Our editors are hard at work everyday to bring your the best releases of the week.
We also had a chat with veteran Music Connoisseur, former head of Sony Music Africa and the CEO of Freeme Digital, Nigeria’s premier Music distribution platform; Michael Ugwu. He spoke about the massive expansion going on at Freeme Digital with the launch of an office in London and a state of the art recording studio in Lagos, called the Freeme Space.
We sat down to talk with Grammy nominee; Thutmose on his music, his plans for the future and his Naija roots. We also had a revealing chat with the dynamic Wavy the creator. She talked about her music and the versatility of her artistry.
Listen to the podcast to get the full gist.
On the heels of their widely acclaimed Album Clone Wars IV: These Buhari Times. We sit down with rap duo; Tec and Ghost; both members of Nigeria and Africa’s foremost Rap group; Show Dem Camp to discuss their brand new project; The Palmwine Express.
The countdown has officially begun for Eclipse Nkasi’s long-overdue debut album, “Child of Destiny.” Scheduled for release on Friday, February 7, the 13-track album is led by the new single ‘King Right Now’.
After a self-imposed hiatus, Eclipse came back in 2018 with a double release which reminded everyone of his amazing talent. He immediately followed it up with three solid records in 2019, ‘Heaven’, ‘Pro Bono’ and the grateful number, ‘Thank God I’m Alive Sha’. And now with an album bound for 2020, Eclipse is kicking off the new decade in full force, giving his fans all they’ve been calling for and aiming to convert nonbelievers with the new tape.
Across this new track, Eclipse’s energy and confidence is radiant and he comes through with braggadocio bars over the bass-heavy, grime infused Hip-hop production.
Burgeoning Abuja-based act, who is also a member of the Apex Village collective, Ayüü, has released his much-teased debut album, “Ayüüniverse.” This comes about a year after his 4-track “Mango Juice & Bad Decisions” EP which featured appearances from Andre Wolff and PsychoYP.
“Ayüüniverse” is a highly collaborative 15-track full length that features appearances from some of the most talented acts on the rise across the country. Across the project, he brings along a super cast of Lady Donli, Tay Iwar, Rukkay Yaiman, Wavy The Creator, EESkay, Famous Bobson, Kuddi Is Dead, GJthe Caesar, Oscariffic, Zilla Oaks, as well as frequent collaborators, Andre Wolff and PsychoYP.
The production is equally handled by an expansive young and gifted team of Jaylon, Trillxoe, Tobay, Tay Iwar, Molly1080, Le Mav, Don Ozi, Doz, Thabeatsmith, Prodlem, Fallofmicheal and The Hypractive Kid.
Enjoy the tape here.
One of Nigeria’s finest rappers, Ladipoe has released the final entry of his weekly rap releases tagged Revival Sunday. Ever since it kicked off back in 2019, the self-ascribed Leader of The Revival has released four entries off the series, featuring Dami Oniru and Victony in the last two. Although last week witnessed the only skip ever since it began, the rapper is bringing the beloved series to an end with today’s release, ‘Tailor Made’.
The previous entry, ‘Revival Mode’ is one of the most exciting of the series, as Ladipoe brings along an unknown but gifted rapper who does his best to leave an impression with his solid verse. Ladipoe himself came through with one of the sickest verses so far in this series. He appears to be done with his 2019 policy of silence as he settles some past scores on this record, addressing much of the drama in the rap scene in the just-concluded year.
The week’s release is produced by Altims, mixed by KennyKsticks and mastered by the regular culprit, Bigfoot. Ladipoe is well known for his well tailored and polished flow and he brings that to bear on this bouncy track. Across the track, Ladipoe is just being his goofy self, rapping about everything from his fashion sense to how he handles his social media. The video for ‘Tailor Made’ is scheduled for release on Tuesday, January 21.
Enjoy the record here.
For the past two years, one of the recurrent protest hashtags on social media has been the #EndSars as more and more stories are told of the recurrent brutality and harassment of the Nigerian police, particularly the Special Anti Robbery Squad across the country. And Hip-hop, known in its early days as a medium to air out the discontentment of the masses against authority, is here again to remind us of this menace in our society: one that rears its ugly head at every single turn. Dark Poet has returned from his self-imposed hiatus to provide an insightful social commentary with his new single, ‘Ripple Effect‘, bringing along two of Nigeria’s most successful rappers, Falz and M.I Abaga.
