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Your Favourite Afrobeats Blog

It’s official; summer 2019 is dedicated to Afrobeats!  Just when we thought it couldn’t get any better than Beyoncé dropping her album with 10 Afrobeats artists and Smade putting on the biggest African urban beach festival headlined by Afrobeats artists, it does! This week has been amazing with new releases all over the gaff. I’ve got a selection of the most stupendous confectionaries. You ready? It’s time for Tracks of the Day with Gracey Mae!

 

Blow My Mind – Davido x Chris Brown

 

“Blow My Mind” is the brand new Afro-pop anthem from Davido and Chris Brown. It’s easy on the ears, sprinkled with sass and immediately infectious. It’s so catchy even Siri has confirmed that it’s the most popular song in the world right now. With Shizzi on production and WURLD as a co-writer, this mid-tempo banger is an instant hit. Have they done enough for Davido to break the US market?

Whilst we’re not looking for validation from the mainstream, a little recognition and reward would be nice. Afrobeats is going global – it’s only a matter of time. Our work ethic, creativity and energy transcends language, race and geographical boarders. With this being said, it’s definitely easier to water down the authenticity to appeal to a wider market…you know, make it more palatable but Davido doesn’t compromise his sound on this track. “Blow My Mind” still gives us that vim – we may not break out into Zanku or legwork, but it’s definitely more reflective of the Afro-fusion and alte scene right now. We’re treated to the riffs and runs we know and love from Breezy, and for once, the feature makes sense. A lot of recent collaborations have sounded like two different songs mashed together. Shade? Maybe. That’s definitely not the case here!

Now when it comes to international collaborations with Afrobeats artists, there’s been a few hit and misses but Davido consistently pairs up with the right artists. 2am with Casanova and Tory Lanez was a big tune. All I Want with Russ goes on. My Story with Popcaan was so authentic, it made us realise we actually need more Bashment and Afrobeats collabs. Davido has never been afraid to push the boat with features. He’s paired up with the likes of Quavo, Rae Sremmurd, Young Thug, Sean Kingston, Normani and Stefflon Don. Davido is already known as the collab king but he’s might have the best one of all by partnering with a long standing Prince of RnB! “Blow My Mind” is head and shoulders above the others.

The official video for “Blow My Mind” by Davido and Chris Brown dropped today. Check out it here:

Ja Ara E – Burna Boy

 

Burna Boy has done it again! In a week where he’s dropped his fourth album, gone to #1 on the album charts and appeared as the first African artist to perform live on Jimmy Kemmel, he’s dropped more heat. “Ja Ara E” is the Fela inspired jam which rocks hard. It’s the only solo track on Beyoncé’s afrobeats album…sorry the Lion King soundtrack…The Gift, not performed by Beyoncé! That’s not even the monumental part. Everything about the track is a vibe. From the deep Boys II Men adlibs to the sweet harmonies, from the light percussion to the laced horn solos, it’s a masterpiece!

Social media has been ablaze claiming that this track was clearly a throwaway from his African Giant album! Whilst these claims haven’t been verified, it’s so refreshing to hear Burna stay true to himself. Real fans will automatically connect with the small pidgin with Bashment vibes, the subtle encouraging message and the floods of Fela inspiration. “Ja Ara E” cleverly includes references to Lion King too. The intro has a horn that could be down to the Mr Kuti influence or an elephant imitation. In the lyrics, Burna warns us to “watch out for them hyenas”; we all know they are the antagonists in the Disney movie.

This year, we’ve seen a more enlightened and educated side to Burna Boy. He’s taken to Instagram and Twitter several times to speak up about social injustice and humanitarian crises. Through his album, ‘African Giant’ he even includes history lessons about the formation of Nigeria as interludes. It’s not wonder that he’s continued in this vein on “Ja Ara E”. The title of the track means ‘stay woke’ or ‘wake up’ in Yoruba.

As far as we know, there’s no plan to create a video for this track but here is the official audio for “Ja Ara E” by Burna Boy:

Cake – Juls x Mr Eazi

 

Pioneer-producer, Juls pairs with Chief Zagadat himself, Mr Eazi, to serve us a delicious new track “Cake”. As one of the only Afro-influenced singles from his new project, ‘Colour’, Juls proves he’s still got it! Where the tape aims to break him out of the Afrobeats bubble – showing us that he’s got more quivers to his bow – “Cake” reminds us why Juls is a national treasure. Just like the album title, “Cake” is giving hues, shades and tones with the use of guitar, bass, clicks, box drums and simple harmonies. It’s all the deconstructed ingredients of hi-life! The Ghana influence on this stripped back production is so clean, it allows the instruments to breathe and the vocals to hit hard.

