Fridays are for new music, and leading up to the weekend some of our favorite artists have given us plenty to be excited about. Whether you're drowning in all these releases or they've completely passed under your radar, relax, we've got this. Tune into our Highsnobiety Soundsytem 50 for a concise curation of the best new tracks of the past weeks. You're welcome, and enjoy!
The Best New Music You Need to Hear (& Why)
1 Wizkid - "Mood" (ft. Buju) - After dropping one of the best albums of 2020, packed with tunes that we're still dancing to, Big Wiz just refreshed Made in Lagos with four stunning new tracks. And this track specifically, featuring the sweet-voiced Buju, is just like the title suggests: a big "Mood."
2 Baby Keem - "Family Ties" (ft. Kendrick Lamar) - Can we applaud Baby Keem for getting Kendrick Lamar on a track again after over a year of radio silence? And then another round of applause for holding his own alongside his legendary cousin in the lead-up to what is sure to be a dazzling album.
3 Shaybo - "My Sister" (ft. Jorja Smith) - Bolstered by a sublime production by Ghana's GuiltyBeatz, Queen of the South Shaybo and Jorja Smith give us a moving anthem about sisterhood.
4 Sumpa - "Illusion" - Good R&B, I mean the real good stuff, is a rare find nowadays. But someone who always delivers on the front with heavenly melodies and heart-aching emotion is Sumpa. "Illusion" is no exception.
5 Tiwa Savage - "Tales By the Moonlight" (ft. Amaarae) - When the queen of Afrobeats connects with West Africa's alternative princess, trust you're going to experience something extraordinary. With surreal production by Lagos' Cracker Mallo, Tiwa and Ama take us into a dream-like moonlit world.
R&B drill? Yes, that's what Nija offers us in her debut single "Ease My Mind."
Bizarrely the Jack Rochon beat features drill's signature 808s and snares that mesh seamlessly with classic R&B synths and Nija's harmonies. "Come and ease my mind," Nija croons over the curious concoction in what is her singing debut. The 23-year-old songwriting genius who has written for the likes of Beyoncé, Cardi B, Lady Gaga, and Chloe x Halle shows off her vocal chops, proving that she might just be the next big pop star herself.
Shaybo's Queen of the South is essential listening. After a decade of meticulously working her way up the boys club that is the rap world, with this project, Shaybo finally announces her place at the top of the game. With slick flows, lyrical tenacity, and incredible vulnerability, the South London rapper proves that she's here to stay.
At its best, the mixtape explores the duality of Shaybo's tough exterior and the vulnerability it protects. This emotional dexterity weaves through a fluid soundscape of drill, Afrobeats, and dancehall, crafted by the masterful GuiltyBeatz.
On Your Radar
He might sing in German, but Sumpa is proof that good music needs no translation.
Sumpa's brand of R&B hits the sweet spot, with a soulfully sweet voice that could stand amongst the genre's greats like D'Angelo and Maxwell. He nimbly pens heart-racing stories of love in its most fragile forms. As part of Serious Klein's collective/label the family tree/555, Sumpa pairs these melodies productions by Kendrick Lamar-approved producer Rascal and nostalgic visuals that never miss.
Here's a well-rounded up-and-coming artist who's consistently putting out stellar work, now it's our turn to pay attention.