The 20 best Afrobeats songs of 2023

The year 2023 witnessed the first Afrobeats song that reached a billion streams on Spotify. For a genre that is still on its global journey,  a feat like this remains a wow moment and watershed in the history of Afrobeats. 

In 2023,  singles were released, and some songs off the EP or album became hit songs. Some of these songs are from well-known artists, while others are from an unexpected year. In this list, the NotJustOk team ranks the 20 best Afrobeats songs that were released in 2023.

20.  Ngozi

Artist – Crayon 

Featured Artist – Ayra Starr

Country – Nigeria

Label – Mavin Global Holdings

Date of Release – July 21, 2023

Crayon and Ayra Starr’s collaborative track, Ngozi, is a standout in 2023’s Afrobeats scene. This Pop gem seamlessly weaves sensuality and exhilarating melodies, offering a captivating auditory experience. In this impressive record, Crayon intertwines themes of love and personal success, promising not just affection but a shared journey of joy and accomplishment. Ngozi is a testament to the contemporary heights of Afrobeats, showcasing the perfect blend of talent and creativity in this dynamic duo.

19.      Stability 

Artist – Ayra Starr

Country – Nigeria

Label – Mavin Global Holdings

Date of Release – Feb 10, 2023

Sability, by Ayra Starr, finds the artist sampling Awilo Longomba’s Coupe Bibamba.  The song serves as nostalgia for millennials, and for Gen Z, they get to listen to old gems. Ayra Starr’s lovely combination makes the song ear candy. The instrumental already sets the right tempo for dancing, and while the lyrics have been panned, Ayra Starr delivers on the assignment of this song—make the people dance.

18.  Terminator

Artist – King Promise 

Country – Ghana

Featured Artist: Young Jonn

Label – 5K Records Limited / Sony Music Entertainment UK.

Date of Release – Jul 6, 2023.

Ghanaian multi-instrumentalist King Promise delivers words to naysayers on Terminator, with guest vocals from Nigerian producer/artist Young Jonn, both artists sing about their new resolve to live life to the fullest while paying less attention to enemies. Terminator is hinged on a log drum, kicks, and a baseline; this instrumental laid the foundation for the vocals of both artists as they sang.

17.  Stamina 

Artist – Tiwa Savage

Country – Nigeria

Featured Artists: Young Jonn & Ayra Starr

Label – We4We / Everything Savage

Date of Release – Mar 15, 2023

Magicstick, the producer responsible for Asake’s indelible run of 2022 seems to have struck up a new collaboration with Tiwa Savage as they both come together on “Stamina,” their second collaboration.  This time around,  Tiwa Savage calls on Young Jonn and Ayra Starr to compliment her on this new song. The song explores themes like consent, determination, and resilience. The lyrics hover around going sexual with a partner, this time around with her permission. Ayra Starr seems to understand the plot better as she comes with a graphic-filled verse.

16.  Ex-convict 

Artist – Shallipopi

Country – Nigeria

Label – Shallipopi/ Dvpper Music

Date of Release – Jul 5, 2023

Off his experience with “Men in Red,” the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), music star, Shallipopi released Ex-Convict, the track adequately summarized his tale and also he gave a shout-out to some of his friends within the three minutes, twenty-two seconds long play. The Amapiano-centered track finds the singer co-opting some Benin City sonic elements into it. It shows his dexterity with sound and his love for his state.

15.    Amapiano 

Artist – Asake

Country – Nigeria

Featured Artist: Olamide

Label – YBNL Nation / Empire Records

Date of Release – May 23, 2023

Asake combines his signature sound with the South African deep house sub-genre Amapiano while featuring his label boss Olamide. Topically, both artists sing and rap about their self-importance, sex appeal, street credibility, and their versatility as artists. It is the second time Asake will be featuring Olamide on a song. The song was recently nominated for Best African Music Performance at the 2023 Grammy Awards.

