New Songs Sunday: Nicki Minaj, Jetta, M.I.A. & more…

This is yet another busy week of releases in popular music. Rapper Megan Thee Stallion drops her second studio album, Traumazine, which is her final release with 1501 Records. 

Singer and viral TikToker, Bella Poarch, releases her 6-track EP, Dolls. And London-based singer-songwriter-producer Jetta suprise drops the LivinEP, a record comprising four old singles and two live performances, which is perfect for the rainy evenings. 

And finally, Natania drops her latest 3-part EP, Take a Look.

Before we explore the new tracks of this week, the honourable mentions are: Madonna and Saucy Santana’s “MATERIAL GWORRLLLLLLLL!”, and a duet by Cian Ducrot and Ella Henderson titled “All For You“.

1. Nicki Minaj – Super Freaky Girl 

Minaj samples America’s beloved classic “Super Freak” by Rick James in this bubbly, sexy single. The rapper seems to have revisited her Pink Friday cuteness with this track, as well as released it on the 11th anniversary of “Anaconda”. There are entertaining bars with Minaj boasting of her “Princess face, killer body, samurai mind”. It seems to be a fan favourite song too, as it’s been reported as the fastest ranking solo female rap song on Spotify. 

2. M.I.A. – Popular

M.I.A. is back with POWA (as they say) with a bodacious reggaeton-inspired beat. Produced by Boaz van de Beats and Diplo, “Popular” is the second single off her forthcoming LP, MATA, which will be released via Island Records. The songwriting is more ambiguous though. Is the rapper talking about how happy and fulfilled she is? Or is she commenting on the social media-fuelled narcissism and celebrity obsession that this generation is grappling with? Knowing the rapper’s penchant for discussing real world issues like cybersecurity, borders and the internet, it won’t be a surprise if she is talking about the latter. “Popular” really energises these rainy days with how catchy and dance-friendly the track is. 

3. Br3nya – Kumasi 

After returning from a stay in Ghana, Br3nya is back to regularly releasing music. And this time, the singer pays homage to one of her favourite Ghanaian cities: Kumasi. “Kumasi represents a metaphorical journey of my recent life experiences and the journey of rediscovering myself”, the British-Ghanaian singer comments. Produced by MADEINPARRIS, Br3nya had been teasing her fans with this track for quite some time. Now that it’s out, we can confidently say that this afrobeat dance song is totally worth waiting for, with its constant repeat-friendly catchiness and bounciness that fondly reflect on the singer’s heritage and cultural roots. 

4. Kate Nash – Wasteman 

The Londoner is back with an empowering pop song about breaking up with a toxic partner, and looking back with a renewed strength. Nash has a knack for trash-centric language, what with her using garbage as a metaphor for her image in “Trash”, and now, branding her ex a “wasteman”. There is an interesting garage mix here too when the beat drops in the first chorus. Nash’s fifth studio album will be out early next year, and include the latest single, along with “Misery”, “Horsie” and “Imperfect”. We can’t wait for it!

5. PinkPantheress, Sam Gellaitry – Picture in my mind 

PinkPantheress is clearly not done playing with the UK garage/electropop genre. “Picture in my mind” has glossy keys and a back and forth between the singer and Scottish producer Sam Gellaitry. The track will be on PinkPantheress’ debut album which is yet to announce its title and release date. 

6. Jetta – Livin’ (Stripped) 

The London-based Liverpudlian singer has surprise dropped her EP, Livin’. While it comprises four previously released songs by Jetta, we do get a bonus live performance and stripped version of her 2020 hit, “Livin'”. It’s sad, sexy and slow which makes use of the singer’s powerfully haunting and evocative signature voice. 

7. Ronald Isley, The Isley Brothers, Beyoncé – Make Me Say It Again, Girl 

Hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio, The Isley Brothers are a family music group which have long entertained the possibility with collaborating with Beyoncé. And now, fresh off the release of her 8th studio album, Renaissance, Beyoncé gets to make her debut duet with this band. “Make Me Say It Again, Girl” is a re-do of the band’s 1975 R&B classic. The remake is seductive, soft and just perfect for a romantic evening. 

8. Santigold – Shake 

“Shake” is the fourth single from the American artist’s anticipated album, Spirituals, which is out September 9. Produced by SBTRKT, “Shake” is “about the feeling in that moment when you feel life flowing through you, the rapture of it all”, Santigold explains. “It’s about our resilience as humans…” 

9. Finn Falcon – Light (feat. BENEE) 

Like a sister song to Joji’s “Afterthought” (featuring BENEE), this alt R&B cut has a soothing, melancholic tone that feels too good, but ends too soon. It’s just like the lyrics which also look at the passing of time from the perspective of young love. Yearning and the craving of intimacy is the central theme of this track. BENEE once again hops on a guest feature but makes the song her own. 

10.Jake Tittle – Nose Bleeds (feat. illuminati hotties) 

LA-based singer-songwriter Jake Tittle collabs with Sarah Tudzin (of illuminati hotties) to pen an indie rock song titled “Nose Bleeds”. The Tittle displays hard-hitting and specific songwriting with minute observation, as he touches upon themes of spending your childhood in an “old-time religion”, recovering from hateful feelings, and living a life anew. A key switch in the second half sees a slowed-down, acoustic-backed ballad with some more painfully relatable feelings. Tittle sings of finding a reason to get out of bed every day and do chores. While Tudzin is a brilliant artist and performer, this song really could be carried by Tittle on his own. The artist has announced his new album, Blood Offering, which is out September 2.

11.SHERWYN, Amber Mark – GODDESS REIGN 

Amber Mark and SHERWYN collaborate on a rhythm & blues number with “bouncy funk and hip hop”. ” GODDESS REIGN” is a tribute to women’s strength and has blissful beat and melody. “I’m blessed to have the women I have in my life who shaped me and continue to do so to this day”, says SHERWYN of the song. “I am thankful to have Amber with me on this joint and I know y’all gonna enjoy!” IThe song is taken from Sherwyn’s much-anticipated Maker’s Design debut. 

12.Pixey – I’m Just High 

“I’m Just High” is the latest song by Pixey which taps into the indie pop rock sound. With its 90s Britpop-inspired flavour and a solid guitar riff, the artist sings about being spellbound by someone. The track is lifted from her forthcoming debut mini-album, Dreams, Pains and Paper Planes, which releases September 30 via Chess Club Records. 

Check out the “New Songs Sunday” playlist on Spotify. 

Also read | Star power failure? ‘Laal Singh Chaddha’, ‘Raksha Bandhan’ under perform at BO


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