From a re-energized Seyi Shay to a more introspective, vibe-y M.I, these are the EPs we were bumbing to all year round.
10. Electric Package- Seyi Shay
With Electric Package, Seyi Shay turned blunder into blessing- she had no idea what EP means- and reclaimed control of her narrative. It helped that the package was fun, presentable and a joyful, contemporary listen. We just wish her contemporaries were taking notes as well.
9. Ariwo Eko- Mobelieve
There is little to be excited about Nigeria’s premiere mega city these days but on his debut project, Mobelieve finds some good in the madness. Ariwo Eko is a solid display by an artiste who understands his talents and possesses a firm sense of direction. Producer Olumba Lo Shey shows a firm grasp of Mobelieve’s talent and the duo make sweet music together.
8. Leopards- Sute Iwar
While his latest EP, Leopards may seem like a coming of age record, it seems right that Sute Iwar appears to be settling into pure hip hop after being pulled in different directions in his earlier work, some available on Sound Cloud. Suté is raw and tense on Leopards, with drums and piano keys helping to present a fuller picture of the person he is at this stage of his life.
7. Lagos City Vice- Wani
Another Lagos project. With six dynamic and evolving tracks, Wani’s Lagos City Vice encapsulates the Lagos contemporary scene. Without coming off as forced or pretentious, Wani approaches Lagos via afropop, dancehall and contemporary R&B. Wani gets really creative as he reworks and remakes well known hits by Eminem Tekno and 2Baba but finds a way to make the creations purely his own.
6. 1997- Tay Iwar
Short and sweet never sounded so good. 1997, named for the year of Tay Iwar’s birth is a wldly successful experiment in genre bending. This 3-song compilation flaunts the dazzling level of artistry Iwar usually unlocks in his live performances. It is almost inconceivable how much musical goodness Iwar packs in merely nine minutes.
5. Make E No Cause Fight- BOJ, Ajebutter 22
On Make E No Cause Fight, Ajebutter 22 and BOJ set about a common goal, appealing to their shared fanbase. Their easy familiarity blurs the lines that would have separated them and their artistry becomes a single coalescing unit. The linearity of this sound isn’t quite the drawback but it helps that Tay Iwar is around somewhere to introduce some variety to the record.
4. First Daze of Winter- Maleek Berry
The follow up to Berry’s 2016 stunning debut, Last Daze of Summer is a subtle shift from carefree summer goodness. Winter is light on ideas but has a delicious groove that is sure to win over hard-to-please dissenters. With tracks like Sisi Maria and What If, Berry’s project relays brittle emotions, carried on the back of lush yet minimal afro-pop beats.
3. Rendezvous- M.I
M.I went left of field and teamed up with a bunch of exciting young (and alte) talents to produce a playlist unlike anything he’s done before. The mood is wavy, the sound is lazy and on tracks like Lekki and Soup with Cassper Nyovest, M.I shows himself as a chameleon making some of the most dynamic and self-assured music of his career.
2. Live. Create. Repeat- The Collectiv3
When Show Dem Camp, Funbi, Poe, Spax and Ikon come together under the banner of The Collectiv3, expect nothing short of music magic. Temi Doll Face is missing but, Live. Create. Repeat is a worthy sequel to its 2015 predecessor. Forward thinking, genre defying and vigorously entertaining, Live. Create. Repeat is an instant classic.
- Serenade- Funbi
In Serenade, Funbi comes almost fully made. His chemistry with Spax is incredible, almost palpable and the duo serve up sweet melodies, catchy hooks and gorgeous vocals. Serenade is a reasonable 7-track compilation in which Funbi projects his songwriting depth over a variety of funky, bluesy and relatable narratives.