Across the sombre record, the three wordsmiths lend their voices to the growing call against police harassment brutality and impunity in our society. Dark Poet opens the record with impressive storytelling that humanizes this menace. Falz takes it a step further with his verse, one reminiscent of his earlier foray in this theme with ‘Johnny’ off his critically acclaimed and award-winning album, “Moral Instruction.” As they say, it’s isn’t over till the fat lady sings, as M.I comes through with the standout verse on this record, painting a vivid grim picture in the first person.
Listen to the record here.
Fresh off his latest 9-track project, “Positivity Only,” Dubai-based Nigerian act, Zirra closed up last year with ‘Confetti‘. And now, the act is opening the year with the release of the visuals of the record.
Over an Urban R&B records with thumping bass and rolling hi-hats that reminds one of Bryson Tiller-type records, the sweet-voiced singer muses about making it rain on his woman.
In the Amir Deleon-directed video, finds the act being showered in confetti on a bed surrounded by beautiful models. Zirra is later seen passionately miming his record on a standing mic to an invisible audience.
Enjoy the video.
She exudes confidence, feminine innocence, and sass on the mellow record, as she advocates a world where women can live as free as they wish. Fasina who recently released a project also delivered a solid verse that helps to spice up the record.
Our editors are hard at work everyday to bring your the best releases of the week.
2019 in retrospect was quite a good year as far as the Nigerian music industry is concerned. Over the past 364 days, Afrobeats, Nigeria’s major music export, got more visibility on the world stage, we experienced so many exciting releases and bespoke rollouts. But most of all, we witnessed an influx of a range of young, vibrant and talented artists that dominated the airwaves such that people started to speak of a change of guard in the industry that up until recently was dominated by a duopoly. Amidst a tidal wave of releases this year, we at the PGM Club have come to put out a list of our top 20 records that believe dominated the year.
A follow up to her year-opening stunner, ‘Looku Looku‘, ‘Try Me’ is a breakout anthem for the oppressed, underrated and understated who have been suppressed from use and abuse. Over a simple and laidback beat, a spirited Tems is on a mission to set herself free as she continuously asks why her subjugator keeps pushing her to the wall.
With a powerful sing-along-hook, this song is so infectious that’d get you in the zone right from your first listen. If there was ever any doubt about Tems skill as a dazzling vocalist and songwriter, ‘Try Me‘ puts that to rest. The record has gained much traction on the airwaves and its video has racked up over a million views on YouTube.
Cash’ is the lead single off Lady Donli’s well-received debut album, “Enjoy Your Life” that got blessed with a Davido-assisted remix. The original single which Lady Donli revealed was recorded at a time when she was broke and frustrated soundtracks our unending hustle and bustle for money. The song has one simple message; this life is one so enjoy it as much as you can.
The lead single Teni’s her 6-track EP of the same title, ‘Billionaire’ is that anthem that reaffirmed Teni’s position as a hitmaker after near-misses released earlier in the year. Produced by Pheelz, ‘Billionaire’ is an up-tempo record, rich in instrumentation and overflows with ambition, providing a perfect blend of a stunning dance record with declarative and prayerful lyrics. Proudly weaving together Yoruba and English over ‘alujo‘-laced percussion, Teni sings of her lofty dreams of being a billionaire as well as the luxury and excess that comes with being one. She also backed this record with a brilliant TG Omori-directed video.
A highly enjoyable record, ‘Chop Life Crew’ as its title suggests is a not-so-subtle reminder that life is short and it is to be enjoyed to the fullest. Both D-O and MOJO deliver energetic verses that drive the message home over a slick production with rolling hi-hats and hard-hitting kicks. The Ronchi-produced record also houses a catchy-hook that gets you bobbing your head and whistling along upon every listen.
A standout cut off his 4-track self-titled debut EP “Rema“, ‘Dumebi’ is that monster hit that speedily propelled the freshly unveiled Mavins act to stardom. A very catchy and danceable Afropop record, ‘Dumebi‘ alongside its accompanying video undoubtedly dominated the airwaves throughout 2019 making Rema a household name in no time.