Mr Eazi was the perfect choice for “Cake”. His delivery melts perfectly on the beat. The code switch from London slang to pidgin is seamless you almost miss it. Between the catchy chorus and the clever food references, you’ve got no option but to love this! The lyrics are fun and flirty, and the one liners are unmissable.

Juls and Mr Eazi really bring out the best in each other. It seems as if these two have the magical formula. Their very first collab still shuts down every dance floor. Remember the 2015 hit, ‘Skintight’? This was followed UK by ‘Hollup’ and ‘Shitor’, strong singles in their own right.

Whilst “Cake” is one of the only Afro-inspired tracks on Juls’ latest project, you should definitely check out ‘Colour’. As per usual, the features are mental! We’ve got Falz, Kojey Radical, Ms Banks, Kida Kudz, Oxlade, Santi, and half a dozen more!

There’s currents of reggae, jungle/grime and alte; a track for every mood.

Check out Cake by Juls and Mr Eazi here:

Wildcard

Each week, I’ll be playing a wildcard; showcasing the best of up and coming talent within Afrobeats. They might not have big deals but they do have big tunes! Today’s top 3 picks are…

Give – Kobi Jonz & DJ Boat

Give” is the brand new single from US-based Kobi Jonz & DJ Boat. Produced by David Meli, “Give” has a classic indigenous feel with traditional-inspired drum rhythms and bass guitar featured in the backbeat and synthetic chords cushioning Kobi’s distinct vocals. It is a fusion of sounds from both Ghana and Nigeria inspired by a strong attraction between lovers – a relationship between two people that is meant to mirror the mutual influence between the two music scenes. There’s a lot of big things to expect from WeWoke Music Group’s Kobi Jonz, enjoy!

 

Day Uno – Seaj x Damayo

“Day Uno” is a summer vibe from Seaj and Damayo. The unbeatable pair are giving us a real contrast with R’n’B and rasta-style vocals on a popular Thai Beat. This banger has fire lyrics, a catchy chorus and sweet harmonies. Serenading a love interest who is a ride or die is something we’re used to but this level of sauce, lyrically and sonically is something refreshing to the scene. The execution of this track far exceeds the numbers it pulled. Released at the start of the year, this track has been making the rounds and solidifies both artists as ones to watch in 2020.

 

Sometimes – Krane ft Funmi Callisto

Krane has partnered with Funmi Callisto to give us some real Afro-inspired Hip-Hop/R’n’B on “Sometimes”. This cute dialogue between an ambivalent couple who can’t quite decide whether they want to be together is layered on a series of angelic strings and a hard beat. Funmi’s sweet vocals pair perfectly with Krane’s punchy bars; he even serenades us with some sweetboy vocals for a bar or two. Can’t wait to see what else 2019 has in store from these two!

 

Listen to all of these tracks on the official Apple Music playlist, TRACKS OF THE DAY WITH GRACEY MAE: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/playlist/tracks-of-the-day-with-gracey-mae/pl.u-ZmblV4oCVbgvZ3

For more Afrobeats Music reviews by Gracey Mae, click here.


Gracey MaeThis blog was brought to you by Gracey Mae, Radio Host on the AfroNation Show (@afronationshow): Westside Radio’s flagship Afrobeats show. Bringing you the best in Afrobeats, Afroswing…Afro-everything! For the latest in Afro-pop culture news & trends join Gracey Mae & crew on Frobeats: your favourite Afro Pop Culture podcast (@_frobeats)

For more:

💻 www.graceymae.com 📷 @_graceymae @_graceymae

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Tracks of the Day with Gracey Mae

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Tracks of the Day with Gracey Mae

Your Favourite Afrobeats Blog

Tracks of the day with Gracey Mae is back at it again with amazing additions for your playlist! This week we’re taking on a little bit of a mature stance. You ready? Afrobeats has always been about a love interest or shaking a leg but as our stars gain more of a global following, we’re starting to see them utilise their platforms to push more socially aware content. Wait – a super star with depth? 😍Forget all that fake woke stuff, we’ve got thought provoking, research-inspiring stuff right here. Take a look!

