horns, the steady bass line, the comraderie and flow as the MCs weave in an out of the beat, and this bar:
‘sweet mouth too much dodo / i don’t you know, please, you don’t more promo / you can’t wash me, please, you need more omo’
The ether! This is my new haters gonna hate anthem. Trust and believe.
8. Kiff No Beat – Tu es dans pain
Full disclosure: I can only understand about 3% of what the cats are rapping about, but it’s in French and the beat is fly. Please don’t judge me as I cruise by with this tune blasting.
9. Nissi – Pay Attention
Taking this down a bit, Nissi returns with this steady rock banger. I love the Fela sample at the beginning and the message she’s got for us about freedom: let the world know I see you know right now.
10. Brymo – Duro
Brymo has the best description for this song. It’s “music for those who once had a dream, lost that dream and found it again.” and it’s chill mid-tempo takes you in and out the journey of somone who’s tried and failed and got up to try again. I love this because it reminds me to keep pressing on.
If you want more music by young Nigerians, Seun Opabisi just did a long-ass fire playlist on Soundcloud in a compilation he’s called New Wave. He plans to keep updating, so keep an eye on that too.