Be honest, your playlist could do with some updating. If you're tired of listening to the same three songs on repeat and can't seem to keep up with the endless torrent of releases, tune into Highsnobiety Soundsytem 50, a playlist rounding up the best new tracks. Trust, if you're going to find your next banger, favorite artist, or completely new sound to geek out over, it's here. So plug in and catch some vibes and if you want some more insights on what makes the music so special to us, keep reading below.
The Best New Music You Need to Hear (& Why)
1 Jorja Smith x GuiltyBeatz - "All of This" - This song takes you on a trip. Jorja has the vocals and penmanship to draw you into a love story that's in the midst of collapsing while Ghanaian producer GuiltyBeatz creates a new alluring African soundscape.
2 Oxlade - "Ojuju" - Everything Oxlade's voice touches sounds like some ancient incantation and when his heavenly vocals are layered and harmonized as is the case with "Ojuju" we can't help but fall in love.
3 DETO BLACK - "F.U.N" - Overflowing with confidence, Lagos cool girl Deto Black oozes cockiness and power on the darkly bouncy track. This is a bag gal anthem.
4 Skiifall - "Gully" - A piano riff that sounds like rain layered over splashing snares and of course Skiifall's unrelenting melodic badman raps, this is the makeup of "Gully." There's really nothing that sounds quite like it, but that's why we love this track so much.
5 Lonr. - "Read My Mind" (ft. Yung Bleu) - This ballad is my first time encountering Lonr. but it's enough to convince me that he's got the sonic and lyrical chops to give Rae Sremmund a run for their money. Despite an impeccable assist from Yung Bleu, Lonr.'s vocals and raw emotion shine through in a song that's here to stay.
When Jorja and Guilty dropped "All of This" it made waves. But not the kind you think. First some background, while the song is thematically and vocally R&B, Guilty's production has a distinctive Amapiano-inspired sound. You might not have heard of Amapiano yet but the South African dance music has already conquered the continent.
With "All of This" Jorja Smith probably made the biggest mainstream leap for the budding genre, but a British singer and Ghanaian producer taking "piano to the world" understandably didn't make the South African creators and gatekeepers of the genre too happy.
While we don't need to delve into the discourse here – you can do that on Twitter – "All of This" has stirred something, and if it moved you like it moves us, this might just be your spring board to dive head first into the beautiful world that is Amapiano.
DETO BLACK makes it look easy. The Lagos creative has been making waves in Nigeria's Alté scene with her inimitable style, cool friends, and undeniable swagger. So when she started rapping last year, it felt like she had finally unlocked her final form. That is until she dropped her debut EP Yung Everything last week, proving that there are even more levels to her genius.
Yung Everything puts DETO BLACK's persona on wax, packaged as catchy and dazzling raps with which listeners can unlock some of that essence for themselves. With sex-positive lyrics, skilled penmanship, and her effortless flow, DETO BLACK is adding a new dynamic to the female rap scene.
On Your Radar
One artist you should look out for? Oxlade.
The Nigerian crooner has been lending his angelic voice to impeccable hooks for some of Africa's hottest artists. But it's when he's on his own that he really soars, with R&B-infused songs like "DKT", "O2", and "AWAY." This is the next-gen afrobeats artist to look out for.