by Wilfred Okiche
Like everything else, 2014 had its good, bad and ugly records but we made it our business to listen to the bulk of the music just so you won’t have to. After sorting through the pile, we came to the very arduous process of selecting the year’s 10 best songs.
Only songs released as promotional singles qualified for this list and we considered such criteria as quality of recording, commercial impact and lyrical depth.
These are 2014’s finest. From bottom to top.
10. Parcel- Phyno
The bass line of Parcel is so heavy, it was definitely made singularly to start any party from Lagos to Onitsha. The chorus is catchy, sing along fun and the accompanying verses are as tongue twisting and accessible as any Phyno has served up. It isn’t his best song but it is his most compulsorily danceable.
- Megbele- Omawumi
Leave it to Omawumi to make a hit single out of a song bearing the title of her surname with the chorus sung in her Itsekiri dialect. A tribute to her late father, Megbele’s melodious highlife groove hints of accomplishment, homecoming and the love of family.
- Johnny- Yemi Alade
Every artiste is always on the lookout for their Johnny; that defining musical moment that takes a fledging career and transforms it into real superstar status. Yemi Alade deservedly found hers with this Selebobo produced bubble gum monster of a tune about a cheating, good for nothing boyfriend.
- War coming- Eva Alordiah Ft. Sir Dauda
Miss Alordiah teamed with Sir Dauda to gift us with this war cry that combines hip hop and dancehall elements but presents in a sleek pop package. Eva’s delivery is sharp as she stings with precision while warning of the force of talent that she is set to unleash in her forthcoming debut album.
- Ordinary people- Cobhams Asuquo
God bless Cobhams Asuquo for reminding us of the greatness that can be found in the midst of our ordinariness. This lush recording scores points for impeccable arrangement, fine mixing and vocal enagement.
- Just like that- Temi Doll Face
You may have missed it but now is about a good time as any to revisit Temi Doll Face’s seizure inducing, scattershot comeback single. Blending traditional gongs, brooding drums, and a delivery pattern that is all over the place, Just like that is just like nothing you have heard on the radio in a long while.
- Aye- Davido
Davido manned up and made a single that wasn’t all about money, dancing or alcohol. A passionate love confession, Aye charms every time with its heavy instrumentation, cheesy lyrics and the sing along chants of its chorus.
- Iyawo mi- Timi Dakolo
Timi Dakolo’s tribute to the love of his life was also the wedding song of the year. Unabashedly sentimental, yet contemporary adult, Iyawo mi reunites Mr Dakolo with the out of this world skills of Cobhams Asuquo and the duo create a love song that is at once timely and timeless.
- Double wahala- Oritsefemi
Granted Oritsefemi’s troublesome street anthem was released in the last quarter of 2013 but if there was any song that had the most impact on 2014, it is this jaunty update of Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s classic. Nothing spelled crossover like this one and nothing was more fun to bump along to.
- God on the mic- Jesse Jagz
In the history of Nigerian rap, perhaps no finer first lines have ever been uttered. Jagz begins, Hurled from the sky like a discuss/ a god is fallen from Olympus/ dethroned from high, thrown from the sky…/ …forged from the remnants of Optimus prime…before charging onwards to circle that rarefied space of pure music artistry, approached only by the likes of Kanye West at his most introspective.
Do you agree?
– The writer tweets from @drwill20