Afrobeats Fresh Picks: Teni, Oxlade, Minz, Victony, Young Jonn & More

As the year winds down to a close, the hits keep coming, as big singles from Victony, Oxlade and P Prime, Minz and Young Jonn have kept the worlds of Afrobeats, Afropop, Afrofusion and genres beyond moving through November. And that’s before even mentioning the new album from Teni, Tears of the Sun, which might just be one of the best albums of the entire year, from any genre.

In short, the month of November has produced some of the best songs yet. (And yes, we know, it’s the first of December — but hey, things get busy at the end of the year.) Here, we’ve highlighted 10 of our favorite new Afrobeats (and related) songs that have come out roughly within the last month. Check out our latest Fresh Picks, and catch a vibe with our latest Spotify playlist below.

Teni feat. ODUMODUBLVCK, “Devil Dance”

Teni’s sophomore album Tears of the Sun is stuffed full of great songs, and as a whole is a confident statement from a performer, artist and person who knows exactly who she is and isn’t going to apologize for it. On “Devil Dance” she delivers one of the best tracks on the project, with a catchy guitar line, sassy melody and confident, swaggering hook, complete with a trademark ODUMODUBLVCK verse, which demands repeat plays, and is a thesis statement that stands out on an album that’s overflowing with them. A landmark song for the year for sure.

Teni, “Jalingo”  

Following reports that she had been kidnapped during a performance gone wrong last year, the Nigerian singer-songwriter set the record straight and recorded “Jalingo” from her sophomore album, Tears of the Sun. “I was actually at a show where a fight broke out. A lot was happening and everybody was fighting,” she told Apple Music. “It was deep inside one place in Port Harcourt and, for us to leave there, our security officers were shooting. It was chaos in the middle of the night….” Teni touches on a heavy subject but gets right back on her feet (and gets everyone on theirs, too) for a lighthearted club banger. 

Boj & Ajebutter22, “42”  

The feel-good duo dropped the third installment of their Make E No Cause Fight EP series – off Boj’s own label Action Boyz under Moves Recordings – and the sumptuous blend of jazz, R&B, highlife, palm wine and alté is filled with tropical vibes and laid-back flows. The first track, “42,” isn’t a typical party anthem about getting f–ked up on Don Julio, but a reflective, toast-worthy ode to how far the two have come (and how much money they now have), which instantly draws in listeners with its cascading guitar licks.  

Oxlade & P.Priime, “PIANO”  

The “KU LO SA” star teams up with fellow Nigerian hitmaker P.Priime on the scintillating “PIANO” track from Oxlade’s KATIGORI/PIANO two-pack, which he said in a statement is meant to show off his two sides: “the cautious Oxlade and the party Oxlade.” The pitter-patter of the log drums mimics his heartbeat when he’s with that special someone, but his falsettos scattered throughout the love song could woo just about anyone. “‘PIANO’ is the strongest song I’ve dropped this year MUSICALLY,” Oxlade added.  

Minz, “BLESSING$” 

The “WO WO” artist soulfully reflects on his “BLESSING$” and encourages others to count theirs in his latest uplifting track. The soothing piano melodies and introspective percussion strike a chord with listeners, but his “I’m out of your league so you can’t touch, MC Hammer” lyric adds a nice sprinkle of braggadocio.  

Ratii Rsa, Tyler ICU & Catzico feat. Katarina, “Mnandini” 

At 17 years old, Ratii Rsa is demanding the world’s attention with her ultra-bubbly amapiano single “Mnandini.” She taps fellow South African DJ/producers Tyler ICU and Catzico to transport listeners on a tranquil eight-minute journey, where they can easily lose themselves in the sweet-sounding arpeggios, while Katarina’s breathy vocals build tension for the song’s most exhilarating moments.  

Victony feat. Crayon & Bella Shmurda, “Ohema”

The song may be credited to these three artists, but more than a dozen appear on the track — OkayAfrica called the all-star cast “The Avengers of Afrobeats” — including Rema, Ayra Starr, ODUMODUBLVCK, Blaqbonez, Lojay, Oxlade, YKB, Bloody Civilian and more. All together the crew create a layered tapestry that pulses with energy, an anthem for this generation of established and budding stars of the genre.

Young Jonn, “Disconnect”

Young Jonn hasn’t missed this year with a string of excellent singles, from “Currency” with Olamide, “Stamina” with Tiwa Savage and Ayra Starr, to “Aquafina” and “Sharpally.” “Disconnect” is the next entry into that lineage, as the superproducer continues to establish himself as one of the best hitmaking artists out there right now. And, as he promises on this track, this string of singles portends plenty of “better days ahead.”

YKB & King Promise, “This Must Be Love”

Both YKB and King Promise have enjoyed breakout years in 2023, with the former’s “komplete riddim” a standout hit and the latter’s “Terminator” making waves around the world. So their collaboration on this sweetly catchy single is a welcome joining of forces, as the two go back and forth in both English and Yoruba opining about a girl changing their minds about love and affection, with production that absolutely pops.

Qing Madi, “Vision”

Young Alté singer Qing Madi may be relatively new to the scene, but she’s burst out with a string of singles that clearly articulate her artistry and showcase her arresting, effortless vocals. “Vision” is just the latest, with an understated R&B groove over which she sings about the distraction of someone she can’t get out of her mind. Still just 17, her range is impressive.