 

49-99 – Tiwa Savage

Tiwa Savage couldn’t see the year out before dropping a global hit! “49-99” is the brand new single from the Queen of Afrobeats. As her first worldwide release under her new label, Universal Music, Tiwa returns to a more traditional sound. Collaborating with Olamide to write this socially aware track, Miss Savage pulls on inspiration from  the legendary Fela Kuti for the title and subject matter.

At her London launch party for “49-99”, Tiwa explained that it was important for her first major track since her hiatus to have some meaning. The title is symbolic of “Nigeria suffering whilst smiling” and reflects the main form of transport in Nigeria where the buses have 49 seats whilst 99 more passengers cram to stand on the bus. This concept translates to her delivery on the track. It’s a side we rarely see. Very urban. Quite gritty. Socially conscious. The world seems to be loving it. Tiwa is dominating billboards and press outlets in London, Lagos and New York.

The video for “49-99” is cinematic excellence! Meji Abdul really gave us low lighting, moods with concepts and cultural references. We see Tiwa seemlessly dip from Bawse to wholesome, from riské to cute without missing a beat. They play with nudity, bold print and female empowerment, and Tiwa confirmed that everyone involved with the production were Nigerian. Yes! It’s about time someone cherished and celebrated homegrown talent.

The video has amassed almost 3 million views in two weeks, watch the video for “49-99” by Tiwa Savage here:

Better – Tekno

“Better (Hope for Africa)” is the spanking new single from Tekno and he could not have dropped it a more opportune time. With the recent civil unrest in South Africa, this inspirational track is exactly what we need. Describing his dreams for an independent Africa with accessible healthcare, education, infrastructure and so much more, Tekno really encourages us to be and do “Better”.

It’s great to see him behind the mic once again. You’ll know that he’s been pretty busy in the last few weeks; producing and writing hits for Drake and Swae Lee, as well as, recording mega hits and a documentary for Beyonce. Did you spot his cameo in the ABC Behind the Scenes footage in the making of Bey’s alternative Lion King album. We wonder how he’s even found the time to give us this hit!

Releasing “Better” came as a bit of surprise to most as he dropped hot off the heels of his “Agege” controversy. The music video for this track involved a truck, a dance pole, nude strippers and tons of dollars being sprayed in a transparent van riding through the streets of Lagos. There’s no such thing as bad publicity and Tekno took this literally. Before the video even dropped, the blogs were anticipating a statement from the star. Whilst the video divided opinion, the track gained traction. “Better” reminds us that Tekno has a softer, less raunchy side.

Check out the video to “Better” by Tekno:

Sexy Sexy – Mugeez

If you’re familiar with multiple award-winning duo R2Bees, then you’ll know Mugeez! He’s just dropped “Sexy Sexy” a fun and flirty new track produced by Zodivc. Taken from his mixtape ‘Anunnaki Flow Freestyle Season 1’, Mugeez gives us all kinds of bashment vibes on this catchy track. Can you spot the sample?

The dancehall scene is huge in Ghana and the BET Award nominee has been known to dabble with this sound. Who am I kidding? Mugeez whole delivery screams Kingston, Jamaica, and we ain’t mad at it. The Tema native, describes a memorable night, specifically 3 o’clock in the morning. We’re given details how the one encounter lead to a series of good times with a love interest (who isn’t his girlfriend sleeping in sexy lingerie). Apparently said girl has a bangin’ body and the rest is history. Released with Extrial Music, Mugeez does not forget his roots on this track. Giving us flavours of hip-life throughout. We hear his quick whit, solid delivery and captivating storytelling. These are the ingredients dynamic duo R2Bees are known for – it’s the sound that rose them to fame.

Following through with the organic feel a mixtape gives you, the video for “Sexy Sexy” is shot in the studio in a #BTS feel. Directed by David Duncan, the monochromatic scenes really heightens the homemade feel.

Watch the official video for Mugeez’ new single, “Sexy Sexy” right here:

Wildcard

Each week, I’ll be playing a wildcard; showcasing the best of up and coming talent within Afrobeats. They might not have big deals but they do have big tunes! Today’s top 3 picks are…

Danfo – CDM Alabama ft Eazi Boi

“Danfo” is the brand new single from CDM Alabama aka Young BillGates. Hailing from Calabar, Nigeria, this up and coming star is mega-talented; he raps, he sings and he writes. This track is really describes how the hustle can pay off …from Danfo to Ferrari – let’s all claim it in Jesus’ name! Having started his music career at 12 years old, CDM has been putting in the work for over a decade and it’s all paying off. Check out this catchy tune now!

