We’re halfway into the year, and we still haven’t gotten official singles from three of the leading afropop stars in the game – Wizkid, Tiwa Savage and Davido have all settled for features that, while still solid, don’t have the same pull as a definitive solo offering.
This has made 2019 a veritable free-for-all, with regards to the songs dominating the airwaves, and a lot of rising stars have taken full advantage. One of such up-and-comers is Joseph Akinfenwa Donus (aka Joeboy), who’s dropped one of the biggest songs of the year: "Baby"
Just like Rema’s "Dumebi" and Fireboy DML’s "Jealous" – two of the biggest songs of 2019 so far, also by newcomers – Joeboy’s "Baby" is the kind of undeniable breakout hit that ensures fans will be on high alert, waiting to see what the promising singer does next.
Speaking with Konbini about how his musical journey began, Joeboy said:
"I started music as a hobby, but then I recorded a cover of Ed Sheeran's 'Shape of You'. It went viral, and that was how I met Mr Eazi."
One of the two Nigerians selected for Mr Eazi’s emPawa Africa – created by the banku singer to turn "emerging [African] artists into global superstars" – Joeboy is already the initiatives most visible star, nabbing over 5 million views on the visualizer for "Baby".
About how "Baby" came to be, he continued:
"'Baby' wasn’t even supposed to be my first single of the year, as I already had a song ready with a top Ghanaian act.
Then I met Dera, the man who produced 'Baby', and we linked up. I sent the song to Mr Eazi, he previewed it on his social media and people seemed to really like it."
Prior to the release of the career-defining hit, Joeboy and Mr Eazi had already teamed up for 2018’s "Faaji" – a fantastic track that, while not nearly as popular as "Baby", gave those who were paying attention a pretty solid idea of what the singer was capable of.
Influenced by hit-makers like Wizkid, Mr Eazi and Burna Boy – the latter ranking high on his list of dream collaborators – it’s no surprise Joeboy hasn’t dropped a forgettable track. His SoundCloud is stacked with gems he’s sure people will continue to discover as his star rises.
And like those three stars, all revered for making the songs they feature on infinitely better, Joeboy is also a fantastic collaborator, standing out on a bunch of tracks from the past year, including GuiltyBeatz’s "Fire", ShodyTheTurnUpKing’s "Shayo" and DJ Voyst’s "Gbese".
About what his growing fan base should anticipate, Joeboy concluded:
"Expect more from me. More music. More collaborations. I will also be dropping an EP soon."