Some Of Our Favourite projects of 2023 featuring [@Asakemusik], [@JordanWard], [@EnnyIntegrity], [@Kelela] & more

Some Of Our Favourite projects of 2023 featuring [@Asakemusik], [@JordanWard], [@EnnyIntegrity], [@Kelela] & more

The second half of the year is in full swing but, before we anticipate all the new music that we’re going to get in the rest of this year, here are some of our favourite projects that dropped in the first half of 2023. 

Amaarae – Fountain Baby

Since the release of her debut album ‘The Angel You Don’t Know’ in November 2020, Amaarae has been taking the world by storm with her otherworldly vocals and eclectic production style. Three years later, the Ghanaian songstress has returned with her innovative sophomore album, Fountain Baby. The 15 track album is filled with Japanese inspired folk melodies, stellar production by high-prow producers and a fusion of dream pop, R&B and punk-rock sounds. Fan favourites include ‘Big Steppa’, ‘Co-Star’, ‘Reckless & Sweet’ and ‘Princess Going Digital’. If you’re looking for an album that is filled with poetic lyrics and boundless sounds, Fountain Baby is the album for you. 

Asake – Work Of Art

Since the release of his breakthrough EP ‘Ololade Asake’, Asake caught our attention with the feel-good track ‘Omo Ope’ featuring Nigerian Superstar Olamide. He then captured the airwaves with the release of the ‘Sungba’ remix featuring Burna Boy and a string of singles including ‘Palazzo’ and ‘Peace Be Unto You’. His debut album, ‘Mr Money With The Vibe’ solidified his exceptional 2022 run. Less than a year after his debut album, ‘Work of Art’ presents Asake operating at an entirely new level. With the production still majourly led by Magicsticks, Asake paints a picture of his new technicolour reality with each song. Fan favourites include ‘Lonely At The Top’, ‘Remember’, ‘Amapiano’ and ‘Basquiat’. If you’re looking for the afrobeats album filled with hip-hop adjacent sounds that could be the soundtrack for the rest of your summer, ‘Work Of Art’ should be your go-to!

BOJ – Gbagada Express Vol 2: Moving Mad

Starting out as one-third of the pioneering alte musical group DRB LasGidi, BOJ is known for his distinctive vocals. After the release of five projects over the years, BOJ’s latest effort is the follow up to his 2022 album ‘Gbagada Express’. ‘Gbagada Express Vol 2’ features the likes of Arya Starr, Afro-Grime sensation Odumodublvck, Tay Iwar and British rapper Knucks.


BLK ODYSSY – Diamonds & Freaks 

‘Diamonds and Freaks’ was BLK ODYSSY’s anticipated second full-length album. This album is lovely blend of Soul, Hip Hop, Funk, Pop and R&B. Narrated by Keisha Plum (from Griselda’a collective) and legendary singer/songwriter and producer Bootsy Collins, the album is split into four chapters presented as an erotic novel which tells the story of a man held captive by his lustful addictions. The artful storytelling through captivating lyrics shows the moral back-and-forth we all experience between working hard for our success and the tempting desires that can (if we’re not careful) hold us back. Features include Cory Henry, Kirby, Rapsody, The Alchemist, Grace Sorensen and STOUT, with fan favorites including ‘Summer In The Rain’, ‘ODEE’ and ‘Pink Marmalade’. 

Bloody Civillian – Anger Management 

Singer/songwriter and producer Bloody Civillian has been solidifying her place within the Nigerian music since the release of her debut single ‘How To Kill A Man’ in October 2022. Since then, she has gone on to featuring in various projects such as Native Sound System’s ‘NATIVEWORLD’ album and also collaborating with Afrobeats sensation Rema on ‘Wake Up’ for the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever sound track. Her debut EP ‘Anger Management’ showcases her signature style as well as her thoughts and feelings on her country, herself and the world around her as it changes and transforms. 

ENNY – We Go Again

Following on from the success of her debut project ‘Under Twenty Five’ released in 2021, British Rapper, singer and songwriter ENNY returned with her latest project titled ‘We Go Again’. The six track EP includes one feature from fellow rapper Loyle Carner on the last track ‘Take It Slow’. Fan favourites from this project are the singles ‘No More Naija Men’ and ‘Charge It’. 

Jordan Ward – FORWARD

‘FORWARD’ was one of the most anticipated R&B albums of 2023 and it sure did deliver! Jordan Ward seamlessly blends a range of sounds, while also stamping his unique R&B flair on every track. With features from the likes of Gwen Bunn, Ryan Trey, Lido and Joyce Wrice, this album is such an easy listen- you’ll definitely have this on repeat!

Kelela – Raven

Six years on from her last album ‘Take Me Apart’, Kelela’s latest offering ‘Raven’ portrays the narrative of redemption and self-reflection. This body of work is definitely a blend of 90s R&B tones along with Kelela’s light, airy vocals lacing each and every track. With Rahrah Gabor being the sole feature on this project, ‘Raven’ is Kelela’s moment to show how much she has evolved and grown since her last project in 2017. 

Summer Walker – CLEAR 2: SOFT LIFE EP

Summer Walker’s last project ‘Still Over It’, told the story of her complicated relationship with her producer and her then-boyfriend London On Da Track during the stages of her pregnancy. Since then, the Summer’s artistry has transformed, which birthed her latest project ‘CLEAR 2: SOFT LIFE EP’. The follow up project in her CLEAR series shows her leaving all feelings of heartbreak behind and embracing her healing. With features from J.Cole and Childish Gambino, this EP is an exciting indicator of what to expect in Summer’s upcoming album. Summer’s introspective lyrics and exceptional vocal ability show why her projects always resonate with her fans. 

Pheelz – Pheelz Good EP

The ‘Pheelz Good’ EP is an eclectic mix of R&B and Pop along with Fuji and Street-Pop influences merged into one. After the release of his global hit ‘Finesse’ in 2022, Pheelz has really been living in all the success that followed and this EP is a testament of that. Every song takes a nostalgic look at his dreams while reflecting and basking in gratitude on how they’ve come true. While this EP does feature ‘Finesse’, it also features another up-tempo fan favourite, ‘Electricity’ featuring Davido. 

Tendai – & three.two

Tendai is known for his boundary-pushing approach to music and that is seen in his two three-track EPs ‘’ and ‘three.two’. ‘’ touches more on the state of his relationship while ‘three.two’ touches on the confusion around growing up and the beginning of self indulgence. The storytelling in both EPs paired with the seamless production makes for such an enjoyable listen. 

Some of our honourable mentions include: Binki – ‘Antennae’, Khamari – ‘A Brief Nirvana’, Jessie Ware – ‘That! Feels Good!’ and Q – ‘Soul, PRESENT’. If you do check these projects out, let us know what you think! 

You can discover more from GUAP’s music section here.