 

Love Like This – Trill Xoe ft. Tonero and Rilwan

Trill Xoe has partnered with Tonero and Rilwan to give us “Love Like This”. This trap-inspired love song is giving us all kinds of Afro-R’n’B vibes! With a killer Wizkid/Drake sample, heartfelt lyrics and a hot collab, this track has all the ingredients to be a hit. Taken from his EP, “Blood, Sweat and Tears”, this 19-year old Lagosian pairs with Tonero gives us real vocals on the hook and Rilwan grapple with the feelings of affection and isolation. Press play homie!

 

Konji – DJ Temmy & David Omyl

DJ Temmy and David Omyl have jumped on a Santaus beat to deliver straight Afro-Pop vibes on “Konji”. With a little two-step garage influence on the beat, David’s delivers some really sweet vocals whilst giving us a proper story time. The 18 year old may not have support from his parents to pursue music but he’s got it from me; when you’ve got organic and pure talent it can’t go to waste. See you at the top aburo! Stream “Konji” on all DSPs.

 

Listen to all of these tracks on the official Apple Music playlist, TRACKS OF THE DAY WITH GRACEY MAE: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/playlist/tracks-of-the-day-with-gracey-mae/pl.u-ZmblV4oCVbgvZ3

For more Afrobeats Music reviews by Gracey Mae, click here.


Gracey MaeThis blog was brought to you by Gracey Mae, Radio Host on the AfroNation Show (@afronationshow): Westside Radio’s flagship Afrobeats show. Bringing you the best in Afrobeats, Afroswing…Afro-everything! For the latest in Afro-pop culture news & trends join Gracey Mae & crew on Frobeats: your favourite Afro Pop Culture podcast (@_frobeats)

For more:

💻 www.graceymae.com 📷 @_graceymae @_graceymae

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Tracks of the Day with Gracey Mae

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Tracks of the Day with Gracey Mae

Your Favourite Afrobeats Blog

The first week of September is over already! This year is flying by but issokay ISSOKAY cos this is my favourite season! Who’s ready for those snuggled up nights by a toasty fire? Summer body goals thrown to the wind! Tis the season for cute layers. Fa la la la. Can’t you smell the pumpkin spice in the air? If that doesn’t tackle your fancy, this Afrobeats playlist will. It’s time for Tracks of the Day with Gracey Mae.

 

Majesty – DJ Tunez ft Busiswa

Hot off the heels of two high profile collaborations this summer, DJ Tunez returns with his new track “Majesty” featuring South African powerhouse, Busiswa. Starboy’s resident disk jockey is switching gears giving us major inspirational vibes on Afro-house beat. Aside from the instantly catchy chorus, this track has all the ingredient of a club classic. There’s crazy percussion, a killer electric guitar and the best catchphrase ever, “F*CK IT UP!”.

 

“Majesty” is dedicated to the ladies; encouraging them to remember that their Queens with lines like ‘Do you know who you are? You can reach the stars…The world is your oyster’. It’s great to see the melding of DJ Tunez’ roots in Nigeria and his life in USA, with the popular Gqom sound that Busiswa is known for. I’m sure the South African readers will be well aware of this phenomenal genre but for those who have no idea, Gqom is a genre of electronic dance music that emerged in the early 2010s from Durban, South Africa. It developed out of South African house music, kwaito techno. As you’d expect on a house track, it’s stripped back with minimal vocals and a mad beat.

 

DJ Tunez is definitely stepping out of the shadows as Wizkid’s DJ and carving his own lane on the global stage. With tracks like this, he’s on the fast track to international acclaim.

 

Be sure to check out Blackout; an Afrobeats night curated by DJ Tunez. These parties are electric and the first London edition is coming to the 02 Academy, Islington, on 29 September 2019.

 

No word on whether we’ll be getting a video but here’s the official audio for “Majesty” by DJ Tunez and Busiswa:

Body – L.A.X

 

“Body” is the brand-new single from L.A.X. This mid-tempo Afro-Pop tune is fresh, fun and flirty. With influences from the Islands, this track is giving us real summer vibes with its Bashment and Reggae feel. Produced by Beats by Que, King Rasaki delivers his vocals on strings of horns, loops of percussion and waves of synth. With dashes of small Yoruba, he throws an authentic Afrobeats gloss into the mix.

