Johnny Drille’s latest single, “Papa” carries all the hallmarks of his unique identity, but the song’s spiritual incline and lived-in richness magnifies them to create probably his most affecting song yet. Singing with his soft tenor, “If You Lose Your Way, You Can Pray/Don’t Be Afraid, Don’t Lose Faith”, the Mavin singer charmingly recounts the admonitions of his father, depicting the close relationship between the pair in the process.
It’s the type of all too rare moment in Nigerian music, where parental homages are often maternal, and in paternal cases isn’t quite emotionally reverent. Amplifying his intentions, the self-production on “Papa” is a gradually morphing mosaic of live instrumentation, from simple, soothing piano chords and sombre violin strings, to the addition of tribal drums and folksy Irish guitars in its lively final moments. The song comes with a music video Clarence Peters directs, set in the same rustic universe Johnny Drille’s music lingers in.
You can watch Johnny Drille’s “Papa” music video below.
Johnny Drille - Papa ( Official Music Video ) - YouTube
After bursting onto the Nigeria busy music scene in 2018, Barry Jhay has certainly made a name for himself over the past two years. Now, having been signed to Cash Nation Entertainment; he's kept up the tempo by releasing series of dope singles from 'Normal Level' to 'Tomorrow.' It's safe to say that his eyes are definitely set on making the same waves in the Nigeria and the rest of Africa.
If this is your first contact with Barry Jhay, you may want to take a seat. Barry Jhay’s debut single “Aiye” has been shuffled on the streets of Lagos as many times as any song you've heard lately. His relation to late Fuji legend, Sikiri Ayinde Barrister might be your first hint to why he’s so popular, but once you’ve heard his impassioned and soulful performance on the inspirational ode to surviving through hardship, you’d be forced to acknowledge he has earned the fanfare.
In conversation with Toyo, it quickly became obvious that he was proud of his native roots. AfroGbedu linked up with Barry Jhay to spend some time with the singer to gain a deeper insight into his journey, career so far and what 2019 is going to hold.
Tell us something about your background.
I had a musical upbringing, my mom's father, my Grandpa was a prolific Juju artist and my father, late Dr. Sikiru Ayinde was the founder of the popular "Fuji" music in Nigeria which I am trying to fuse with my own style of music, to personalize my style. So, everything you hear is influenced by my musical background.
How did the journey into music start for you?
As I said, I grew up listening to music. My first choice wasn't to do music, even if I have always had the gift. Where I was from, Juju artists use jazz (voodoo) on themselves and that made me lose interest but I had to start doing music when I lost my dad. Besides, at age five I was already recording music in my dad's studio.
Generationally, musical inspiration varies. Who would you say you looked up to growing up?
My father still, am not saying this because he is my dad but because of what I learnt from him and it is working for me so yeah.
How would you describe your own personal style?
You cannot box my style but I will say I do ‘Afro Fuji Pop’. I can actually do any genre but I will describe my style as "Voodoo Music."
What is the story behind your artist name? Does it mean anything to you?
It's the fusion of my dad's name and my name. Barry is my dad's name while Junior which I shortened to 'Jhay' is my name. Soon there would be no more Barry Jhay, it will be just 'Barry'. After "Barry Back the EP", it will be ‘Barry to the world’.
How has the year been so far?
We have been working and pushing and we have also been seeing improvements. I got verified on Instagram recently, we are still expecting more but we are working. We are not even waiting for rewards now, we just want to work work and work.
At what moment did you realise your life was about to change forever?
When I started hearing 'Aiye' on the street. At first, people didn't know I sang it, when they started getting aware, I had to leave the hood lol. Because it was getting out of hand and I couldn't handle it.
Although after 'Aiye' I dipped my head into a lot of sh*ts but I am happy that I am surviving now.
How much has life changed since the "Aiye" record?
It is priceless, I can't even say how much. I cannot limit how my live has changed and how it is going to change in the nearest future. It is only God that can decide and the people seeing it the way it is.
What is your typical work day as an artist?
I just make sure I record a song every day. Recording a song every day is my personal assignment except there is no producer around and trust me producers are always around because we work like every day. The only time we don't record is when I am trying to rest like if I'm having issues with my vocals and it does not take more than two days and everybody goes through that, it's normal.
We've seen photos of you hanging out with the DMW crew, what is your relationship with them?
DMW is family mehn!! Don't mess with my brothers.
Being young, how have you dealt with the business side of things?
Like I said earlier, I was born into the game so I handle my things myself. Sometimes I even talk like my manager lol.
How has being from Ibadan shaped your style? And can you walk around your neighbourhood without being recognised?
I am a Yoruba boy and if you listen to most of my songs, if you're not Yoruba or you don't understand Yoruba well you will find it difficult to relate to them.
I can't forget my tradition, you have to take me for who I am. I'm trying to take Nigeria worldwide and take Africa to the moon.
Back to your music though, you talk really frankly about life its struggle - what pushes you to do that?
I have seen and tasted life both good and bad. I'm quite young but the things I have been through are much older than me.
I am trying to console some people, a lot of people out there are depressed and all they need is someone to talk to.
What are some must-have items essential for any outfit?
My chains, they're ice not bling bling #lol. They cost my sweat.
If you were in the position to develop an artist, who would it be?
Myself or my child or my smoke. I want and I pray my child does music, "make dey do am abeg, e sweet." I want to see myself in another body, another form.
Imagine you could collaborate with absolutely anyone, who’s it gonna be?
Apart from Davido, it is going to be Chronixx. Yeah I started listening to reggae at a moment, Fela at a moment and Pop at a moment. You know you tend to discover new things as you grow up. You can imagine, I listen to Kendrick Lamar sometimes... The thing is, I listen to anything, not anything per se but anything relatable.