After a brief self-imposed hiatus, Reekado Banks came back with a King Tuzi-produced bang titled ‘Rora’. Undoubtedly, Reekado Bank took the doubts out of our minds and hushed naysayers with this sleeper hit. Over the mid-tempo Afropop record, Reekado Banks is in full woman-worship mode as he adulates his love interest begging her to ‘calm down’.
Very early into the year, Joeboy eased himself into the hearts of many with his Afropop love record, ‘Baby’. Over the soft but sparkling instrumental, the young singer openly declares love for his sweetheart, gifting us one of the best sing-along hooks of 2019. And ever since the release of this chart-topping smash, the Empawa has been on a joy ride to stardom and mainstream success. Proving he was no fad, the young singer also followed up with equally beautiful songs, ‘Beginning‘ and ‘Don’t Call Me Back‘ and an impressive 5-track EP, “Love & Light.”
Sarz and WurlD finally treated us to their much-teased “I Love Girls With Trobul” EP this year, and one of the standouts off the tape is ‘Mad’. Across the infectious record, WurlD’s artistic strengths are on full display as the song is well written and delivered with a solid vocal performance. He gives us a peek into his “trobul’d” relationship with Sade, one that isn’t exactly going through the best of times. Sarz’s production on the record is so thrilling that the song immediately ensnares you upon its first listen.
A single off his debut album “Mandy and the Jungle,” ‘Sparky’ finds Santi crooning over a soft and minimalist production which leaves enough room for the dominance of the vocals and polished delivery of the dreadlocked singer. Just like the visuals for ‘Freaky’, the accompanying visuals for ‘Sparky’ appears to be highly inspired by the 90s Nollywood culture which others have subjected to ridicule.
Released in celebration of Father’s Day, ‘Papa’ finds the Mavin Records alternative-folk singer appreciating his dad and crooning about his spirituality spurred and serviced by his father. Backed mainly by stifling strings and solemn keys, Johnny Drille opens the record by recounting the fatherly advice he was given when he was much younger to have his life guided and guarded by faith and prayers. He then describes how his father keeps in touch with him regularly and reminds him not to let go of his spirituality in the strange land he currently finds himself.
Over the record produced by the acclaimed ‘alte playmaker’, GMK, BOJ recruits a team of Ghana’s finest; Kwesi Arthur, Darko Vibes and Joey B. The song also features additional vocals by Zamir and guitar by friend-of-the-family, Tomi Thomas.
Across the record, BOJ delivers a chilling hook with his gruff voice over the simplistic but dazzling GMK-production. Kwesi Arthur, Joey B and Darko Vibes also didn’t disappoint, coming through with impressive 16s woven in English, pidgin and their native tongues. This record also has a Naija remix that features Ycee, Fresh L and Falz.
A striking step-forward from last year’s debut album ‘rare.’, ‘Tipsy’ finds Odunsi (The Engine) pushing his music into darker territory, with elements of R&B, soul and pop part of his global-facing, Afro-fusion sound. His vocal interplay with RAYE is the perfect fit, with both artists possessing the character and star quality to naturally complement each other’s talent. This striking record helped to introduce the alte frontman to a wider international audience.
One of the amazing talents that 2019 introduced to us is Buju. The young singer is no doubt one of the most talented singers on the rise and is looking to an even more promising 2020. One of the songs that thrust him into the public eye is his August release, ‘Spiritual’ featuring Zlatan. Over the ad-lib laced zanku anthem, Buju’s vocals shine through, dazzling the uninitiated as he croons about his lover over the chilledSteph production. Zlatan also came through on the record with one of his most thrilling verses of the year.
On this Popcaan-assisted record, Davido crafted a beautiful hook from the disjointed, grating and hilarious Hot 97 freestyle. Just a few hours before its release, Davido gave us a fair warning on Twitter “What you all laughed at!! You will dance to!!” and he couldn’t have been more accurate.
Produced by Speroach Beatz, ‘Risky‘ helped reignite the anticipation for his long-awaited sophomore album “A Good Time.”
