Nigeria's very own pulls from the old and not so old of Nigerian pop-culture as we await the release of her new album. The song begins with Fela Kuti-inspired chanting: "Suffer suffer suffer no go come here, no come my way." It's definitely a mantra we all should bear in mind—the stress isn't worth it.
In "Suffer Suffer," Donli also opens up and shares bits of her life story of trying to make it as an artist, struggling in Lagos after moving from Abuja, despite her father's warnings. In hopes of chasing the suffering away, she sprinkles a bit from "National Moi Moi"—a hit from the early 2000s by Nollywood star Patience Ozokwor.
Smooth over your weekend with "Suffer Suffer" and listen below.
Lady Donli - SUFFER SUFFER (Official Lyric Video) - YouTube
While she's a solid solo act, Tiwa Savage is also one of the strongest collaborators in the game. This year, she's clearly playing to this strength, as she's followed up "Ello Baby", her joint track with Kizz Daniel and Young Jonn, with a feature on Zlatan's new song, "Shotan".
Citing her lethal ability to link salacious imagery and affluence, Tiwa Savage delivers the song’s catchy hook, alluding to her sex appeal and mocking haters in the same breath. Following suit, Zlatan delivers two self-assured verses, heavy on quotable one-liners and delivered in his infectiously vibrant cadence. “Your Juju No Go Stop My Gbedu”, he raps on the second verse, with his confidence accentuated by the cascading piano riff, squiggly horn harmonies and groovy percussion pattern Spellz produces, to make for a Zanku-adherent jam.
Last year, Sess, one Nigeria's most versatile producers, dropped his star-studded debut album, Omo Muda, but unfortunately, a lot of the tracks flew under the radar. "Disco Light", featuring Niniola and Tomi Thomas, was one of the gems that deserved more recognition.
As suspected, Sess’ production on the track, one of the best things about the entire song, harkens back to disco music from the late 20th century, with its funky electronic beat perfectly suited to Niniola's afro-house gifts.
Tomi Thomas, who leads the track with the catchy chorus and first verse, is super impressive with how he works with the beat — especially because it's out of his comfort zone. "Disco Light" is a brilliant love song that has us both partying and longing for love.
Last month, Fuji-inclined Afropop artist Lyta exited his arrangement with YBNL rather controversially. In all of the brouhaha, one of the main points the singer harped on was the difficulty in releasing a constant stream of music. Now with a new management team, he’s wasting no time in putting out new music. “Monalisa”, his first single of the year, is a romantic cut packed with heartfelt declarations, in order to gain full attention of his rather aloof love interest.
“I Wanna Give You All My Love, Monalisa”, Lyta plainly declares on the hook, with the charm of his boyish vocal texture conjuring his longing emotions. To embellish the romantic sentiments, Killertunes produces a mellow Afropop beat for “Monalisa”, mixing an arpeggiated guitar motif and softly jabbing drums to evocative effect. The accompanying music video DK directs, charmingly captures Lyta and a beautiful model acting as the song’s muse, at an empty amusement park, trying to connect, in tandem with the song’s narrative.
A few months ago, Mavin Records introduced us to 19-year-old sensation, Rema, who's already 2019's biggest breakout star. Now, their latest signee, Crayon has kicked off his own career with an impressive debut project, Cray Cray, along with a video for the standout song, "So Fine".
Crayon - So Fine ( Official Music Video ) - YouTube
After joining the label, Crayon hit the ground running with memorable appearances on Mavin's "All Is In Order" and Ladipoe's "Based On Kpa". While he soared on both songs, Cray Cray is the clearest indication yet of his abilities, and it's obvious why he was signed.
With fantastic production work from Ozedikus (Rema's "Dumebi") and Baby Fresh (Reekado Banks' "Problem"), Crayon shines on the six-track EP. Although every single song on the project is fantastic, the immediate standouts have to be "Bamiloke", "Gock Am" and "So Fine".
It's clear that Crayon is an afropop star to watch out for, and we're very pleased with Mavin's brand new roster of artists. Given this, we're looking forward to seeing what else they have in store for us — hopefully, they sign a woman to fill the space Tiwa Savage recently left.
The video for "Gbese" opens with three girls dressed in traditional Yoruba attire, ready for an owambe. Once they get into the party, the girls change outfits, wearing disco-inspired clothes, as DJ Tunez sprays them with his branded 1000 naira notes.
