An image of the musician Pheelz lying on his back with his guitar in his hands.

Pheelz' "Stand By You" is a newly released track that deserves a spot on any loved-up playlist.

Photo: @Richie

7 Romantic Afropop Songs That Will Melt Your Heart

These are the tracks that should be added to a music-lover's playlist for Valentine's Day -- and beyond.

From time past, a major percentage of afropop songs have always centered around the topic of love and romance. Emotions exist at the core of afrobeats, opening up to related topics of romance, relationships and when any artist dotes on seeking wealth and achieving success, some seconds can be spared to talk about love and the happiness it brings.

For a long time, legacy records, such as 2Baba’s "African Queen," have existed as go-to afropop songs for any love-themed playlist. Tracks that have been released in more recent times, from the likes of Davido’s "Aye" to Runtown’s "Mad Over You" are also solid bops that deserve a spot on this kind of playlist.

But this year, there are a few new tracks that should be vying for attention, released within the past year, or couple of years ago, worthy of being added to a Valentine's Day playlist - sure to set the mood for the occasion and remind us all why love is such a sweet feeling.

1. Magixx and Ayra Starr:  Love Don’t Cost A Dime Re-up

From off the debut tape that ushered him onto the scene, Magixx remodeled the poignant highlight, "Love Don’t Cost A Dime" into a new version. Furnished with a honeyed beat, and padding the re-up with a fresh, glimmering verse, Magixx opts to praise his love interest all through, bathing listeners with an endless list of reasons why he’ll always chose her. Buoyed by an elegant yet impactful contribution from Ayra Starr, the duo tells a story of the sweet feelings of love.

2. Fireboy: Like I Do

There were lingering debates when Fireboy’s Laughter, Tears and Goosebumps dropped, about it being one of the greatest debut albums in Nigeria’s music history. Filled with emotive songs, the album showcased the different layers of Fireboy. But "Like I Do," helmed by P.Priime, displayed the romantic side of the soft-spoken singer as he explains with so much fervor and intensity that no one can treat his lover better than him. As we reach the end of the song, Fireboy proclaims his undying love for his significant other.

3. Azanti & PsychoYP: Focused

The silky, melodic voice of a youngster named Azanti startled the whole music universe in 2020. The song that introduced him was "Focused," created with Nigerian rapper, PsychoYP, who signed him to his Apex Village outfit. With a sweet-sounding delivery, Azanti repeatedly assures his girl of his presence, and even goes further to say his only purpose in life is her. Midway, PsychoYp joins to add more context with his gritty voice, going on to flatter his love interest with soothing words.

4. Mavins, Johnny Drille, Magixx & Crayon: Losing You

Off the recently released Chapter X album is Mavin’s "Losing You," featuring Johnny Drille, Magixx and Crayon. Gentle piano chords give way to a breathy Johnny Drille who spreads out the theme of the song. An ear-worm of a track, "Losing You" is centered on how a once tight-knit relationship can grow so cold. All three singers beautify the record by revisiting the affectionate things they did with their partners yet how deserted the relationship feels now. A scene that happens a lot in most relationships, the record ponders on whether things can ever go back to the way they used to be.

5. Show Dem Camp & Oxlade: Mine Alone

For years, Show Dem Camp have proven to be masterful creators renowned for their proficiency with projects and also, their peerless ability to push rising acts into the spotlight. This time, on their recent project, their talk-rap style, where they chronicle events and reference relatable topics, merges sweetly with Oxlade’s alluring hook, which is really the attractive force of the track. Ghost blazes the trail with a stellar verse, either side of a hypnotic hook-cum-bridge from Oxlade before Tec reduces the intensity with soft, melodic flows, detailing his gratitude for the gift of love.

6. YKB: san siro

YKB has continued to iterate on his sound for a period, and on "san siro," his sole release of 2022, he makes known his feelings for that special person with his sweet poetic lyricism. Utilizing his tender voice, YKB brings along his lover-boy charm, appealing to his partner and mentioning to her that he’ll go to any length to prove his love.

7. Pheelz: Stand By You

Released earlier on this month to set the scene for Pheelz' new project, Pheelz Good, "Stand By You" is a warm, literal feel-good track of assurance. Floating on a bed of sombre piano melodies and soft percussion, the singer makes it clear he’d put nothing above his girl, as he reflects on his past emotional trauma, and ultimately, declares his dedication to his lady. The track has a touch of sadness but is guaranteed to tug at the heartstrings.