AYLØ gave us the first taste of the material he had been working on in silence “Dnt’ Dlt” with the record titled ‘Paris’. On the song centred around fiding beauty, AYLØ delievers a soothing and melodious record over a simplistic and minimalist production. With his emotive vocals on full display, he croons about how he is helplessly in love with his sweetheart. “We are all damaged …” he resigns. This song is co-produced by Le Mav and Odunsi The Engine.
Naira Marley isn’t exactly a PGM-type artist, but his influence and dominance this year cannot be understated. Throughout the year, he was surrounded with self-inflicted controversy that kept his name circling in the media and also had a string of hits to his name that made it very difficult for him to be ignored. On ‘Opotoyi’, Naira Marley hops on a catchy and fast-paced Rexxie-produced Zanku beat, ravelling in woman worship and street banter.
For his first post-“Everything Pretty” release, Prettyboy D-O came through with the high energy dancehall-influenced record, ‘Dey Go Hear Wehh’ and its Seyi Akinlade-directed cinematic video. On the record, D-O delivers frisky verses over the hard-hitting instrumental before coming through with the highly infectious hook cut from a popular Nigerian pidgin dictum. He comes for non-believers and detractors, assuring us that they will soon be shocked beyond measure.
For her UMG debut, Tiwa Savage links up with YBNL producer, Pheelz to release ‘49-99‘, a mid-tempo afro-pop record with Afrobeat elements, particularly rich in instrumentation with scintillating underlying strings.
On the record, Tiwa Savage expresses her desire for the good things of life amidst the rife and turmoil in a country some are quick to refer to as a failed state. She is focused on securing the bag to afford herself the luxury designers and fast cars, “Mo fe ra Versace, Mo fe ra Bugatti” she croons.
In the future, when Burna Boy looks back at how much he achieved in 2019, he’d find much to be grateful for. Despite opening the year with a brief fall from grace following his infamous “African Giant” Instagram rant, the Atlantic act managed to turn things around swiftly, weaving it into his best yet – musically. One of the standout cuts and fan-favourite off his “African Giant” album is the percussive gbese anthem, ‘Anybody’. Burna basks in his full feel-good mode, advocating the cutting off of any bad energy that seeks to kill the vibe. This record was one of the records he performed the most on his amazing post-“African Giant” press run.
One of the recurrent pitfalls of international collaborations in these parts is that it sometimes feels forced as most local acts sacrifice chemistry for star power but Davido’s ‘Blow My Mind’ is an exception. A lead single off his highly anticipated sophomore album “A Good Time,” Davido and Chris Brown’s chemistry radiated across the Shizzy-produced number. The sweet-singing Chris Brown seamlessly razzled across the track with a casual air that blessed the soothing and melodious love number with a scene-stealing feature. It was smooth and seamless that they also teamed up again on Chris Brown’s ‘Lower Body’ off his “Indigo” extension.
Dice Ailes ft Falz -Alakori
Dami Oniru – Alive (Bri’s Lounge)
Blaqbonez – Shut Up (Mr Boombastic)
Remember to check out all these records and keep supporting good music. Cheers!
In the future, when Burna Boy looks back at how much he achieved in 2019, he’d find much to be grateful for. Despite opening the year with a brief fall from grace following his infamous “African Giant” Instagram rant, the Atlantic act managed to turn things around swiftly, weaving it into his best yet – musically.
Over the past 11 months, Burna Boy performed at the World’s biggest music festival, Coachella; clinched his first BET Best International Act Award — where Mama Burna delivered her now-celebrated speech calling on all blacks across the world to remember their roots –; won the Best African Act category at the MTV Europe Music Awards; featured on Beyonce‘s “Lion King” album and released his culturally and commercially successful “African Giant” album. This hit-laden project was followed by such an impressive press run that strategically placed Burna Boy as the poster boy for the globetrotting Afrobeats sound. This is why it wasn’t much of a surprise when his Grammy nomination came through; an announcement that threw everyone in these parts into an orgy of celebration.
And in the spirit of Christmas, the grammy-nominated act released a new single, ‘Money Play‘ earlier today without warning, to crown the amazing year and decade. This record is one for the festive season as it is a banger you can show-off your updated zanku moves to. Across the dance-prompting beat, Burna seems to be just having fun, stringing rhymes together and reminding everyone of the essentiality of money.
Enjoy this early present from Santa Burna below.