14.  Gwagwalada 

Artist – Bnxn

Country – Nigeria

Featured Artists: Kizz Daniel & Seyi Vibez

Label – T.Y.E. / Empire Records

Date of Release – Feb 15, 2023

Who starts a verse with a hiss? No one except Seyi Vibez. In one of the best collaborations of 2023, Bnxn, Kizz Daniel, and Seyi Vibez all collided to birth Gwagwalada.

The artists bring their A-game to the table and deliver some hot verses that are sure to leave you impressed. Their unique styles and flows complement each other.

The production quality is top-notch, thanks to the skills of the talented Sarz. He brings his signature style to the track, creating a perfect blend of traditional and modern beats that will have you dancing along in no time.

 13. Feel 

Artist – Davido

Country – Nigeria

Label – DMW/Sony Music

Date of Release – Mar 30, 2023

Off the seismic Timeless album, Feel remains one of the highlights of the album. The Amapiano pivoted track finds Davido longing for his lover. The lyrics show the artist’s new disposition to the things of the heart. The days of needless fighting seem over, now, he wants to have the best of time with his lover. The relatability of the song for anyone who has experienced a romantic relationship further helps in propelling the song to a notable height.

12. Ojapiano 

Artist – KCee

Country – Nigeria

Label – Five Star Music/ONErpm

Date of Release – June 3, 2023

KCee got another shot at stardom with the release of Ojapiano. Oja, a flute, remains the most dominant instrumental in this song. Ojazzy, the young dude who blew it laid the pathway for KCee to thread. Lyrically, it might be a mild song, however, Ojazzy’s skillful Oja takes the song to a worthy height. Ojapiano is a sonic experiment that comes off so well that more experimentation would come up in years to come.

13.  Party No Dey Stop 

Artist – Adekunle Gold

Country – Nigeria

Featured Artist: Zinoleesky

Label – Def Jam Recordings.

 Date of Release – Mar 14, 2023

Adekunle Gold and Zinoleesky all have stories to tell. It is a relatable story that is full of ups and downs. They combine to sonically tell the story of “Party No Dey Stop.” The club hit finds both artists singing about their resilience and success in the music industry, the hook is filled with victory tunes and they party and celebrate their wins. Both artists grew up in Agege and now they are on a global sonic journey, no wonder, they keep on repeating that Party would never stop.

 10.  Elon Musk 

Artist – Shallipopi

Country – Nigeria

Label – Shallipopi Music/Dvpper Music

Date of Release – Mar 14, 2023

Shallipopi’s distinctive style and compelling lyrics all come into play on Elon Musk. The song affirms his knack for linking several genres to produce an innovative sound. 

Shallipopi creates a sound by infusing the dynamic tempo and passion of highlife with the percussion and electronic vibrations of electronic dance music. The song is about the big-boy lifestyle, with the key themes of celebrity, cruise, and partying.

 9. Charm 

Artist – Rema

Country – Nigeria

Label – Mavin Records/Jonzing World Entertainment.

Date of Release – Apr 27, 2023

“Come here, wetin dey worry you?/ Bring body make I rock am, yeah, yeah/ I know you senior me/ I get money pass your papa,” This is the opening four lines from Rema’s Charm. It contains the infamous “I get money pass your papa,” lines. This has generated comments from people, e.g. Blackface. Charm is the self-conceited tenth track on Rave & Roses Deluxe version. Rema solidly wears his masculine frame as he serenades his lover, calling her to order whenever she misbehaves. The feel-good tune features a minimalist video directed by Perliks Definition, Rema, and Folarin Oludare.

8.  City Boys 

Artist – Burna Boy

Country – Nigeria

Label – Spaceship Entertainment.

Date of Release – Aug 24, 2023

City Boy begins with a vocal cut from J Hus who backtracked on earlier calling himself ugly.  According to the rapper, he now sees himself as a sexy man. In the song, Burna Boy celebrates himself and his friends. While he is set to enjoy the good things of life, he lays down his rule, “I don’t need a shy ho*,” he affirms. City Boys is Burna Boy’s way of celebrating his win, and who best to celebrate a win with if not with your friends? City Boys is the tenth track on the Grammy-nominated, I Tell Them album.

