The Best Afrobeats Songs Right Now
Featuring tracks from Joeboy, Amaarae, Odumodublvck, Wande Coal, Wizkid, Ckay, and more.
Afrobeats is one of the biggest cultural movements in the world. Influencing everything from fashion to sports, the music acts as the adhesive, catching on to listeners of all demographics and shaping the scene in Africa with great potential. With the growing number of new Afrobeats releases every month, it becomes necessary to round up the best of the bunch. From singles to new music videos, the continent’s vast expanse will be covered in our "Best Afrobeats Songs Out Right Now" column. Get started below.
Joeboy "Normally" ft. BNXN & Odumodublvck
Releasing his anticipated sophomore album Body & Soul, the pop credentials of Joeboy have never been clearer. An accomplished body of work with purposeful collaboration all around, its ethos is established on this opener. A stripped production allows Joeboy and his inspired guests to muse about the hardness of early days, while reiterating their willingness to forge through fires on their way to fulfilling destiny.
Wande Coal "Ebelebe" ft. Wizkid
Boasting one of the most solid reputations in Afropop, the name of Wande Coal is easily paired with ‘legend.’ The Mushin 2 MoHits star nodded in that direction on his anticipated album, Legend or No Legend. This standout cut features Wizkid, whose early style he influenced. Floating over a sensual, head-bopping production, both musicians flaunt their assured vocals, crooning seductively about the physiology of a woman.
A new record from Amaarae always promises to be an event. In anticipation of her June-scheduled sophomore album Fountain Baby, the Ghanaian musician released this psychedelic record to set the tone. Carried by her luscious vocals and fluttery delivery, it’s a fun record whose narrative ambition is propped by the visuals. As all things Amaarae, it’s a coherent artistic package which connects African culture to the diaspora.
CKay "Hallelujah" ft. Blaqbonez
Amapiano influences continue to serve up memorable moments in Afrobeats songs. Proving one of its purposeful purveyors with “you”, CKay has again gone that route with his first record of the year. “HALLELUJAH” is an appreciative ode to the formative experiences in one’s life, its mood of triumph carried beautifully by the musicians. Blaqbonez’s verse is one of the strongest all year, floating with so much verve over the Magicsticks production.
Highlife remains an important sonic touchstone for many musicians creating out of Africa. Especially in Nigeria, strains of the distinct sound have inspired modern music, as you’d hear on “Ifenkili.” Created by Ugoccie, it’s an effervescent record which bursts with so much authenticity and affection. Frequently merging rap deliveries over the glitzy allure of Highlife-esque guitars, Ugoccie is one of the most exciting musicians out of Nigeria right now.
Oxlade x Flavour "OVAMI"
Through the years, Oxlade has demonstrated the elastic appeal of his vocals. Whether on quintessential R&B cuts or afropop licked bangers, it’s an exciting feature of his artistry. “OVAMI” resides more in the latter category; a mellow affair polished with electric guitars, it culls in memorable performances from Oxlade and his iconic guest, the modern Highlife maestro, Flavour. A feel good song worthy of cherished moments, it’s a warm combination of distinct artistic powers.
Asake & Olamide "Amapiano"
Seemingly unsatisfied with his unprecedented 2022 run, Asake has continued to fan the embers of his celebrity coming into this year. After the revealing releases of “Yoga” and “2:30”, he’s now collaborated with label boss Olamide on this fun number. Culling from the South Africa sound as the title suggests, the song demonstrates the uncanny ability of both musicians to pick a vibe from any direction.
King Promise "Terminator"
One of the most soulful voices across Afrobeats, every new song from King Promise always has something worthwhile. On “Terminator”, the trendy log drums are paired with a mellow R&B progression which the Ghanaian musician effortlessly glides over. The discussed topic is his peace of mind, expressing the sort of conversation and actions he’s more likely to be found doing. For someone with a natural ease for breezy records, it plays to his strengths while positioning him in new sonic terrain.
K.O "Rockabye" ft. Toss
South African rapper K.O is one of the most enduring voices in popular African music. For more than a decade his distinct rap style has soundtracked pop-inflected hip-hop, and it’s testament to his unique prowess that he’s still going strong. “ROCKABYE” is the quintessential head bopper: featuring loops that sound straight out of a video game, the performances are varied but vibrant, K.O’s scene-setting flows sharpened through the frenetic flows of his feature Toss.
ODUMODUBLVCK ft. Cruel Santino & Bella Shmurda “DOG EAT DOG II”
What a year ODUMODUBLVCK is having. The Native Records signee has stamped his unique personality on all corners of the industry, exciting an ever burgeoning fanbase with his local-influenced raps. Among early listeners, “Dog Eat Dog” is one of his best records ever and on this remix treatment (which he calls a song on its own), he combines an array of talented musicians who advance the eerie, triumphant mood of the original. It’s a miracle of collaboration, and for Odumodu, the latest step towards the imminent immortality of having such a spellbinding breakout year.
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