 

After moving to a new team under Ten04 Management in January, L.A.X. has a had a steady year. The former Starboy Entertainment signee was featured as Apple Music’s Favourite New Artist of the Month in March which generated a lot of global interest. In the run up to dropping “Body”, The King has given us consistent releases throughout 2019. L.A.X has given us “Specially”, “Obianuju” with Timi Boi, “Calling” featuring Clemzy and YCEE, “Gbewa” with Bizzouch, “Remember” featuring Tastee, “Messi” with DJ Spicey, and his biggest release this year, “Sign Si”. Everybody loves Michael Jackson, so it was great to see his inspiration in the visuals for this hit. There are dipped fedora hats, bad men lurking in the shadows, dance scenes on the stairs and slick choreography. L.A.X didn’t lose his touch though! We see all the dance moves we know and love – there’s plenty of Gbese, Zanku and Gwara Gwara.

 

The video for “Body” dropped 3 weeks ago and it doesn’t disappoint. L.A.X partnered with Lutch Media and Director Nitin to give us a plethora of performance shots with his love interest. Check out it out here:

 

Approve – Chyzzi & Ceeza Milli

 

South East Entertainment’s Chyzzi pairs up with Starboy affiliate and Aristokrat Records signee, Ceeza Milli on the brand spanking new single, “Approve“. This charming tune is full of sweet nothings for that special love interest. You may want to grab the insulin! Who could resist the promises of Gucci and Fendi? The Port Harcourt native pairs with the Milli boy from Anambra to serenade us on a Beat(s) by Que. This one has some real barotone bottom notes, sprinkled with light trills, all layered on a groovy Ghana beat.

 

Chyzzi kicked off his career just 18 months ago and he’s already making waves with his Afro Fusion sound. Harrison Chimzim Anokwuru as his mama calls him, is a big fan of love. This runs as a current theme throughout his music; right from his very first release, “BOMB: Bone of My Bone” in 2018 to now. It was refreshing to see another side to Chyzzi when he dropped his Fvck You Challenge response to Kizz Daniel’s viral tune. Even through the lyrics heartbreak, we see great range in his vocals and dexterity with his delivery. With all of this, it’s not hard to see how he has garnered a pretty loyal fanbase in a relatively short space of time; the stans calls themselves #ChyzziClan. After listening to the new tune, you’ll probably be looking for the sign up sheet!

 

Check out the visuals for “Approve” by  Chyzzi and Ceeza Milli by rising director Daviid Anthony:

Wildcard

Each week, I’ll be playing a wildcard; showcasing the best of up and coming talent within Afrobeats. They might not have big deals but they do have big tunes! Today’s top 3 picks are…

Mine – Caros

“Mine” is the recent release from Caros Parosh; the 18 year old artist who is has been making Afro-Pop and Afro-swing from the heart of Sweden. The incredible Caros has been making music since the age of 15 and shows no signs of slowing down. With 7,400 unique monthly listeners on his Spotify, Caros is destined for greatness!

 

Pieces – Mide Michael and Beezy X

Mide Michael comes through with his new single “Pieces”. This love song deserves to be all over the airways. It’s really reflective of his RnB & Contemporary sound. This pop singer and songwriter is based in Lagos, Nigeria and has a number of tracks with Beezy X: feel free to check out their other collabs including Cruise, Murderer and Yougun.

 

Bamidele – Prophett

Toronto-based Nigerian singer ‘Prophett‘ has dropped his much anticipated love song called “Bamidele“. Produced by Oge Beatz, Prophett is really flying the flag for Afrobeats in Canada. It’s so exciting to see the movement taking over the globe. The man himself says “This is not just a song, it’s an EXPERIENCE!” Judge for yourself and listen now!

 

Listen to all of these tracks on the official Apple Music playlist, TRACKS OF THE DAY WITH GRACEY MAE: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/playlist/tracks-of-the-day-with-gracey-mae/pl.u-ZmblV4oCVbgvZ3

For more Afrobeats Music reviews by Gracey Mae, click here.

