Tuesday, 23 April 2024
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Most Anticipated Afrobeats Albums Of 2024: What we Expect

Happy new year to everyone and welcome to a new dispensation. With the dawn of a new year, holds new expectations and heralds a new age and era in the ever growing music zeitgest of the country. 2023 was quite a year for album releases and a very busy one at that.

We had heavyweights, new generation superstars and even niche stars dropping albums every other week. It’s too early to say 2024 would follow suit in terms of a packed schedule, but we already have a handful of superstars set to drop much anticipated albums, this year and in this article we would be highlighting them and also speculating on what we can expect from these upcoming albums.

1. Burna Boy – I Told Them, Pt. 2

The title is not exactly set in stone, as we haven’t gotten a full proof confirmation but on an IG live last year, Odogwu revealed that his 7th studio album, I Told Them had a second part and would most likely be released this year, which would in turn make it his third album in three years. It won’t be uncharted territory for Burna, as he’s done something similar in the past with the consecutive releases of Outside, African Giant and Twice As Tall in the space of three years.

On the issue of what to expect though, if the album is indeed a second part of ITD and not a brand new album, then we can expect similar sonic soundscapes that sees the fusion of Afrobeat and pop templates with Hip-Hop and RnB. Maybe there might even be more tasteful samples to get excited about. As for the expected date though, we speculate it would arrive in Q3 as all Burna’s albums since 2019 did.


2. The Tems Debut Album

Talk about a debut album that’s long overdue. Tems’s success as Afrobeats most seamless export has been nothing but groundbreaking and unprecedented. With a quite sparse demography compared to her peers, the Afro-R&B superstar has accomplished a hell lot and that puts it into perspective just how significant her debut album would be. It’s of course going to consolidate on the amazing run she’s had in the western space and hopefully capitalize on that to cement her as a mainstay in the global industry, whilst also hopefully endearing her to home audiences also.

The roll out of the album pretty much kicked off last year, with an interview hosted by Kendrick Lamar himself and although the discourse mostly revolved round Tems’s state of mind and her sonic identity, there was indeed the confirmation that the album is on its way. After that, Tems herself revealed in a tweet that she’ll be “going offline when the album drops.” The date though is something that would be difficult to speculate, although it probably wouldn’t exceed Q2 since 2 singles have been released already.

3. Fireboy DML’s Fourth Album

You can’t omit Fireboy in a discussion on new generation artistes with brilliant discographies. His first 2 albums released in the space of 8 months, are pretty much certified classics at this point. Although there were very mixed receptions to his third studio album, Playboy, the album produced multiple smash hit songs and is still one of the most streamed Afrobeats album of all time. So of course, a new Fireboy album is sure to get people excited.

For his own standards, 2023 was a quiet year for Fireboy and he noted that in an interview with Contrast magazine and said he’s taken all the lessons and experiences from the year, processed that and poured it into his new album that his fans are surely going to love. It’s hard to speculate what to expect though, but with the release of the RnB-esque Oh My, there was a lot of chatter online about Fireboy reverting to his RnB roots that produced his classic debut album; Laughter, Tears & Goosebumps. As for the release date, the artiste’s last 2 albums have been released in Q3 August and so it might follow the same pattern.

4. Omah Lay’s Sophomore Album

Since the release of Boy Alone and the gradual acceptance of the body of work as a modern classic by casual listeners and music heads alike, Omah Lay has enjoyed a new found wave of momentum that was pivotal to him having a splendid 2023. Soso and Reason were smash hit songs, and Holy Ghost released not so long ago seems to be on the same path. Asides 2021, Omah Lay has released a project every year so it’s safe to assume his sophomore album is naturally on the way and that Holy Ghost is the first single off it.

In a tweet, he also clarified that his sophomore album is on the way and that he’s much happier on it, which indeed fits the sentiment on Holy Ghost, that’s more of a celebration of love than a lament on the lows of heartbreak. As for what to expect, well the artiste has said it himself that the tone would be much brighter and upbeat, so definitely a deeper exploration into the nuanced and vulnerable facets of love, sexual shenanigans and life in general. As for a prospective date, the artiste has favored June for his last 2 releases—Boy Alone and its ensuing deluxe, so the tradition might indeed continue.

5. Ayra Starr’s Sophomore Album

Two years have indeed gone by in a blur, since Ayra Starr released her critically acclaimed debut album, 19 & Dangerous, only 8 months after her entry into the industry with her self titled debut EP. Since then, she’s gone on to claim the pop princess throne for herself in the country and has been mostly unchallenged, beating every other female artiste both commercially and optics wise. She’s a popstar through and through and one that a new album from her is definitely going to herald a new era.

