News Brief

Tay Iwar Drops 3 Mind-Blowing Tracks Off His Debut Album '1997'

The tracks were premiered exclusively on Soulection via Beats 1 Radio.

Tay Iwar is one of the most promising young artists that are spearheading the new wave of Nigerian music. To many it comes as a surprise that the "Video Star" singer is only 21—his atmospheric, alternative R&B sound displays a spirit and skill set that is sounds beyond his years.

To our delight, Tay just unveiled three new self-produced tracks off his upcoming debut album, 1997. The tracks were released exclusively via Soulection, a major co-sign for the Abuja-based prodigy.


The Santi and Preyé-assisted opener, "Space," is a quirky, feel-good cut with Tay emphasizing his need for space to get away with all his dreams. This track is also incredibly catchy.

He then teams up with fellow new wave pioneer Odunsi The Engine on "Sugardaddy," an upbeat afropop track that is equally infectious. The duo inject some native vibes to the song, as they sing about a girl who isn't looking for love but is instead obsessed with the materialistic life her "sugardaddies" are providing.

"Miracle Girl" is arguably the stand-out track of the three. Tay seduces us once again with his stunning vocals, which are the centerpiece of this soulful ballad. It's the kind of song that really leaves you speechless because of how beautiful it sounds.

Each song sounds slightly different from the next, exhibiting Tay's endless versatility. This is just a taste of what is to come in his upcoming album but it's already overwhelmingly good. 1997 is definitely a project worth looking out for this year—we can't wait.

Listen to the three tracks from Tay Iwar's 1997 below.


Interview

Interview: Terri Is Stepping Out of the Shadows

We talk to the Wizkid-signed artist about the story behind the massive hit "Soco" and his latest Afro Series EP.

Certain afrobeats songs have made in-roads in international markets and paved the way for the genre's ceaselessly-rising widespread recognition. Among these history-defining songs were D'banj's "Oliver Twist," Tekno's "Pana," Davido's "If" & "Fall," Runtown's "Mad Over You," and of course, Wizkid's "Soco." Wizkid released "Soco" under his label imprint, Starboy Entertainment in March 2018, and the song spread like wildfire across Africa and beyond. "Soco" was an Afro-pop wonder delivered at a time when the 'afrobeats to the world' movement was gathering steam, further cementing its electric nature. The Northboi-produced song was co-signed by celebrities across the world like Rihanna, Cardi B, and Paul Pogba and has accrued well over a hundred million streams across streaming platforms worldwide.

"Soco" was not only a trailblazer amongst mid-2010s afrobeats records, it was also the introduction of the first Wizkid-signed artist, Terri. Just weeks before "Soco" was released, Terri was discovered by Wizkid's longtime producer, Mutay, who saw him covering the song "Oshe" on social media.

Before "Soco," Terri Akewe was well on his way to fame. At fifteen, he had performed at street carnivals in his neighbourhood and, one time, was carried all the way home by neighbours after winning a Coca-Cola sponsored singing competition. Before his life-changing meeting with Wizkid, Terri had a seven-track EP ready for release, as well as a viral song titled "Voices." "One time I was on set with the video director T.G Omori, he told me that 'Voices' was the first time he heard of me" Terri tells me as we settle on a plush couch at his home in Lagos.

Regardless of Terri's initial career trajectory; signing to a label headed by afrobeats' biggest superstar was bound to accelerate his musical journey, and at the same time, cast a huge shadow of expectation on his career, especially given a debut as spectacular as "Soco." With his latest EP, Afro Series, powered by the sensational single "Ojoro," one thing is clear: Terri is stepping out of the shadows into his own spotlight and he is doing it on his own terms.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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