santi

Kwesi Arthur Is Done Being Lonely In ‘Turn On The Lights’

In April 2019, award-winning Ghanian rapper Kwesi Arthur released his adventurous hip-hop and Afrobeats album titled “Live From Nkrumah Krom, Vol II: Home Run.” Guesting an all-star cast of Sarkodie, Nasty C, Stonebwoy, Mr Eazi, Santi and Va Midzo, the project enjoyed rave reviews from critics with some describing it as “his most accessible work yet”. But ever since then, all we’ve gotten from the emcee is a near-total radio silence music-wise, save for a couple of features with BOJ, DJ Cuppy and a more over the past year.

However, Kwesi Arthur is now back from his self-imposed hiatus, giving us a taste of the materials he’s been working on with a new single titled ‘Turn On The Lights’. Speaking about the creation of the tune, Kwesi reveals that “the beat to the song was made last year in a session I had with the producer Yung Demz. I forgot the initial idea I had for it. Months later, I listened to beats stumbled upon it, and I just end up making [Turn on the Lights].”

As you listen to Kewsi Arthur croon over the smooth Yung Demz production, you can simply tell he’s single and searching. You can feel the soulfulness in his lyrics as he laments on the loneliness that comes with being single. ‘Looking for a girl who go stand by me/ I just need a girl I go confide in’ he sings.

And when it comes to the infectious sing-along hook, he tells it as it is “I taya being single”. A very timely record, ‘Turn On The Lights’ helps to soundtrack the loneliness we almost all feel as single youths and young lovers stranded in isolation. It plays into the longing for intimacy in the COVID19-world, where we just have to stay apart or our safety.

Over the past few years, Kwesi Arthur has eased himself into the spotlight as one of Ghana’s most promising flagbearers in their quest to penetrate the world music market. And with this syrupy release, he reminds everyone why he’s even more deserving of that position.

The PGM Club’s Best 20 Songs In 2019

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. 

Tems – Try Me

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.

Lady Donli x The Cavemen – Cash

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. 

Teni- Billionaire

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.

Mojo ft Prettyboy DO – Chop Life Crew

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.

Rema – Dumebi

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.  

Reekado Banks – Rora

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’.

Joeboy – Baby

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 & WurlD – Mad

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.

Santi – Sparky

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. 

Johnny Drille – Papa

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.

 Boj x Kwesi Arthur, Darko Vibes – Awolowo

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.

Odunsi – Tipsy

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. 

Buju X Zlatan – Spiritual

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. 

Davido x Popcaan – Risky

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 – Paris

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 – Opotoyi

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. 

Prettyboy D-O – Dey Go Hear Wehh

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.

Tiwa Savage – 49-99

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.

Burna Boy – Anybody

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.

Davido x Chris Brown – Blow My Mind 

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.

 

Notable Mentions

Alpha Ojini ft Ycee – One Knee (Chvmeleon)

SDC ft Buju – Do Me Nice (Palmwine Express)

SDC ft Tomi Thomas – Vibration (Palmwine Express)

Amaarae – Like It 

Crayon – Gock Am (Cray Cray)

Gigi Atlantis ft Fasina – Wahala On The Rocks

Ckay – Way (CKay The First) 

Dice Ailes ft Falz -Alakori 

Bris B ft Santi – Supa sigh 

Dami Oniru – Alive (Bri’s Lounge)

Blaqbonez – Shut Up (Mr Boombastic)

 

Remember to check out all these records and keep supporting good music. Cheers!

Listen To Tay Iwar And Le Mav’s Joint “Gold” EP

After collaborating on two records ‘Stranger‘ and ‘Fools‘ off his debut album “Gemini,” Abuja-based act, Tay Iwar has joined forces with producer, Le Mav to take their undeniable chemistry to another level. The pair have teamed up to release a full body of work, titled the “Gold” EP, which is already out on all streaming platforms. They had teased and led this project with two pre-released singles, ‘Golden‘ and ‘Heat‘ which have kept up longing for the project, but now, the wait is over.

The project contains just 8 tracks with no guest appearances. It is solely a Le Mav-Tay Iwar production. “Gold” is Tay’s second project this year, coming several months after his 16-track debut album “Gemini,” which featured appearances from Santi, Preye Itams, Odunsi (The Engine) and brother, Sute Iwar.

