As the heat of summer embraced us, the music scene sizzled with excitement throughout the unfolding of July. With a plethora of new releases hitting the airwaves, the month proved to be a harmonious blend of melodies and rhythms, catering to diverse musical tastes. From the rhythmic beats of pop to the soul-stirring notes of Afrobeats and the electrifying energy of Afro-pop, July’s album releases provided a vibrant and eclectic soundtrack to the season. Whether you were seeking anthems for beach days, road trips, or introspective moments, the albums of this month were poised to captivate, inspire, and leave a lasting mark on the sonic landscape. Let us take you on a journey as we delve into the standout albums that undoubtedly made July a month to remember in the world of music.
Crayon – Trench To Triumph
Talented Nigerian musician Crayon drops his eagerly anticipated debut album, “Trench to Triumph,” via Mavin Records. The CD chronicles Crayon’s upward trajectory from obscurity to fame and blessings. It is a musical journey that documents his growth as a musician and a person, with 13 expertly chosen songs providing a singular and engrossing experience.
Star-studded collaborations on the record give the music more depth and variety. As he deftly switches between numerous genres and styles, Crayon’s artistry stands out, displaying his adaptability as a singer-songwriter. With heartfelt songs and contagious anthems, “Trench to Triumph” is a potent exhibition of musical imagination and expression.
Amerado & Strongman – Young And Strong
Ghanaian rap sensations Amerado and Strongman have finally released their highly anticipated joint hip-hop EP titled “Young And Strong.” Fans have eagerly awaited the release of this body of work since it’s announcement few days ago.
The collaborative project, “Young And Strong,” marks a significant moment in the Ghanaian hip-hop scene as it brings together two of its most talented and influential artists. Amerado and Strongman, both known for their impactful storytelling and exceptional wordplay, are expected to deliver an EP that will captivate audiences far and wide.
Adekunle Gold – Tequila Ever After
For his fifth studio album Tequila Ever After, singer Adekunle Gold arrived at a formula for recording sessions: “It is about where I am mentally,” he tells Apple Music. “What is my soul saying? What is my life at that point? What am I feeling? What vibe am I on? What sounds am I enjoying?” The title is a reference to Gold’s new-found love for tequila, the Mexican staple which he discovered during trips to Los Angeles, where the majority of this album was recorded. “I was a rum guy, I was a whisky guy before but, nah, tequila’s taken over,” he explains. “That’s why I call myself ‘Tio Tequila’.”
The pleasures of drinking aside, for the Nigerian singer, tequila become an elixir, which he uses to ease himself into moments of creative contemplation. “It starts with a conversation,” says Gold. “You book a 12-hour session, and then you talk for five or six hours. Then we start making beats. And then once I hear the sound I like, I get into spirit, my melodies.”
On Tequila Ever After, Gold’s new affair with tequila and therapy-inspired sessions are coupled with stellar collaborations with producers and artists who draw from Malian guitar blues, South African soul, Jamaican dancehall and American pop and hip-hop. He jokingly describes the combination as “Afrobeat Pro Max”, a bigger and better version of his previous albums. “I hope people enjoy life more. I know it’s crazy to say that in a world where people are dealing with a lot of things,” says Gold, “but I’ve learned that it’s not the event, it’s how you react to it. And I’ve chosen to react to life as ‘Tequila Ever After’ and I hope that you do as well.”
Lil Kesh – Rhythms & Tunes
Nigerian Afrobeat sensation Lil Kesh has won over admirers with his masterfully made EP, “Rhythm & Tunes.” This EP, released on July 21st, 2023, acts as a compelling introduction to his much awaited second full-length album.
Starting his musical journey with the chart-topping single “Don’t Call Me” featuring Zinoleesky, Lil Kesh continued to shine with “Vanilla Bottega,” a collaboration with Joeboy. The momentum carried into 2023 with the infectious tune “Feeling Funny,” produced alongside the award-winning hitmaker Young Jonn.
The EP, consisting of six stellar tracks, showcases Lil Kesh’s ability to bridge eras and reaffirms his impact as a trailblazer in Afrobeats Street music. From the ethereal love anthem “Bus Stop” to other chart-topping hits, Lil Kesh’s rhythmic cadence and enchanting harmonies captivate discerning audiences, leaving a lasting impression and inspiring a new generation of musical virtuosos.
Kirani Ayat – Her Vibe Is Right (Vol. 2)
In 2019 Afro-fusion artist Kirani Ayat released a love-themed EP titled Her Vibe Is Right which was an ode to his female fans. It featured Joeboy, Efya, and Camidoh. Fast forward to 2023 and we have the sequel to the series. Her Vibe Is Right volume 2 has Ayat in his bag, singing his heart out and serenading his fans, with collaborations from legendary Ghanaian musician Reggie Rockstone on Sexy Sexy, a funk-inspired Afrobeats song with highlife percussion and drums. Award-winning singer Fameye is on “Affairs” which features Pure Akan, the latter can also be heard on “Girlfriend” alongside Yao King-Eli.
Her Vibe Is Right volume 2 lives up to expectations and will fit well in any Afrobeats playlist or party session.