To enjoy some Afrobeats live in the flesh, come down to Westside Wednesdays: The Afronation Show Live


Gracey MaeThis blog was brought to you by Gracey Mae, Radio Host on the AfroNation Show (@afronationshow): Westside Radio’s flagship Afrobeats show. Bringing you the best in Afrobeats, Afroswing…Afro-everything! For the latest in Afro-pop culture news & trends join Gracey Mae & crew on Frobeats: your favourite Afro Pop Culture podcast (@_frobeats)

For more:

💻 www.graceymae.com 📷 @_graceymae @_graceymae

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Tracks of the Day with Gracey Mae

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Tracks of the Day with Gracey Mae

Your Favourite Afrobeats Blog

If your playlist is not that cute, if the songs are uneven, if the vibe is dusty, then don’t worry – I been waiting for you at the door! Don’t be scared straight, come right in. With the Bank Holiday basically here and Memorial Day weekend being around the corner, thank me later. This is your cheat code, your hack, your guarantee to get the pawty popping! This is Tracks of the Day with Gracey Mae.

waiting-for-you-at-the-door

 

I Like – Kojo Funds x Wizkid

“I Like” is the brand new single from Kojo Funds and Wizkid. Hot off the heels of a fire collab with DJ Spinall, Kojo does it again; really marking his territory in the Afrobeats space. With hits like Dun Talkin (with Abra Cadabra – 2016) and Warning (2017) which are definitely Afroswing, it’s nice to see him tapping into his Ghanaian heritage a little more with a sound a little closer to home. With this high profile collab, Funds comes through with his typical dancehall inspired flow which compliments Starboy’s more melodic delivery.

 

There was a little faux-controversy with the outro of this song. Funds calls out his love for Island girls, Brown Skin girls, Caucasian girls and Asian girls. However, social media users were quick to point out the lack of affection for Black girls on “I Like”. Fans of the song and both artists were quick to shoot this down with reference to Island girls seeming to cover this. With the colourism debate being diluted with a lot of performative outrage, sometimes it’s easy to forget that representation actually matters; it reinforces our ideas of beauty. Nonetheless, scapegoating rappers for not having dark skinned models in their music videos or for not referencing them in their lyrics distracts from the real message. Our beauty isn’t determined by our skin colour or desirability, it’s innate.

 

The video for “I Like” is simple with great performance shots and amazing views. From Brutalist interiors in Leamington Spa to the beaches of Portugal (aka Afronation), Director LX. really brought the song to life. Check it out here:

Pretty Little Thing – Ashanti x Afro B

The teasers and trailers have been floating across our screens all summer but it’s finally here, yes, Ashanti and Afro B have officially dropped their new track, “Pretty Little Thing”! A-squared (lol) are giving us all kind of summer vibes with this catchy tune. Clearly inspired by Ashanti’s new tropical swimwear range with the PLT clothing line, we’re treated to a light Afro-pop beat, subtle bass strums and xylophone-like melodies. Add a dash of calypso and, ta-da, you’ve got a hit.

 

If you follow Ashanti and Afro B, you’ll know that “Pretty Little Thing” is all down to us. Yes, us! Ashanti was on her insta-story whilst she was on holiday giving us body-envy with her goddess-like physique. In the back she was listening to Joana, Afro B’s global hit. This video got reposted on all the major blogs so us fans tagged the UK Afrobeats star. Clearly there was some entering of the DMs because fast forward a couple of weeks and A-squared were spotted in the studio!

 

Ashanti and Afro B have navigated this track pretty well. Songs about products can be cheesy, but these two swerved that pothole. The next barrier was the unfortunate fate of Afrobeats and USA collabs. History tells us that they come in two extremes: the songs can be formulaic, forced and contrived, or, it can be a natural pairing with a sick tune. This is the latter. “Pretty Little Thing” gives us falsetto, flirtation and fun. It’s refreshing to hear Ashanti explore a different sound whilst still staying true to her R’n’B roots. She doesn’t miss a beat, giving us BVs, adlibs, riffs and runs. Afro B isn’t in the shadows on this one either – his vocals are stronger than ever and his songwriting really shines through. On that note, Afro B announced today he’s been signed a publishing deal with Warner Chappell – let the cheques roll in!

