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Still from Kiss Daniel "4DAYZ"

The 10 Best Nigerian Songs of the Month

Featuring new music from Wizkid, Davido, Banky W, Yemi Alade, Niniola, M.I, Tay Iwar and more.

No longer content with headbanging beats that could make up for mediocre singing, more artists are relying on the strength of their voice to carry a song, whether this is a mere coincidence or a calculated move to stand out is not quite clear.

The notable exceptions in our list, include "Someone Like You" by Flavour, "Magic" by Aramide and "Awa Love" by Johnny Drille who continues to convince as a latter day Age Beeka.

As for full projects, the three most impressive have been Sugar by Mystro, the longterm producer turned artist whose first single "Atarado" premiered as an OkayAfrica exclusive last year. The other two are Late Night Vibrations by Ycee and Bella, and Leopards by Suté Iwar.

Read ahead for the Best Nigerian Songs of February.


StarBoy "Soco" feat. Wizkid, Ceeza Milli, Spotless, Terri

Who better than Wizkid espouses the idea of the familiar stranger? Time and again, he returns with a new song, which may not vary much thematically from one to the next, but feels distinct in feeling and composition.

Davido "Flora My Flawa"

Earnest singing from a redoubtable hit-machine, with little to prove, could only win Davido closer to his legions of fans.

Kiss Daniel & Flyboy I.N.C "4DAYZ"

A winning combination of seductive rasp, highlife arrangements and astute songwriting from the ever impressive Boy Kiss.

Banky W "Love U Baby"

A deeply-felt ballad from the long term connoisseur of the stuff and the most convincing poster boy of heart matters since Ramsey Noah.

M.I Abaga "Lekki" feat. Falz, Odunsi & Ajebutter 22

Of the many chronicles of sex workers in Lagos, "Easy Motion Tourist" by Leye Adenle is the most vivid portrayal in text, while this new one, "Lekki" by M.I and friends, is by far the most vivid portrayal in song.

Tay Iwar "Video Star"

Fashionably out of step with whatever is going on in Nigerian pop or even the Soundcloud space, "Video Star" is a cautionary tale nuanced from moralising; sensual in its combination of silky vocals and a plush bed of synths.

Olamide "Sheevita Juice" feat. Skepta

When he bothers to, rapper-Olamide is every bit as engaging as pop-Olamide. When combined, both instincts make for fantastic results as is the case on "Sheevita Juice" which features a well-judged verse from Skepta

Niniola & VJ Adams "Leg Work"

It was always going to be interesting how Niniola would reimagine gqom for Nigerian pop after her thorough job of establishing house music in the country's pop consciousness. "Leg Work" is an exemplary grafting of Nigerianisms to South African beatwork in what is fast becoming the big trend of 2018.

Adey "Slender"

How divine is this amalgam of afropop and jazz? Adey is better known as a producer, but here, he has concocted a sweet potion damn near, if not as good as "Ginger Me Slowly" by Somi—the exemplar of any such blends.

Yemi Alade "Heart Robber"

Yemi Alade has serves up a delectable confection of her own in her inimitable manner. "Heart Robber" still draws from the Pon Pon playbook of intentionally twee lyrics and melodious clutter of words about a love interest, over soothing arrangements by KrizBeatz, who is responsible for Tekno's "Pana".

Interview

This Compilation Shines a Light On East African Underground Music

We talk to a few of the artists featured on the Music For the Eagles compilation from Uganda's Nyege Nyege.

Nyege Nyege, a label in Kampala, Uganda is channelling the confidence brimming over a whole continent. Africa is no longer the future. For dance music, its time is right now.

Music For the Eagles is a compilation released in conjunction with Soundcloud to showcase the best new acts that East Africa has to offer outside the mainstream. A new wave of artists firmly blasting non-conformist energy for you to spasm to. Music that takes you places. Otim Alpha's high BPM wedding frenzy of incessant rasping vocals accompanied by feverous violin will have you clawing the walls to oblivion. Anti Vairas' dancehall from a battleship with super galactic intentions doesn't even break a sweat as it ruins you. FLO's beautiful sirens call, is a skittish and detuned nursery rhyme that hints at a yearning for love but reveals something far more unnerving. Ecko Bazz's tough spiralling vocal over sub-bass and devil trap energy is an anthem that can only be bewailed. And Kidane Fighter's tune is more trance-like prayer. These are only some of the highlights for you to shake it out to.

We got to chat with a few of the artists featured on the Music For the Eagles compilation as they took a break from the studio below.

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