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The 10 Best Nigerian Songs of the Month

Here are the 10 best Nigerian afrobeats songs that came out last month.

In this new series, we'll be taking a look at what's been breaking the Nigerian charts & shattering trends, as we compile the 10 Best Nigerian Afrobeats Songs of the past 30 days.


From established names to up-and-comers, big releases to holiday specials, Juju goodness, catchphrases-turn-hit songs, highlife grooves, and a a big hitter back with a big single, check out our selections below.

Falz “Jeje”

The Nigerian-Ghanaian cultural exchange lives on in what sounds like a dope rehash of Seyi Sodimu’s “Love Me Jeje” (1997) by a fan who grew up to be Falz the Bahd Guy.

The video, shot by Mex, has tasteful Benetton colours that somehow blend well with the decaying coastal building set, in what must be Jamestown in Accra. 

Wizkid "Naughty Ride"

International Wiz has toned down the Surulere Wiz to some degree, but the gains have been plenty. Most recently of which is him taking home BET’s “Best International Act: Africa.”

One of his gifts is a head for simple and effective hooks. The big Drake collabo “Come Closer” only has two words in it and he's now even managed to make an afro beat produced by Major Lazer sound near legit with "Naughty Ride."

Kcee “We Go Party” ft. Olamide

It's clear that Kcee’s “We Go Party” takes its cue from Wizkid’s “Pakurumo.”  What many might not say is that this Kcee version is just as good, specially with Olamide bringing in his authentic 'juju stank' (there is such a thing). It's simple: any party with Kcee and Olamide as a house-band will be one to remember.

Mystro "Issa Vibe" ft. Davido

Mystro, last seen as a mid-tier producer, is coming out as a solo artist. That's hardly a surprise and, what's more, he's done a good job of it. In this new track, a hot catchphrase ("Issa vibe") meets an in-sound (thank you, Ghana), add a Davido feature and you have a winner. Issa jam no doubt.

Tekno “Samantha” 

"If you have a good riff, stick to it," is what Tekno and producer Kris Beatz seem to be saying. The tag-team who previously brought you “Pana,” ushering in this period of calm afrobeats, return with “Samantha.”

For this one, Kris Beatz smooths some of the edges in the beat for “Caro,” which Legendury Beatz made for Wizkid & L.A.X. The songwriting is no different, as Tekno essentially substitutes “Caro” for “Samantha” whose own chorus is very similar to that of “Diana,” yet another song titled after a woman's name.

Classiq “Barka da Sallah”

What really impresses is just how well Classiq has made Hausa work with trap. What's more, “Barka da Sallah” is the Hausa/Islamic equivalent of wishing someone a “Happy Christmas.” What adds extra delight is that this is all tongue-in-cheek but to a clueless ear, primed by the menacing trap beat, it would sound po-faced.

Davido “Fall”

It's hard to resist the glamour of Venetian mask parties employed in the video for “Fall,” whose audio could also be called “If” redux, here to continue the wild success of the latter while posing as a different song altogether.

Flavour “Baby Na Yoka” 

There's a two-second shot of Flavour in this video—looking straight into the camera bare-chested and whining slowly—which sums up the cheesiness in most of his videos. This often obscures the fact that Flavour, more than any other artist, has consistently and confidently established highlife in the current afropop sphere.

There are moments of impressive creative progress on Flavour’s new album, Ijele The Traveler, like when he croons and traps in Igbo on “Body Calling.” To ensure chart success here, he appears to have harked back to his earliest hit, “Ashawo,” but this would be the tropical edition produced by the aptly named Masterkraft. This one would fit well in any Carnival playlist.

D'banj “It's Not A Lie” ft. Wande Coal & Harrysong

It's not a lie, this song is Mo'Hits revisited with the charismatic Harrysong deputising for the charismatic Don Jazzy.

It's not a lie, this is highlife goodness. And highlife impresario Harrysong’s exuberance matches that of D'banj, with some ad libs thrown in as jara.

Kahli Abdu “Romantic Girl” 

The "One Dance" challenge (not an actual thing) carries on despite tepid efforts from the likes of Ed Sheeran and French Montana. In this edition, titled “Romantic Girl,” Kahli Abdu more than makes up for the past offenses by others.