 

No word on whether this track will be on any official projects or whether we will even get a video so for now enjoy the sweet vocals of “Pretty Little Thing” by Ashanti and Afro B:

Red Eye – Victor AD

Victor AD has just dropped “Red Eye”, the title track of his debut album which shares the same name, and it’s an instant hit. With Kel P on production, we’re served with a mid-tempo, dancehall inspired groove. The catchy chorus, horn solos and bass line could almost make you forget that this song has a proper narrative about Victor’s struggles and scars. Don’t you love a relatable star? Victor always gives us a glimpse into his life through his lyrics and this track is no different.

 

The dialogue in “Red Eye” flows throughout the 7-track EP. Victor really establishes his sound on this project which has no features but some great producers including T Spize, Freddie Beat, KulboyBeatz, Wicked Beatz, Jaysynths Beatz, and Kel P. His slogan is ‘Pray for Grace’ and this tone resonates through the details of his rocky road to fame and success. With shortcuts and fraud constantly praised in the music scene, Victor comes through with a message of integrity, hard work and determination. It can be is out here in these streets. Did you know that 94 million Nigerians make less than £1.56 day? In context, there’s 66.47 million people in the UK so that’s more than the whole population. While we can argue about meritocracy and whether there’s a correlation between hard work and success, we can be comforted with the lyrics “let all the scars and the struggles you’ve been through motivate you.“

 

Victor AD’s latest release is just another accolade to the amazing year he’s been having! He kicked off January with a shell shocking performance at the prestigious O2 Arena, London. Imagine a crowd of 20,000 reciting his songs – that’s the dream; there were even female fan in tears! This success was off the back of his smash hit ‘Wetin We Gain’ and his collaboration with Davido on ‘Tire You’.  Both tracks gained him much well-deserved recognition and this resulted in another major 2019 achievement: his sold out Nigeria tour! This happened in parallel with his penultimate single, ‘Emoji’ – this track is proper vibe.

 

No word on whether this will be an official video but here’s the audio from “Red Eye” by Victor AD:

Wildcard

Each week, I’ll be playing a wildcard; showcasing the best of up and coming talent within Afrobeats. They might not have big deals but they do have big tunes! Today’s top 3 picks are…

Uju – Jimi Jang

Hailing from Ibadan, Nigeria, Jimi Jang drops his latest track “Uju”. The title translates to ‘grief’ which is explained as Jimi calls his love interest a ‘first class heartbreaker’. Even with the emo-feels, this mid-tempo tune produced by Coal Beats gives us all kind of Afro-pop feels. Channelling some Peruzzi vibes on this track, Jimi shows us a different side to the freestyles and covers that have gained him popularity. The most well-known being ‘Ye Riddim’ – his take on Burna Boy’s smash hit.

 

Chillin’ & Flexin’ – Deon ft Damayo

“Chillin’ & Flexin'” is a a little throwback from Deon and Damayo. Gideon Vese aka Deon is a Nigerian hip-hop recording artist and composer who believes in telling stories and sharing the truth with the hope of it reaching someone who needs it. Whilst this might seem a little deep, Deon has a lighter side too! This track is about vibing with ‘no feelings attached cause love hurts…’ Damayo kills it with his sweet vocals as per usual. Check it out now!

 

You – Kiienka ft Txby and Blaqbonez

Kiienka has teamed up with Txby and Blaqbonez to give us some Afro-trap vibes on this alté love song. “You” is the stand out track taken from the 6-track Spaceman EP released two months back. This chilled, mid-tempo track pulls on the US for influence but gives us variation in delivery with pace, lyrics and delivery. Hear more from Kiienka on his project which features collaborations from PsychoYP, Ogranya, Kobi Wolf, VEEN, K-Sly and Ilovechaz.

 

Listen to all of these tracks on the official Apple Music playlist, TRACKS OF THE DAY WITH GRACEY MAE: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/playlist/tracks-of-the-day-with-gracey-mae/pl.u-ZmblV4oCVbgvZ3

For more Afrobeats Music reviews by Gracey Mae, click here.

To enjoy some Afrobeats live in the flesh, come down to Afro-Splash this Bank Holiday Sunday…it’s going to be lit!


Gracey MaeThis blog was brought to you by Gracey Mae, Radio Host on the AfroNation Show (@afronationshow): Westside Radio’s flagship Afrobeats show. Bringing you the best in Afrobeats, Afroswing…Afro-everything! For the latest in Afro-pop culture news & trends join Gracey Mae & crew on Frobeats: your favourite Afro Pop Culture podcast (@_frobeats)

For more:

💻 www.graceymae.com 📷 @_graceymae @_graceymae

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