She revealed in a tweet last year, that the album was about 80% done and so it’s safe to assume it’ll pretty much be ready this year. Her last 2 singles are polar opposites in nature, so it’s difficult to predict what’s on the way. Sability is pure pop lamba in its most diluted and almost tasteless form, but it did go on to become a hit. Whilst Rhythm and Blues is an heartfelt, emotive R&B record that was immensely slept on and deserved more. Ayra is a popstar who is an RnB artist, so the direction of her album could go either ways, but it’s most likely going to be a pop album to aide her transition into a full fledged popstar. The album would probably not arrive earlier than Q3, like her last 2 releases.

6. Lojay’s Debut Album

Ever since breaking out with Monalisa in 2021, Lojay has proved himself time and time again that he’s more than earned his relevance in the industry. He might not have multiple hits to his name, but his sheer talent in his vocal prowess, mastery of melodies and his greatest asset in his songwriting—always meant he’s taken seriously from features to his own releases and his sophomore EP, Gangster Romantic didn’t fail to remind us of the fact that he’s an insanely talented artiste that has honed his artistry to the highest level.

Last year, he revealed in a tweet that his debut album is on the way and has now confirmed that it would be released this year. As for the timeline though, we have no idea when it could drop as his last project got released in Q1 and it’s very unlikely the same would follow since no significant rollout for the album has started. The earliest the album could probably arrive is in Q2 and like his previous projects, the album would most likely have R&B/Soul at its crux, with meaninful pop infusions.

7. Oxlade’s Debut Album

This is another album that’s probably long overdue and should have arrived last year, but for certain reasons it didn’t. In a tweet last year, Oxlade pretty much ‘prophesied’ that his album was going to “separate boys from men,” so you know that he indeed means business. As for what to expect, from the previous single and Oxlade’s affinity as an artiste, it would most likely tread the terrain of mid-tempo pop and R&B that would allow his vocals to steal the show. The album’s expected release date could be earlier this year in Q1/Q2, since it was pushed back from last year.

8. ODUMODUBLVCK and the ANTI–WORLD GANGSTARS

Since 2010 with Olamide, the Nigerian Hip-Hop scene has probably not experienced the breakout of a rapper that shook the industry and sent seismic waves rippling all through like it did, last year with ODUMODUBLVCK. And now, the grime rapper who enjoyed a splendid 2023 and released a mixtape that’s on course to notch classic status—is set to release a collaborative tape that would feature a slew of artistes that happen to be in his inner crew.

The exact artists line up is yet to be fixed, although some names have indeed been thrown around. As regards what to expect, it’s definitely going to be a Hip-Hop centric project that blends pop and highlife elements, like ODUMODUBLVCK’S EZIOKWU did. As for when to expect it, the artiste revealed in a tweet that the project is in its song selection phase and so it could indeed arrive soon. Q2 might not be so farfetched, perhaps.

9. Davido – Timeless (Deluxe)

This is not exactly a brand new album, but it’s worth pointing out anyways since it’s the deluxe to 2023’s album of the year. Timeless was one of the most anticipated albums last year and it not only met expectations, but also surpassed them—producing numerous hit songs, breaking streaming records and garnering acclaim in much venerated spaces. The deluxe has been teased as far back as Q3 2023, so it’s definitely getting released this year and I won’t surprised if it’s released approximately a year after the original version, which would mean a Q1 release.

10. Asake’s Third Album

After Fireboy DML with 2019’s Laughter, Tears & Goosebumps and 2020’s Apollo, Asake is the second new generation artiste that has accomplished the incredible feat of back to back classic, debut and sophomore album runs. Work Of Art indeed has a solid stake to being 2023’s album of the year and it also produced the song of the year in Lonely At The Top. Reports came in Q3 last year, that Asake was already hard at work on his third album, thus meaning he’s on the verge of completing a trifecta.

There has been no word from the artiste himself though, so indeed these might be delicate waters but a third Asake album this year isn’t improbable and if it does get released, would come in the Q2/Q3 timeframe. What to expect? We have absolutely no idea, as Mr. Money might have indeed evolved past the Amapiano fusion soundscape but we know an album from him is definitely going to be a rollercoaster, as always.

11. SDC x Cavemen Collaboration Album

This is quite the marrying of two very dynamic duos in the industry. On one side, you have legendary rap veterans with an all-timer discography consisting of hardcore rap projects and a commercial, R&B and Highlife infused album series. On the other hand, you have the innovators and current benchmark of the country’s highlife sonic identity, so you just know that a collaborative effort between this four brilliant minds is a certified classic.

The news was revealed last year and all what we got was that the album is pretty much in existence. A release date is one that’s very hard to speculate on, but given the fact that an announcement is the only thing we’ve gotten, if the album does arrive this year, it would be in the second half and not anytime soon.

Others artistes that have teased albums slated for arrival this year;
Boy Spyce, Peruzzi.

–Written by T.J. Martins, an avid lover of music.

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