Still from Burna Boy's "Dangote" (Youtube)

The 12 Best Nigerian Songs of the Month

Featuring Yemi Alade, Tay Iwar, Burna Boy, Nonso Amadi, Phyno, Wande Coal, and more

Read ahead for our selection of the best Nigerian songs of March.

Follow our new NAIJA HITS playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

Nonso Amadi 'Emergency'

A millennial's fear is well expressed in the first verse off Nonso Amadi's first big single of the year: "'cause you and me hit it one time / all we have is this one life and / call me back when you're online." Exhibitionist bike riding (not advised) is featured in the scenic video, set in a seaside town, but what most holds the attention is Amadi who has a very watchable screen presence that was not evident in his older videos. It could turn out to be an enjoyable part of his live performances.

Yemi Alade 'Yaji' ft. Slimcase & Brainee

"This song will undoubtedly be soundtracking a lot of nights and dance floors" we previously wrote about Yemi Alade's "Yaji." Brainee's terse guest verse is fleeting while Slimcase is ever the welcomed presence who rarely outstays, in several guises as hype man, background vocalists and street sage with a pithy phrase:"if you no money, get sense." "Yaji" is Hausa for a sweet and hot ground pepper and "gbe body" is Yoruba for "move away," an in-trend phrase used for its authoritative ring but turned into a dance instruction by Yemi Alade who has always excelled over throbbing, uptempo production since her first hit "Johnny."

Phyno 'Agu'

In the video for "Agu", Phyno has forced into harmony beautiful shots of landscapes with footage from his concerts which, in Onitsha (Eastern Nigeria), brought in a reported 25,000 fans in its first edition in 2017, rising to 50,000 in 2019.

Wande Coal x MUT4Y 'Start 2 Dance'

The urging song title is little needed on account of the strongly melodic beat and Wande Coal's engaged singing voice. The sex-as-food reference is meant as humor but goes overboard in one instant: "dem wan chop my facility."

Ice Prince Zamani Ft Phyno & Falz 'Feel Good'

The work of producer Young Willis, this playful, mid-tempo beat is common fodder for rappers to flex about being fly and savvy. A feel-good song about feeling good may seem cheesy, but Ice Prince's knack for catchy hooks is even more enjoyable when anchored by winning guest verses from Phyno and Falz.

Tay Iwar - HOW (audio)

This is trap-psychedelia. Feelings of justified spite towards a lover rendered in sweet melodies and a soothing voice that makes heartbreaks seem seductive—unless they are: "did I mention I'm feeling fucking great / you gon' wash them dishes on them dates / no more loving you I'm good, I'm straight." "How" is the first single from "Gemini", the much anticipated debut album by Tay Iwar, the singer and producer who is one of the leading lights of Nigeria's much discussed "alte" music.

Burna Boy 'Dangote'

Worth over $10 billion, Aliko Dangote is the Nigerian businessman whose surname Burna Boy has used as a song of aspiration. The sun-dappled piano recalls the lush goodness of his much loved song "Like To Party" while the yearning in his gruff voice makes for impassioned singing which tugs the emotional strings. The latest in a run of very impressive singles released by the singer this year, and who, this March, has also dropped a collaborative 4 track EP with LA-based electronic duo, DJDS, titled Steel & Copper.

Read: Dangote Isn't Nigeria's Hero, But Don't Ask Burna Boy

Seyi Shay & Harmonize 'Koma Roll'

Seyi Shay has siphoned the most enjoyable bits of Lagbaja's evergreen classic "Konko Below" as the hook for her collaboration with Tanzanian singer Hamornize. Her lyrics rely on Nigeriansisms and snatches of Yoruba while he incorporates pidgin when singing in Kiswahili.

Skiibii 'Omaema'

The near 8 million views Skiibi's last single "Sensima" reached on Youtube are impressive for a newcomer and raised expectations for its follow-up. "Onaema" does not disappoint, especially in the way Skiibi's affecting melodies are married to the heavily rhythmic production that insists on being liked. The video doesn't stray too far from the template half naked models and nice furnishings which, in this case, is tasteful.