Speaking about the new record, Tay Iwar revealed that “… the theme is about being golden and standing out beyond all odds…despite all the darkness in the world we all still have to remain fierce, fiery and precious like gold.”

Listen to the EP here.

Tay Iwar’s New Project Is Just Ten Days Away

Two weeks ago, Tay Iwar and Le Mav gave us a taste of what they have been cooking for some time now. After teaming up on ‘Stranger‘ and ‘Fools‘ off Tay Iwar’s debut “Gemini” album, the pair have taken their undeniable chemistry further by recording a joint project “Gold.” This is upcoming EP of which the recently released ‘Golden‘ is the lead single. And now, it appears the EP already has a release date.

Yesterday, a fan on Twitter appealed to Tay Iwar for an album before the end of the year and Tay Iwar replied “🤞🏾 13/12/2019” which is perceived to be the release date for his imminent joint project with Le Mav.

Earlier this year, Tay Iwar released his stellar debut album “Gemini.” This is a 16-track R&B and Soul project that featured appearances from Santi, Preye Itams, Odunsi (The Engine) and brother, Sute Iwar.

Prettyboy D-O Calls Out Blaqbonez For Jacking His Style

Just over an hour ago, Prettyboy D-O took to his Twitter page to call out Blaqbonez for jacking his style in his latest release ‘Shut Up‘. Although it was a subtle shot, the message was very clear: stop jacking my style!

A plain-speaking D-O wrote on Twitter, “Tell a man shut up ?
If you want to sound like PRETTYBOY, make you feature PRETTYBOY
@BlaqBonez
🎯

And this accusation is not unfounded. In fact, it serves as a confirmation to many as they have also been drawing similarities between the new single and D-O’s ‘Pull Up‘ and ‘Dem Go Hear Wehh‘. And after a careful examination of the songs in question, their inference would be justified.

Shut Up‘ produced by Tempoe finds Blaqbonez in new terrain, ragga, which is well different from the hip-hop and trap he is well known for. To even make this transition smoother, Blaq ushered the single under the moniker, Mr Boombastic, which appears to be his more Afropop-leaning alter-ego.

However, sonically, thematically and in terms of delivery, the new number bears a striking semblance to D-O’s ‘Pull Up‘. These songs find the acts in an impudent air as they both come at their detractors while flashing their vigour and successes. “Tell a man cool off tell a man cool off/ Tell a man pull up if he wanna pull up” D-O sings in the Santi-assisted ‘Pull Up‘ Off his 2018 well-received project, “Everything Pretty“. Blaq, on the other hand, also appears to open his record with “Tell a man shut up!

This actually wouldn’t be the first time Blaqbonez is spurring this kind of conversation as people have also drawn sonic similarities between his ‘Best Rapper In Africa (BRIA)‘ cut and Stormzy‘s smash hit single, ‘Vossi Bop‘. So can we say Blaqbonez is bereft of originality and going around just jacking people’s styles without giving due credit?

Listen and let us know what you think below.

 

Check out the Santi-directed Video for Goldlink’s ‘U Say’ with Tyler the Creator and Jay Prince

Goldink has unveiled the visuals for ‘U Say‘ one of the standouts off his well-received “Diaspora “album, featuring Tyler the Creator and Jay Prince. And this video is directed by our very own Santi, the alte frontman well known for the creative depth in his music videos.

Codirected by Aisultan, the gold and dark themed video finds Goldlink and his accomplices having one hell of a time at a house party. The party suddenly goes wild first with a fight breaking out and then an infestation of possessed dames and their Sheila making everyone but Goldlink, Jay Prince and Tyler dash out of the party in fear. They are then surrounded by these dancing dames, supposedly performing a rite on them. The day is, however, saved by a white priest with a clutched bible, sprinkling holy water on these witches, giving the trio a chance to escape which they grab with both hands.

This video is similar in theme to Santi’s Helen Ukpabio-inspired videos like ‘Freaky’,Rapid Fire‘ and the most recent layered video for ‘Raw Dinner‘.

Congratulations Santi on your international directorial debut.

