04.10.19

Words by: Felicity Martin

The 10 Best Songs To Come Out of Nigeria, according to Rema

"African music evolved at that point..."

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’:

Related: The 10 Best Nigerian Songs For Summer, according to Santi

Rema’s ‘Bad Commando’ EP is out now – buy/stream it here.