Songs that have truly governed radio and nightlife in this town usually only become clear in the this quarter of the year. Maybe it is all part of an overall motive to synchronise perfectly with award schemes, I don’t know. Fancy this though: an unprecedented 10 albums were released in September (maybe more)…that much music was reserved specifically for the final quarter of the year. What’s your theory?
2015, without debate, was one for highlife: Singer Bisa KDei’s two offerings (Mansa, and Brother Brother), rank high among the most legitimate hits the year offered. At the same time, it was Shatta Wale’s year too (when has it never been, really? The last five years have seen him churn out genuine chart toppers with an extended lifespan that is uncharacteristic of pop songs nowadays. Kakai, Chop Kiss, and Mahama Paper are perhaps the clearest examples. Wisa Greid’s Ekiki Mi, Atom’s Y3 Wo Krom, Stonebwoy’s Go Higher and Mightylele, as well as E.L’s Koko also garnered an overwhelming quality of recall too.
This year’s hits have come from familiar occupants: Shatta Wale, Sarkodie, Stonebwoy, E.L, Joey B, Guru, maybe. But new faces as Dee Aja, Article Wan, and Y FM’s DJ Vision have distinguished themselves in a way that cannot be contested.
Admittedly, lists are never fully embraced, because they’re never really exhausted. But in the words of Sarkodie, “everybody got choices”. Here are ten songs that have unquestionably held 2016 in place:
1. Grind –DJ Vision ft. AI
AI’s performance on the Dj Vision song is so powerful; it has (thankfully) brought him much-needed visibility, for what’s contained in his vocal chords is truly unique. The way he fuses old with contemporary elements in his sound is just brilliant.
Released on July 7, Grind has maintained a spot on respectable charts/playlists till this day.
2. RNS –Sarkodie
RNS (Rich Nigger Shit), Sarkodie reveals, was released without his knowledge by constant collaborator and producer friend PossiGee, and we are thankful that happened. He also submits that left to him, the song (produced by the budding MOG Beatz) would have been laying about, unpublished. As soon as it dropped, it was a hit.
A blistering dance-ready track which certainly comes in handy this Christmas, it has already been covered by industry colleagues including Ras Kuuku, Tinny, and Strongman Burner. Fa Sor Hor quickly followed its heels, and is achieving just as potent, an appeal.
3. Kaa Bu Ame – E.L
Released days after he was adjudged VGMA Artist of the Year, E.L’s Kaa Bu Ame ( a response to sceptics of his feats) has steadily gained ground, making it unto the playlist of esteemed media outfits and regular folk alike.
Apart from the flavoursome groove it arrives in, it is also a wide favourite because its subject matter resonates with many — Kaa Bu Ame mirrors the challenge of having to deal with contempt on a daily basis, but is reassuring at the same time.
4. You & Me – Joey B
Produced by Kuvie, You x Me is one reason we look forward to Joey B’s debut 89 so keenly. Published in May, it is the first single of the project, and though other equally brilliant songs have been announced since then, You x Me remains special. Maybe it’s due to the touching saxophone, maybe it’s due to the artistically daring video. Maybe it’s all that sadness we identify with so easily. Whatever it is, the song is one of the most significant songs to have been released this year.
READ MORE: On Joey B’s You x Me
5. Solo – Article Wan
Once a song covers ground in coastal hotspots as Jamestown, Labadi, Teshie and Nungua, you know the rest of the city is ready for it: Broken Heart, Leebi Tso, Ekiiki Mi, Dormi Tamor Sorng… You would think that Article Wan’s Solo came from nowhere, but it has made extensive rounds on the streets, and earned verification.
6. People Dey – Stonebwoy
Stonebwoy’s People Dey has also been on regular rotation since its release somewhere in May. Steered mainly by valiant trumpets, the song is a declaration of his musical capacity and efforts. His efforts have been obvious this year too, and it will be unsurprising to see him shortlisted for VGMA Artist of the Year for instance. His other offerings this year include Problem, By Grace and Any Day.
7. Mahama Paper
Though Shatta Wale’s Mahama Paper was released last year, it has maintained a firm presence in the most played songs this year. An extra boost came with the NDC adopting it as a de-facto campaign song.
8. Obordobidi – Shatta Wale
It’s a witty title, and comes in playful groove. What does Obordobidi mean? And while we are at it, what does Kpuu Kpaa mean? But that’s Shatta Wale for you. He knows how to orchestrate a hit, by trusted means or not.
9. Samba – Guru ft. Singlet
Produced by Willis Beatz, NKZ frontman Guru’s Samba inspires the spirited gyrations we live for. Featuring Black Avenue Muzik act Singlet, and like many of his songs over the years, cannot be left out of a credible playlist. Samba is off Guru’s Gold album.
10. Onaapo – Dee Aja
Composed purposely for the NDC’s election campaign, the song has mysteriously become the most popular song in the country currently. Once Nana Akufo – Addo was declared winner of this yea’s polls, Onaapo became “official victory song”. It has earned him spots on major platforms including the recently-held Ovation Carols event in Nigeria, and Citi FM‘s Decemba 2 Rememba slated for December 24.
So, what are your top songs for this year?