Drawing out the live instrumentals that really make Blaqjerzee's exceptional production work soar, Wizkid and DJ Tunez make up the band that performs the track, with DJ Tunez pulling triple duty, playing the keys, guitar and drums.
Along with the video comes a slight alteration to "Gbese". In the audio playing over the MRMTMMG-directed clip, Wizkid fills a chunk of the initial instrumental break with a brand new verse, adopting a new flow as he sings about his number one.
Watch the video for "Gbese" below.
DJ Tunez - Gbese Ft Wizkid & Blaqjerzee (Official Video) - YouTube
Kida Kudz has dropped the visuals for his brand-new track "Moonwalk".
Known for his artistic and unique visuals, Kida Kudz has taken this one to new levels and offers us a variation of styles and imagery over the course of the video which goes on for just under four minutes.
"Moonwalk" is the latest drop from the artist following several drops which include "Snack" with Ms Banks and "Jiggy Bop".
You can stream the visuals above and the song below.
You write a song, or you find a song; the song moves you and you want it to move the world. So you record and distribute that song as a single to platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube.
Once the song is available, anything could happen. The music could change the world, it could wow a few people, or it could go completely ignored. Of course chance always plays a part, but the outcome is partially in your own hands.
The benefits and challenges of releasing singles in 2019. The good news: We’re living in an age of singles, and there are tons of ways to put one song to work. The bad news: Every other artist has a new single to promote too, so you can’t just drop a song into the world and expect it to reach people without some effort and advance planning.
Let’s dig into the best-practices for releasing singles. I’m not sure if they all count as “strategies,” but they’re certainly all important considerations.
1. You MUST release a single FIRST. In most cases, I’d give this advice: You should absolutely release a single FIRST if you’ve never put out music under your current artist name! Why?
Most streaming services don’t let you claim your artist profile or use their various promotional tools until you actually have music on their platforms. Since those tools can be pretty powerful, you don’t want to MISS the chance to use them for your priority releases (like an EP or LP).
So put out a single first. Plant your flag. Claim your accounts. And be ready to go full-force on the follow-up release.
2. Choose the RIGHT song None of this matters if the song sucks. Obvs.
Don’t release singles purely to feed an algorithm. The music still needs to be compelling!
That can mean it’s a catchy hit single to please new fans or a demanding artistic odyssey to please your diehards. But SOMEONE needs to be pleased.
3. Time your singles strategically before and after EP and LP releases Unless you’re an EDM or pop artist, I still recommend you focus on making EPs or LPs (for the reasons mentioned above); then release your singles strategically before and after the bigger release.
The lead-up singles create fan excitement and algorithmic energy for the album, and then the follow-up singles, or the songs that come out between larger projects, keep you from falling into “out of sight, out of mind” territory with fans.
4. Stockpile various kinds of recordings for later use, in addition to releasing traditional “singles” from an upcoming album
5. Make your music more playlist-friendly The industry is focused on playlists these days, and that’s fine; playlists can generate a ton of streaming activity.
Not all playlist activity leads to real fan engagement though, so instead of artists jumping through a bunch of hoops to game the playlist system du jour, I’d still advise you — above all — to make the music YOU WANT to make and try to reach fans the usual ways (playing shows, making cool videos, running social ads, etc.).
That being said, the dominant format of the day has always shaped music, and streaming is changing the sound of popular music. If you do want to make your singles more likely to get playlisted, you should be aware of these music trends: No long intros and outros People are impatient and can skip songs very easily. Don’t tempt them. Get to the goods. Consider putting your hook right at the beginning Speaking of getting to the goods, you could lead with the hook or chorus. The Beatles did it half a century ago, and Bruno Mars is doing it today. Keep your songs under 4 minutes Unless you’re making ambient, classical, jazz, or something, it’s best to keep your songs between 2-4 minutes long. Watch the expletives Explicit language doesn’t necessarily doom your song, but it certainly can limit the kinds of playlists you could appear on. 6. Choose the right distributor When you sign up your single for distribution to Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, and other digital music platforms, you should know that good distribution is about much more than pushing digital files from one place to another. 7. Create a Spotify pre-save No point in talking about your new music if no one can DO anything with it, right? Set a release date at least a month in advance and use that time to generate energy for your song!
You can do this FOR FREE via Show.co, CD Baby’s marketing platform.
