The unmissable and most interesting sounds of the year
Chulo Vibes- Timaya
If there is anything Timaya has proven adept at, it is making inescapable dance anthems. The primary objective of Chulo Vibes is to bring you to your feet. By any means necessary. Influenced by music from the Caribbean regions, Chulo Vibes– Timaya’s first record in five years- is loud, unbothered and packed with dancehall bangers and catchy hooks.
Clone Wars Volume IV: These Buhari Times- Show Dem Camp
The fourth volume in the Clone Wars series, has the duo of Ghost and Tec returning to the hardcore rap stylings that have made them near legends of the game. Dropped on the first day of 2019 to a congregation of the faithful, the ode to Lagos, City of Excellence fires off proceedings. On the succeeding thirteen tracks, These Buhari Times outlines a snapshot of what it means living and surviving in Buhari’s Nigeria today.
Free- Nonso Amadi
On Free Nonso Amadi is staying true to the genre-bending sound he cultivated with his debut EP Alone as well as on standout singles like Tonight. Free is a record that can only come from an artiste who is in a position to enjoy creative and artistic freedom with little pressures to toe the commercial line. It is a privileged position and Amadi knows what to do with it.
I Love Girls with Trouble- Sarz X WurlD
Backed by banging, hot instrumentals from beatmaker Sarz, WurlD flexes his songwriting chops to explore love and lust in their joint eight-track EP. The project is a cohesive, elegant narrative of the ups and downs of modern relationships. The record plays to the strengths of the two principals; WurlD flexes his impressive songwriting chops while Sarz supplies beats that will last forever.
In Her Feelings- Omawumi
From Afro-fusion and Jazz to R&B and a tinge of pop, Omawumi’s latest record is a varied mix that chronicles the ups and downs of living. The 37-year-old diva infuses the songwriting with the richness of one who has lived and loved and maybe even lost. As a result, the EP is clearly inspired by the bonds of family, the pathos of relationships and the general observations on life.
Lord of Lamba- Naira Marley
Naira Marley’s debut body of work is a fine showcase for what he describes as Lamba music. According to Dami Ajayi, Lamba “is music with a risqué flair, hopping on heavy percussion and simply invoking, advocating, discussing, demonstrating and demystifying sex. Typically, this kind of music exists on a spectrum—but the arrival of Naira Marley to the scene has switched things up. He operates on a different level. Rather than cloth dirty talk in innuendos and metaphors, Marley grabs the proverbial piece of anatomy as per Trump’s description.’’
Mr Boombastic- Blaqbonez
The chameleonic rapper famous for his multiple identities unveiled Mr. Boombastic, a smooth, laid-back dude inspired by dancehall and afrowave. Mr Boombastic the EP is merely a reflection of this alter ego. Blaqbonez is hungry for success but he is also invested in pushing the boundaries of his art. He refuses to be pigeonholed into any particular genre and his work is stronger for it.
Rema EP- Rema
New kid on the block Rema has been on a roll, churning out Eps with all the consistency of an artiste confident in their talent. This year he put out three discs but we return to the very first, Rema EP. The four-track record houses the gigantic Dumebi. But it also consists of three other songs, all sonically diverse and incorporating a medley of Western influences.
Soundman Vol 1- Wizkid
In December, Wizkid pulled a Beyonce and surprised with the unannounced release of a new EP titled Soundman Vol. 1. The record features Jamaican artist Chronixx, on the opening track, Jam. Other guest appearances include DJ Tunez, Kel P and Blaq Jerzee. Soundman continues Wizkid’s foray into afro-Caribbean sounds as he delivers a jazzy, highlife-inspired sound with plenty of horns and smooth, mid-tempo production.
Runtown’s 6-track EP is his first body of work since 2015’s Ghetto University. Having put some distance between himself and his label troubles, Tradition isn’t the self-confessional, introspective record you were hoping to hear from the man who made one of the biggest hits of the decade. Instead it is essentially Runtown vibing on beats that begin to sound similar as they fly by.