Monday Music: Uplifting Afropop

Boost your mood as you battle the winter blues

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“Monday Music” in orange block text on a yellow rectangular background with rounded corners and an orange border.
Monday Music: your weekly themed playlist. Image courtesy of The Peak.

By: Balqees Jama, SFU Student

Listening to Afropop makes me wish I fully understood Pidgin so I could get even more lost in its euphonic bliss. Afrobeats is an umbrella genre of contemporary pop and music from Nigeria, Ghana, and their diaspora. Afrobeats is not to be confused with “Afrobeat” (without the “s”), which is a genre created by Fela Kuti and Tony Allen in the 1970s. Some modern Afrobeats artists distinguish their music as Afropop or Afrofusion, which is a lively blend of complex musical elements and influences. Here’s some of the best Afropop songs released in 2022 to soothe and empower you through winter. 

Listen to the full playlist on The Peak’s Spotify profile.

“Cast (Gen Z Anthem)” by Ayra Starr 
Photo courtesy of Mavin Records

“Cast (Gen Z Anthem)” is an expression of freedom and a promise by Starr to live her life authentically at her own pace. With a distinct vocal style, she tells off people who don’t approve of her newfound freedom and tells them to judge if they want. Starr sends a wake up call to herself and others by dismantling the weight of society’s senseless expectations, while seizing opportunities and blessings with no shame.

“KU LO SA  (A Colors Show Performance)” by Oxlade
Photo courtesy of Epic

“KU LO SA” is a play on the word “closer.” The premise of the song is simple: Oxlade sings his heart out for a girl he loves. The magic of “KU LO SA” lies in the artistry Oxlade infuses into his production. The sounds are tactfully and intricately layered, giving me goosebumps every time I listen. His live performance on A Colors Show showcases Oxlade’s voice control, including his effortless usage of riffs, runs, and falsettos. This winter, let “KU LO SA” be the warm, harmonious hug you didn’t know you needed.

“Good Times” by Aṣa feat. The Cavemen
Photo courtesy of Platoon

“Good Times” is a sweet ode to friendships. In this gentle concoction of Highlife melody and instrumentals, Aṣa feat. The Cavemenfuse African genres with rock, jazz, hip-hop, and pop music. They share appreciation for their sincere connections and yearn to be with their dear friends. They describe cherished qualities of friends that you may not even find in your own biological family, including integrity and loyalty. This song always makes me think of close friends that I miss and long to be with.