Santi Shares Dark and Intense Video for ‘Raw Dinner’ Featuring Kida Kudz

Santi has been called so many things: a genius, alte frontliner, a genre-bending act, an eccentric artist and even more extremely, a cultist. The latest came as a result of the abundance of horror and dark-themed elements prevalent in his music videos. And now, Santi is owning that narrative, particularly with the new music video for the Kida Kudz-assisted ‘Raw Dinner‘, a standout cut off his debut album, “Mandy and the Jungle.

Spanning over eight minutes, the video is a layered horror mini-movie that may take some time to uncover and understand fully. With the video telling a grim tale featuring witches, zombies, mad doctors, psych patients, severed head served on a platter and dark magic, don’t be surprised at the reincarnation of the Illuminati tag in relation to Santi.

Although as you watch your mind might be running at double speed, unravelling the concepts and trying to make sense of the madness, the video is no doubt entertaining. It’s always a delight to watch Santi’s videos as he puts so much thought and energy into his visuals and it shows.

In usual fashion, the self-directed video is inspired by classic Nollywood, and this reflects in the roll-out style of the closing credits of the movie. It also features Evi Edna Ogoli‘s classic number, ‘Happy Birthday‘.

Kida Kudz Pulls Off M.J’s Signature Move In ‘Moonwalk’

Still riding on the wave of his stellar feature performance on Santi’s debut album, “Mandy And The Jungle“, UK-based Nigerian act, Kida Kudz has treated us to a new release titled ‘Moonwalk‘. And this song is a bop!

Over the dazzling production with hard-hitting drums, the Jiggy Boy is having the time of his life that makes his so elated that he sings about breaking into Micheal Jackson signature move, the moonwalk.

Kick off your weekend with this jam that’s set to hit the clubs hard in no time. Also, check out the Vissionaire Pictures filmed visuals below.

Odunsi (The Engine) Releases Cameo-Packed Video For ‘Star Signs’

Odunsi(The Engine) has finally released the official music video for ‘star signs’, one of the highlights off his debut album “rare.” This record which features a guest verse from Runtown finds both singers croon about their preferences and how they love their women.

Odunsi had earlier released a lyric video for the song a few months back, but now the amazing record has eventually gotten the accompanying visuals it truly deserves. This release makes it the third official video off “rare.”, having earlier released the video for ‘falling’ and ‘alte cruise‘, a bonus track on the album.

The Candles-directed video finds Odunsi in a white shiny attire giving a mock live performance with a guitar in hand at a Zodiac-themed owambe party. The video is no doubt a celebration of fashion, expression, music and of course star signs.

Although the featured act, Runtown was a no-show, the video features cameo appearances from Santi, Tomi Thomas, Teezee, GMK and others.

Enjoy the video above.

Santi Releases Debut Album “Mandy & The Jungle”

The wait is finally over! Santi has released his highly-anticipated debut album titled “Mandy & The Jungle“. This comes three years after his acclaimed EP “Suzie’s Funeral“, which placed Santi in the radar of many as one of those to hold the helm of the industry in a few years.

Mandy & The Jungle” is a 16-track full-length project that includes pre-released singles like ‘Sparky‘, ‘Freaky‘ and the monster-hit ‘Rapid Fire‘.

This highly collaborative project features Tay Iwar, Nonso Amadi, Shane Eagle, Dram, Kris Irie, Bridge, Amaarae, Seki, Tomi Agape, Kida Kudz and Godlink. Also, its production is mainly handled by fellow Monster Boys – GMK and Genio Bambino with assists from Odunsi (The Engine), Le Mav, Higo, Doz, James Isibor, 1Takennandos and Barst.

Just like his previous projects, this album is a themed one.  In fact, this is centred around Mandy (a fictional character), who Santi describes as “a girl who has no idea the power that lies inside her

Further speaking about the album, he reveals that “Over the past two years, I learnt more about expressing myself and translating that feeling into sound and visuals. Music has always been about the feeling for me, what it does to you, what it makes you remember, and most importantly where it takes you to. I decided to create a universe, combining everything that has ever influenced or inspired me.”

The songs are a soundtrack to this universe, and I hope when you listen to ‘Mandy & The Jungle’, you will make the best memories with them so that each time you feel like escaping, reminiscing or feeling, these songs are here to take you to your own universe.” He continued.

So cop this album, and follow Mandy on her journey in the jungle.

Scroll to top