Autumn Leaves In Johannesburg
It’s 10am in Lagos — probably 11am someplace else — and I can’t be bothered to leave my bed. Power has just been restored, but I’m too lazy to change the channel. MTV Base is usually guilty of playing the same music every other hour, but this time it’s a South African countdown, so the melody is significantly different. There isn’t much by way of Amapiano either, and while I can’t be bothered to get this food tray off the bed, I’m curious enough to allow the songs make an impression on me.
Hearing Sjava sing…
#Throwback Album Review: Davido’s “A Good Time” Is Unpretentious In Its Cheesiness
It’s been years since a post-pubescent David Adeleke, yet to celebrate his twentieth birthday at the time, screamed "e ma dami duro, ye, emi omo babalowo" in a sleek car under bright city lights, announcing his entry into the Nigerian music scene in 2012. A lot has happened to the DMW frontman since then, as an artist and as a man.
Davido has enjoyed a colourful and stellar career so far, one that has seen him court controversy at half the same frequency as he has earned acclaim…
Post-Parting Notes, Or “Me Trying To Explain Why I Always Leave”
“If you want to know the moment
I knew I was still alone
I found that I never learned your number
I only stored it on my phone
you would think that by now
I would know the shape of calling home”
It's easy for people to see you as the villain when you're the one who says goodbye. But what if you left because you loved her too much to keep torturing her with your emptiness? …
With Her Impressive Debut EP, Ayra Starr Could Be Nigeria’s Own Aaliyah
On July 11, 2019, Ayra Starr uploaded a video on Instagram, which had her closing her eyes as she rendered a raw, breathy cover of Tuface Idibia’s 2005 hit “Ole”. Eighteen months later, Mavin Records had her sign the dotted lines as they welcomed her into one of Africa’s biggest record labels.
She refers to herself as a “celestial being”, but make no mistake, Ayra Starr didn’t just fall from the sky. She has been working hard to hit the right notes, her Instagram page replete with covers…
#Throwback Review: Fireboy DML Brilliantly Introduces Himself With Debut Album “Laughter, Tears And Goosebumps”
(originally published in the Opera News Hub)
The past fourteen months have been interesting for Fireboy DML.
Since he got signed to Olamide’s YBNL label in October 2018, he’s had two hit singles that have been well received by the listening public, he has performed at the O2 Arena, and he has been heralded as an integral part of a new school of Nigerian musicians, a school which includes acts like Rema and Joeboy, both young artists thriving in their own right.
“If you have never passed a winter in Chicago, let me describe it: you can live for a hundred straight days beneath an iron-gray sky that claps itself like a lid over the city. Frigid, biting winds blow in off the lake. Snow falls in dozens of ways, in heavy overnight dumps and daytime, sideways squalls, in demoralizing sloppy feet and fairy-tale billows of fluff. There’s ice, usually, lots of it, that shellacs the sidewalks and windshields that then need to be scraped. There’s the sound of that scraping in the early mornings — the hack hack hack of it…
Why Peter Tosh, Not Bob Marley, Should Be Regarded As Jamaica’s Greatest Ever Musical Export
In February 2001, my mother was interred. By the fourth quarter of the year, I had gone off to boarding school and my brother was entering the university, so my father was very lonely. During the holidays, I would accompany him to his place of work. We still lived in Warri at the time, but my father's office was about thirty kilometres from Asaba, so we would travel on Monday morning and return on Friday afternoon.
Amidst bumpy roads and money-grabbing FRSC officers, music made…
Music Review: Dr Alams’ Odogwu EP Is Not Just Feel-Good Music, It’s A Reflection Of Artistic Growth
It was early 2016, the novelty of the presidential administration had long worn off, a national economic recession was looming, and I was mulling over my inability to find love in Lagos, eight months after relocating from the South-South region of the country. My weekdays were typically laden with the drudgery of white-collar existence, but on my way back home one Thursday evening, I stumbled on a link while surfing Facebook to distract myself from the grueling traffic that was customary to the…
Why Nigerians Think Mr Eazi Is No Longer Musically Relevant - And Why They Are Very Wrong
The year was 2016. I was twenty-five, working at a job which I hated so much, and I had recently checked into therapy. Being a customer service officer at a first-generation bank meant that you had to turn in your mobile phone by 7:20am and would only have access to it again from 6:00pm. I would be too tired to call or text by the time I got home by 9:30pm, I missed mails inviting me for interviews, and my friendships as well…
Best 50 Nigerian Albums Of 2020
(First published in The Lagos Review)
Co-written by Jerry Chiemeke (JC), Dami Ajayi (DA), Ayo Ibiyemi (AI) and Uzo Ikwuagwu (UI).
2020, a difficult year by every standard, was an extraordinary one for Nigerian music. With an excess of 100 albums, both LPs and EPs, released, it speaks to the tenacity, growth and resilience of our musicians, who were steady working (instead of touring), and making memorable music.
Curating this list involved a cohort of fine music journalists who have listened to albums through the year. We had to speak for albums that we…
Lawyer. Writer. Award-winning Music & Film Critic.