8. Get your guaranteed Release Radar playlist placements! As long as you follow the guidelines as they’re listed in the article linked above, your single will ALSO get guaranteed placement in ALL your Spotify followers’ Release Radar playlists. 9. PROMOTE your single, ahead of time AND after it’s released Okay. Now for promotion. There’s a lot to discuss here. The key to promoting your newest single Set a timeline and be patient Yes, part of the benefit of singles is that they’re low pressure and you can drop them quickly. But don’t be in TOO much of a rush. Plan ahead. Do it right. You won’t be able to launch this song again.
Depending on the scope of your campaign, you might even need 1-3 months of preparation.
Here are just some of the things you could do to promote your single, if you have enough time:
Music video and lyric video production
Communicating with reps from your distributor, licensing agency, etc.
A Show.co page to feature your video
Playlist and radio promotion
10. Use singles in CONJUNCTION with an album release Here are three ways to use a single DURING the process of releasing an album: Release your single as the pre-add on Apple Music, and the instant gratification track for pre-sales on iTunes Did you know you can run an iTunes pre-sale for a month before your album comes out? One of the features of the pre-sale on iTunes is that they allow customers to download one track right away (and then they get the full album download on the day of release). Apple Music will use the same track as a pre-add for streaming subscribers. So think about what song will be most enticing. The playlist-friendly single? A deeper cut? Release a bonus track with your full album Whether you offer bonus tracks digitally, or exclusively on CD and vinyl, this gives you a great chance to feature some extra content and drive sales and streaming activity. Live track? Alternate mix? Demo? An unreleased track? Acoustic version of a favorite song from your previous album? The bonus track will appeal to fans who want to collect the whole catalog. Release a new song on a compilation
If the song only comes out on a compilation, I suppose it’s not technically a single — BUT it might be a smart way to put a new track to work for you. You’ll benefit from the song being featured alongside tunes by a bunch of other artists, and you can always use it again later on your own album.
Multitalented Remy Johnson is on a musical roll, and coincidentally the title of his upcoming single is “Roll Up,” set to drop on July 19, 2019. The rapper is following that up with his first EP, “Love & Other Drugs,” that’s slated for release in August 2019.
Remy Johnson has been making waves across multiple genres with his own music and other artists. His rich vocals are featured in the rap and hip hop genres and he’s also a producer of note
He’s amply demonstrated his musical chops as an artist and producer. By age 16, he was under the mentorship of actress, author and freestyle rapper, Toni Blackman, the first hip hop ambassador to the U.S. State Department.
The artist has had a string of hits, two of which were “Smoke My Drugs” released in Nov. 2018 that quickly topped Nasty C’s “King” featuring A$AP Ferg and AKA’s “Fela In Versace,” achieving 17,678 streams. He released “Get to the Bag” in May 2019 (featuring Snow Chamberlain), a freestyle track that was a hit across multiple demographics and musical preferences.A born storyteller, Remy Johnson delivers honest and soulful lyrics infused with social commentary on topics ranging from love and life to betrayal. Hard-hitting rap and melodic hip hop are his signature styles and the artist instinctively knows that reaching the soul of an audience is the key to essential understanding
Remy Johnson’s rich vocals switch easily between the smooth and jaunty sounds that celebrate life to the seriousness of social responsibility and life and death situations. It’s something with which he’s intimately acquainted. He’s the son of an MK Freedom Fighter, a group founded by Nelson Mandela. The family was forced into exile in the U.S. following attempts on his mother’s life. It’s given him a unique perspective on life that other artists don’t have.
The upcoming single “Roll Up” and EP “Love & Other Drugs” by Remy Johnson are sure to please his fans and convert new listeners to his unique brand of musical artistry. The rapper and hip hop celebrity has performed with legendary artists that include Gary Hines, Billy Steele, and the Grammy Award-winning ensemble Sounds of Blackness. They all saw the greatness for which Johnson was destined and his success comes as no surprise to those that know him.
The song is an affirmation holding in its words the promise of better, and greater days for all those willing to believe it the most.
It explores the power of words once they're used to take control of one's destiny, in practice. We are not great because life happened, we decided.
The record also uses grief, loss, betrayal & death to explore issues that affect the black community such as gun violence, generational poverty, and black on black crime, subtly using the untimely and unfortunate murder of rappers & community leaders (Ex: Nipsey Hussle) as a lens through which to explore these issues, and a source of inspiration.
"Tempo" leaves the listener with a positive message, claiming that all these issues can be overcome, while encouraging them to raise their level of awareness, to make sure they are around the right energies for their growth, their survival and their success.