7. Soweto remix 

Artist – Victony

Country – Nigeria

Featured Artist: Don Toliver & Rema

Label – Victory/KVLT/ Encore Recordings.

Date of Release – Mar 22, 2023

The global sensation Rema and Platinum-certified act Don Toliver serve as guests on the remix of Victony’s hit Soweto. The remix maintains the vibrancy and sweetness of the original. Don Toliver brings in the American aura while Rema shows why he is now a global superstar by flowing on it with an Afrobeats-filled verse, Victony was still able to show the mettle he was made of as he delivered a sultry verse and hook.

6.   Declan Rice 

Artist – Odumodublvck

Country – Nigeria

Label – Odumodublvck/ Native Records/ Def Jam Records

Date of Release – Mar 24, 2023

Declan Rice, the former West Ham player, becomes the inspiration for Odumodublvck. Declan was so big that the English football club, Arsenal, even used it while unveiling Declan Rice. The track is a statement of the purpose, vision, and mission of Odumodublvck. The underdog spirit continues to serve as motivation for him. It is an Afrobeats meets Drill type of sound. It is a sound fusion that is expected to be in vogue for years to come.

      5. This Year (Blessing)

Artist – Victor Thompson 

Country – Nigeria

Featured Artist: This ‘D’ Greatest

Label – NWE Worldwide

Date of Release – Jan 4, 2023

This Year, is centred on praising God and gratitude. the song showcases Victor Thompson and Ehis ‘D’ Greatest seamlessly blending their verses and vocals to score a hit. The sultry song features crowd vocals, snare, and baseline, which further give the song a breath of fresh air. The song is a beautiful mix of different messages; both artists believe in the power of God to make things happen for their good. The crowd vocals on the song are the icing on the cake.

4. Who’s Your Guy (remix) 

Artist – Spryo

Country – Nigeria

Featured Artist: Tiwa Savage

Label – NWS

Date of Release – Mar 3, 2023

Tiwa Savage rarely guests on other artists’ songs; whenever she does,  it surely comes off so well. The Afrobeats queen brings her sonic dexterity to play as she features on Spryo’s “Who is Your Guy remix,” the song which celebrates friendship and finds both acts shouting some of their trusted allies. It has become the go-to track for celebrating friendship among friends. Who is your guy? This is a big question. For anyone still unsure of who to call a friend, perhaps a spin through this track would make everything click.

  3.   Lonely At The Top 

Artist – Asake

Country – Nigeria

Label – YBNL Nation/Empire Records

Date of Release – June 15, 2023

Asake tasted success and succinctly concluded it’s lonely at the top; who am I to question his assertion? The track, one of the standouts from his sophomore Work of Art album, remains a delight to listeners. It is a quintessential example of the cocky Asake. He is unashamedly proud of his accomplishments, yet he is conscious of the way his enemies perceive him. For anyone aspiring for the top, a track like this puts things in proper perspective for such a fellow.

2. Water 

Artist – Tyla

Country – South Africa

Label – Fax Records

Date of Release – Jul 28, 2023

Tyla’s Water is a fusion of pop, R&B, afrobeats, and amapiano. The song oozes with sexually charged lyrics as the artist calls on her lover to match her energy. The doubts are scattered all over the song, yet the singer keeps all hope alive. The Grammy-nominated song has gotten fans recreating and interpreting the song to an appreciable end. Tyla soulfully and skillfully sings about sex without being so direct. It is all left to the listeners to dig deep into what she sings or pretends to suggest in the song.

1.        Unavailable 

Artist – Davido

Country – Nigeria

Label – DMW/Sony Music

Date of Release – Mar 30, 2023

Unavailable, the lead single to Davido’s Timeless album, serves as the answer to many questions surrounding his five-month hiatus from music. With help from South Africa’s Musa Keys, Davido tells the listeners he has been busy with life.  On his part, Musa Keys addresses words from enemies, both online and offline. The Amapiano-centered track sees Davido and Musa Keys having the best fun of their lives while skillfully showing off their knack for creating the finest sound.

Source link