Audio

Watch Odunsi (The Engine)'s New Video For 'Wetin Dey / Better Days'

Two end-of-summer jams.

Odunsi (The Engine), one of the leading artists coming out of Nigeria's new wave, comes through with two surprise singles, "Better Days" and "Wetin Dey."

"Better Days" is a hazy production helmed by P2J, who comes off working on big projects for the likes of Beyoncé's Lion King: The Gift and Burna Boy's African Giant. The guitar-flanked track features vocals from singer-songwriter WANI, who we've previously covered.

The hip-hop-leaning "Wetin Dey" samples a classic tune from Nigerian underground rap pioneers Ruff Rugged & Raw, which was also titled "Wetin Dey (Omukeke)."

Read: Odunsi Is the Artist Transforming Nigerian Music

Odunsi is coming off the drop of his latest single "Tipsy," featuring RAYE, and the success of his 13-song debut album, rare., which featured appearances from Davido, Runtown, Santi, Nasty C, Tay Iwar and more.

Listen to his two new singles "Better Days" and "Wetin Dey" below.

Update 8/15/19: Watch the new Lagos-shot music video for "Wetin Dey / Better Days" below.

"With 'Wetin Dey' I wanted to express the youth in Lagos going out and having fun," Odunsi tells The Fader. "I was inspired by the Will Smith 'Summertime' video. I always wanted to recreate that. 'Better Days' has a bit of a darker theme of running away after doing something evil. I had to shoot two videos because I like both songs as much as the other."


Odunsi - Wetin Dey/ Better Days Ft. WANI (Official Video) youtu.be



For more Nigerian music, follow our new NAIJA HITS playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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