Music wise, what’s your next aim or goal, because “Aiye” must have ticked some boxes for you in terms of numbers.
Me? I just want to work hard. I want to give the people out there more music and I know they can't be tired.
Speaking of festivals, which would be your dream festival to perform at?
My DREAM!! It is Coachella. I just want to shut it down and afterwards, go backstage and cry. Followed by my proper 02 show. I'm having my UK tour next month.
Lastly, music release wise, what can we expect from you next? Singles, an EP or an album?
More songs are dropping, twentieth of this month, 'Melanin' is dropping. It is dedicated to all the beautiful black women all around the world. Then followed by two more jams, and my EP because I feel like the EP should have dropped already, people need it already, they need their rights and I'm working on it.
Gemini Major invited fellow Durbanites Tellaman and Nasty C for his latest single "Right Now." Nasty C handles the chorus and the first verse before Gemini Major and Tella finish off what's already a slapper with equally engaging verses.
Smoky synths and 808s give the song texture while the three close friends exhibit their different personalities and artist traits with an undeniable chemistry.
There have been plenty of collaborations between the three artists. Nasty C appears on Tellaman's latest single "Whipped," alongside Shekhinah. Gemini Major has been producing for Nasty C in the past few years. But the last time the three were on one song was on Tellaman's "Rainbow Hoes" (Gemini Major appears as a producer) from Tella's debut album God Decides. The first time the three artists were on a song together was on Nasty C's 2018 single "Don't B.A.B."
Durban is the second home for Gemini Major, who's originally from Malawi. So, "Right Now" is a proudly 031 occasion.
"Right Now" follows Gemini Major's previous single "Issa Vibe," which will be part of his upcoming overdue project.
Burna Boy, who is currently on his African Giant tour has released a new single ‘Anybody’.
In what may be the most personal song we have heard from the afrofusion artiste in recent months, ‘Anybody’ addresses respect, growth, reputation, and, more importantly, recognizing who you are and taking charge.
The visuals for ‘Anybody’, are a bit different from Burna Boy’s previous offerings. Here, he is front and centre in almost every scene, establishing himself as the star of the show. True to his craft, he sends a subtle message about freedom of expression with his lyrics and the visuals for the single.
“Anybody” is also the latest taste from a new body of work following “Dangote,” “On The Low,” and “Killin Dem” with Zlatan and follows his explosive joint EP with production duo DJDS, “Steel & Copper.”
GoldLink, easily one of the most exciting rappers out right now, is back today with his brand new album, Diaspora.
True to its name, the 14-track Diaspora sees the DMV rapper connecting with the likes of Wizkid, hitmaker Maleek Berry, British-Ghanaian producer Juls, and Kenya's Blinky Bill, as well as Pusha T, Tyler the Creator, Khalid, WSTRN and more.
The record was first announced with lead single "Zulu Screams," an addictive track that features Maleek Berry on the chorus and Bibi Bourelly on additional vocals.
Both GoldLink and Berry appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon last night to perform the track. They, along with a crew of dancers, brought the heat for a highly-energetic performance that showcased the GoldLink's rapid fire flow and the track's sped-up highlife guitar samples.
Diaspora also features standout track "No Lie," a head-nodder that sees him connecting with the Starboy himself, Wizkid, who delivers a solid chorus for the song.
Another clear highlight is the single "U Say," which features production from Juls and guest verses from Tyler, the Creator and Jay Prince. There's also production from Kenya's Blinky Bill who handles "TIff Freestyle."
"[Diaspora] is a natural progression of where I felt like I was going to head anyway," GoldLink told Zane Lowe on his Beats 1 show. "After I kind of did my love letter to D.C. kind of thing, I wanted to figure out what was the pulse, why I love my city so much and I think the answer wasn't directly in the city. I think it was more so directly somewhere else. I've never had as much fun making a record."
GoldLink also recently appeared on buzzing Nigerian new waver Santi's album, Mandy & The Jungle.
Stream GoldLink's Diaspora in its entirety below and watch the Jimmy Fallon performance above.
With his hit song “Jealous” still buzzing heavily and enjoying massive airplay and streams, YBNL’s talented singer follows it up with this thoughtful song that will hit your soul. “What If I Say” is produced by Pheelz. I promise you can’t love this song less, it will be on replay just like Jealous.
The intro is catchy, you just can’t resist his lovely melody and voice, Fireboy pleads for Love on this record.
High-profile Nigerian singer and songwriter – Adekunle Gold, unlocks the remix of his previous release titled “Before You Wake Up“.
Oko Simisola follows up her previous single with an infectious remix, collaborating with highly talented Tanzanian songstress, Vanessa Mdee on the ballad song which has been enjoying heavy radio rotation for a while now.
Production credit goes to multi-talented record producer, Sess The Prublem Kidd.
Goldlink has kept his foot on the gas since earning Grammy nods with “Crew” off his major label project debut, ‘At What Cost’. For his follow up album, ‘Diaspora’, the DC rapper looks to his African roots, adding collaborations with Maleek Berry, Juls and Wizkid to his guest list that boasts of features from Tyler the Creator, Pusha T and Khalid.
After featuring on Santi’s ‘Mandy And The Jungle’ album and pre-releasing his Maleek Berry assisted “Zulu Screams” single, Goldlink already hinted at his interests in Nigeria’s explosive music scene and continues with a Wizkid verse and hook on “No Lie”, the 11th track on the album. “No Lie” starts out with a laidback and danceable beat tailored to Wizkid’s Afropop melodies but the tempo for the P2J co-produced beat switches just before the 2nd-minute mark to fits Goldlink’s relaxed yet assertive flow, waxing poetic about his growing acclaim and .