Review of Some Recent (2020) Singles by Nigerian Artistes

2020 is the year of EPs and singles below three minutes — this may be due to new media or the Coronavirus. Either way, artists have realised that less is best and are all taking advantage of this. To be fair, people are streaming more.

I’ve been following the afro singles released in the last months, and I’ve been more than impressed. As expected, some artistes couldn’t thrive while some, like Fireboy, have been dropping hit over hit. Some, like JoeBoy, have just been silent. Wetin dey happen?

Korede Bello – Mi Casa Su Casa
Korede Bello’s ‘Mi Casa Su Casa’ was a decent delivery which announced Korede Bello’s breakthrough from what Emma Tallest, a freelance music journalist, called the ‘Godwin syndrome’.

Adekunle Gold - Afro Pop Vol 1

Adekunle Gold – Jore, Something Different & AG Baby
Then there’s Adekunle Gold’s ‘Jore, Something Different and AG Baby’, three back to back hit. The urban highlife crooner is doing what he calls AfroPop these days, and he claims to be the propagator. While I enjoyed AG Baby, the video was a thorough let down. It left me wondering if AG can wear this new identity properly. I think while he has the new age look—dreads and dyed hairs — he just couldn’t pull off the swag and carriage needed. See the video for yourself. And what’s with that dancing? E no cut am at all.

Tiwa Savage – Dangerous Love
Tiwa Savage’s ‘Dangerous Love’ produced by Cracker Mallo was the Queen of AfroPop’s first for the year. It didn’t fly like one would have expected. But it’s a decent one nonetheless.

Burna Boy – Wonderful
Burna Boy dropped ‘Wonderful’ after the cold shoulders that people gave ‘Odogwu’. ‘Wonderful’ is an immediate sensation. His album, ‘Twice as Tall’ has dropped and people be dropping dem thoughts about it already — mixed reviews. Time will tell if it levels up with the PR noise.

Fireboy – New York City Girl, Eli & Tattoo
People say Fireboy faltered in ‘New York City Girl’, I swear, I enjoyed the song nitemi. But whatever disappointment people may have felt, he’s made up for it with ‘Eli’ and his new seductive RnB single, ‘Tattoo’. ‘Tattoo’ is a winner. And Clarence Peters did an awesome job on the video. That boy’s head is correct, fa!

Olakira – In My Maserati
Olakira is a fresh voice in the space. But his ‘In My Maserati’ is a club banger. He did well.

Zinoleesky - Ma Pariwo

Zinoleesky – Ma Pariwo
Let me stop here. But not until I talk about Zinoleesky’s ‘Ma Pariwo’. Released just a few hours apart from Tiwa Savage’s ‘Dangerous Love’, the song is a slow erotic pop with mahhd innuendos. The interpolation of Wale Thompson’s ‘La la le Friday’ took me to orgasmic height. To be fair, I’ve ignored his songs for long, though we grew up in the same area and might have probably jammed once when I listened to ‘Ma Pariwo’, I went to my YouTube Music app to stream the rest of his songs. And boy, the guy is a master lyricist. His beautiful, almost feminine facial grace aside, what I love more about him is, though in a record label where everyone just jumped on the Shaku Shaku groove, he marked his difference by creating a niche for himself.

Personally — and I say this without bias — I think ‘Ma Pariwo’ could rank as the best single so far this year. If at all it isn’t, it is easily top 5. I don’t know what the boy is up to next, but he’s raised my expectations with his last offering.

Have you listened to any of these songs? What are your thoughts?


Adeola Juwon

Adeola Juwon is a Nigerian Writer, Poet and Art Critic whose works have appeared on or forthcoming in Kalahari Review, Kreative Diadem, Lagos Review, EroGospel and elsewhere. He considers himself a connoisseur of African Music, and he adores the Oxford Comma.

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