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At just nineteen years of age, Lagos’s Rema is killing the game. A rising star in Nigeria’s afro-pop scene, Divine Ikubor’s music boasts sugar-sweet melodies with his high-pitched voice that sounds like freshly-squeezed orange juice. While the youthful artist seemed to come out of nowhere, his ascent has been sharp, and ‘Iron Man‘ enjoyed one of the best-ever co-signs via Barack Obama’s 2019 summer playlist.
Now on his third EP of the year(!), ‘Bad Commando’ is out today, and finds Rema unleashing some of the freshest, smoothest afro-pop you can find right now. Firmly ensconced within Nigeria’s blossoming music scene, below Rema picks out his favourite tracks produced by his native land.
1. Zlatan x Burna Boy – ‘Killin Dem’
“It’s very spiritual. I like the alien approach Burna infused into the galactic beat. I like the fact that the song didn’t take the normal route…”
2. Reminisce – ‘Oja’
“Strictly bad boy music. The sound inspires rage, the beat slaps from every angle, no breathing space at all, Reminisce’s flow was sharp… ‘Oja’ is a very wicked sound!”
3. Wande Coal – ‘Rotate’
“The beat is unusual, Wande Coal’s lyrics’ melodies and lamba brought life to the song, the approach was amazing!”
4. Burna Boy – ‘Collateral Damage’
“I like the easy flow and background harmonies plus the sweet bounce of the beat. Straight forward spiritual music.”
5. D’Prince – ‘Goody Bag’
“The beat bangs hard, the lyrics and lamba blew my mind and those adlibs opens a spiritual door that hits hard every time.”
6. Burna Boy – ‘On A Very Good Day ft. Wande Coal’
“The flow and the beat is badass, Wande Coal’s verse sealed it, very ruthless approach, bad boy music.
7. Santi – ‘Rapid Fire’
“I like the vibe and range it brings to a bad boy like me. The music video is beautiful, I like the fact that Santi’s mind is out there.”
8. Wizkid – ‘Master Groove’
“I like his easy unusual melodies and ad-libs on the Caribbean beat. He nailed it.”
9. Davido – ‘The Sound ft. Uhuru & DJ Buckz’
“The bouncing melodies on the beat was epic. African music evolved at that point. The music video was exciting and it sealed that year for good.”
10. Peruzzi – ‘Majesty’
“The hook is powerful, beautiful melody.”
Watch the video for Rema’s ‘Bad Commando’:
Rema’s ‘Bad Commando’ EP is out now – buy/stream it here.