Sat. Jul 20th, 2019

MUSIC | Screen idols

WEAREGVDS AND SVETJACQUE.
With fewer album releases than previous years, 2018 has been a lean year for music. Instead, sizzling music videos to singles on the Nigerian scene, like Davido’s Assurance, featuring his current lover Chioma, and Wizkid’s Fever with Tiwa Savage as the leading lady, set social media alight.

Singer Teni the Entertainer had a lofty year, belting hits after hits under the Dr Dolor label, and in 2019 is definitely set to consolidate her soaring status. And if clockwork, or his new signees, are anything to go by, rapper Olamide owed his fans his annual November studio LP record. Meanwhile, Sarkodie dissed fellow Ghanaian singer Shatta Wale on the three-minute-long hip-hop tutorial ‘My Advice’, and the song comes with its own crisp monochrome video that went viral on social media. Hopefully 2019 will bring a new studio project from the Twi wordsmith, whose last slam-dunk was two years back.

Kenya’s Just a Band has been on a two-year hiatus that will end in 2019. Although their artistic break as a group has enabled their individual careers to flourish (Blinky Bill’s hugely popular debut album Everyone’s Just Winging It and Other Fly Tales was released in October), it will be nice to see the trio make some acoustic magic again.

Even if Cameroon’s polity stands as one of the oldest in Africa, that geriatric streak has eluded the blossoming music scene, where young cats like Zas Ziggi, Wazih and Forkeh are doing consistent work to join Daphne, X Maleya and Mink, some of the hardest hitters, on the music scene. And Coke Studio Africa will return in 2019 after a hiatus in 2018. We can look forward to continental collaborations being back on our screens with the first episode airing in February. 

   WurlD,  Singer-songwriter  
  “My forthcoming EP is called Contagious, and it fuses African 80s Fuji music and [American] 90s R&B. I wanted to create songs guided by [being] simply human. There are no collaborations on this project except ‘Show You Off’ (with Walshy Fire from Major Lazer). Playing live is one of the most exciting things for me – it’s all high energy and interaction. Sharing my art with diverse audiences, especially here in the US, I believe my Africanness is the true magic to who I am. Many people say my sound is unique, but what they’re really hearing is an African-born creative exposed to different genres of music. Asa, Wizkid and Olamide are names that always get me excited, but I’m more than ever excited about the next generation of African artists yet to be discovered by the rest of the world.”  
     

This article first appeared in December-January 2019 print edition of The Africa Report
By Phiona Okumu
Top Photo: Singer-songwriter WurlD;
Credits: WeAreGVDS and Svetjacque.

Lea Crespi / Pasco