Abdu’s feather-soft voice is a good match for the song's calming piano. He's also repurposed the chorus of an old favourite and made it his own. You'll hear Patra’s “Romantic Call” with a pinch of Mos Def/Yasiin Bey’s “Ms. Fat Booty” over a pleasant enough beat from frequent collaborator Kid Konnect. All of those elements combine to make a very decent song.

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Artwork: Barthélémy Toguo Lockdown Selfportrait 10, 2020. Courtesy Galerie Lelong & Co

1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair Goes to Paris in 2021

The longstanding celebration of African art will be hosted by Parisian hot spot Christie's for the first time ever.

In admittedly unideal circumstances, 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair will be touching French soil in 2021. The internationally celebrated art fair devoted to contemporary art from Africa and the African diaspora will be hosted in Paris, France from January 20 - 23. With COVID-19 still having its way around the globe, finding new ways to connect is what it's all about and 1-54 is certainly taking the innovative steps to keep African art alive and well.
In partnership with Christie's, the in-person exhibits will take place at the auction house's city HQ at Avenue Matignon, while 20 international exhibitors will be featured online at Christies.com. And the fun doesn't stop there as the collaboration has brought in new ways to admire the talent from participating galleries from across Africa and Europe. The fair's multi-disciplinary program of talks, screenings, performances, workshops, and readings are set to excite and entice revelers.

Artwork: Delphine Desane Deep Sorrow, 2020. Courtesy Luce Gallery


The tech dependant program, curated by Le 18, a multi-disciplinary art space in Marrakech medina, will see events take place during the Parisian run fair, followed by more throughout February.
This year's 1-54 online will be accessible to global visitors virtually, following the success of the 2019's fair in New York City and London in 2020. In the wake of COVID-19 related regulations and public guidelines, 1-54 in collaboration with Christie's Paris is in compliance with all national regulations, strict sanitary measures, and security.

Artwork: Cristiano Mongovo Murmurantes Acrilico Sobre Tela 190x200cm 2019


1-54 founding director Touria El Glaoui commented, "Whilst we're sad not to be able to go ahead with the fourth edition of 1-54 Marrakech in February as hoped, we are incredibly excited to have the opportunity to be in Paris this January with our first-ever fair on French soil thanks to our dedicated partners Christie's. 1-54's vision has always been to promote vibrant and dynamic contemporary art from a diverse set of African perspectives and bring it to new audiences, and what better way of doing so than to launch an edition somewhere completely new. Thanks to the special Season of African Culture in France, 2021 is already set to be a great year for African art in the country so we are excited to be playing our part and look forward, all being well, to welcoming our French friends to Christie's and many more from around the world to our online fair in January."

Julien Pradels, General Director of Christie's France, said, "Christie's is delighted to announce our second collaboration with 1-54, the Contemporary African Art Fair, following a successful edition in London this October. Paris, with its strong links to the continent, is a perfect place for such a project and the additional context of the delayed Saison Africa 2020 makes this partnership all the more special. We hope this collaboration will prove a meaningful platform for the vibrant African art scene and we are confident that collectors will be as enthusiastic to see the works presented, as we are."


Artwork: Kwesi Botchway Metamorphose in July, 2020. Courtesy of the artist and Gallery 1957


Here's a list of participating galleries to be on the lookout for:

Galleries

31 PROJECT (Paris, France)
50 Golborne (London, United Kingdom)
Dominique Fiat (Paris, France)
Galerie 127 (Marrakech, Morocco)
Galerie Anne de Villepoix (Paris, France)
Galerie Cécile Fakhoury (Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire/ Dakar, Senegal)
Galerie Eric Dupont (Paris, France)
Galerie Lelong & Co. (Paris, France / New York, USA)
Galerie Nathalie Obadia (Paris, France / Brussels, Belgium)
Galleria Continua (Beijing, China / Havana, Cuba / Les Moulins, France / San Gimignano, Italy / Rome, Italy)
Gallery 1957 (Accra, Ghana / London, United Kingdom)
Loft Art Gallery (Casablanca, Morocco)

Luce Gallery (Turin, Italy)
MAGNIN-A (Paris, France)
Nil Gallery (Paris, France)
POLARTICS (Lagos, Nigeria)
SEPTIEME Gallery (Paris, France)
This is Not a White Cube (Luanda, Angola) THK Gallery (Cape Town, South Africa) Wilde (Geneva, Switzerland)

For more info visit 1-54

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