Patoranking 'Confirm' ft. Davido

The otherwise opposing sensibilities of humility and pride make happy partners on this paean to money. Over a swinging melodic beat, on account of the short and repetitive violin phrases and a roving guitar, both Patoranking and Davido blend well enough by not getting in each other's way.

LADIPOE 'Jaiye ( Time of Our Lives )'

Producer Johnny Drille relies on the tingling goodness of a marimba to define the production on this orphaned single that is not included in the rapper's debut project, Talk About Poe, released last October. The "Jaiye" of the title is a celebration of good times and can be viewed as the victory lap of a rapper enjoying early success.

Kizz Daniel 'Fvck You'

Kizz Daniel delivered a superior album last November when he released, No Bad Songz, a title that is true of all 20 tracks on his sophomore effort. Produced by Young John, "Fuck You" is another little marvel of songmaking about a spurned love: "na you the cheat na me the beg / make una check ogbanje / shebi na me the find sisi yellow." The repetition of the offensive song title has real bite and could easily be tasteless if done by another singer.

Follow our new NAIJA HITS playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

(Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

John Boyega Set to Star In Upcoming Netflix Sci-Fi Movie 'They Cloned Tyrone'

The film is being described as "Friday-meets-Get Out."

Fresh off his performance as Finn in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker John Boyega is set to take on another leading role, this time in the Netflix's upcoming sci-fi comedy They Cloned Tyrone. The Hollywood Reporter first broke the news.

The film will be the directorial debut of Juel Taylor the writer behind Creed 2. He co-wrote the script for They Cloned Tyrone with Tony Rettenmaier.

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AKA, Cassper Nyovest, Samthing Soweto and Others are on the SXSW 2020 Line-Up

9 African artists have been confirmed for next year's SXSW.

Nine artists from the continent, six of which are from South Africa, are among the first wave of Showcasing Artists on the SXSW 2020 line-up. AKA, Cassper Nyovest, Amanda Black, Samthing Soweto, Nadia Nakai and Moonchild Sanelly will be representing South Africa in the festival which takes place in Austin, Texas annually. Nigeria's Simi and Lady Donli and Lesotho's Morena Leraba are also on the line-up of showcasing artists, which consists of artists from 51 countries.

James Minor, Head of Music Festival at SXSW said:

"This season's first artist reveal is a compelling and diverse list of artists from all corners of the globe. In the continued spirit of discovery, we're pleased to give the world a glimpse of what it can expect to see next March; a genre-spanning and defying lineup of artists you'll undoubtedly be hearing about in the future."

The first wave of African artists is a great mixture of mainstream and niche artists, and it's highly likely to get even better with more artists being added in the near future before the festival takes place.

SXSW is taking place in Austin, TX between March 16 and 22.

View the current line-up here.

(Photo Courtesy of DIARRABLU)

Meet the Senegalese Designer Making Math Chic

Diarra Bousso uses algorithms to create designs for her line DIARRABLU.

Who knew that math and fashion could work together so seamlessly? Apparently Diarra Bousso did, the self-described "Creative Mathematician" and mastermind behind DIARRABLU. The Senegalese serial entrepreneur and multidisciplinary artist left a career of trading on Wall Street to pursue design and it paid off. She has just been awarded a coveted spot as the Designer in Residence at the San Francisco Fashion Incubator for her innovative use of equations and algorithms in her beautiful designs.

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(Photo by Emma McIntyre/BAFTA LA/Getty Images for BAFTA LA)

Daniel Kaluuya Is Producing a Live-Action 'Barney' Movie with Mattel

Yes, you read that correctly.

In a move that absolutely no one saw coming, Oscar-nominated actor Daniel Kaluuya is set to produce a live-action Barney movie in conjunction with Mattel Films. The Hollywood Reporter first broke the story.

Kaluuya will co-produce the film as part of his 59% production banner, which signed a first-look deal with Paramount back in May. Speaking on his involvement with the project and the impact of Barney & Friends, Kaluuya had this to say: "Barney was a ubiquitous figure in many of our childhoods, then he disappeared into the shadows, left misunderstood. We're excited to explore this compelling modern-day hero and see if his message of 'I love you, you love me' can stand the test of time."

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