From the list of Vevo DSCVR Artists to Watch 2023, Nigeria’s Kulosa crooner, Oxlade performs the DJ Coublon-produced “More” track from the 2021 Eclipse extended play with Troniq music.
Whether it was the glossy guitars, tropical chorus harmonies, or Oxlade’s insistent vocal delivery, “Away” caught lots of ears when it arrived a few year’s back. One pair belonged to Drake, who went so far as to show love to the Afrobeat confection on Insta. Months later, Rolling Stone named it a top 50 song of 2020; to date, “Away” has more than 13 million streams. Vibe with Oxlade for a bit and you’ll quickly notice the Nigerian upstart’s mastery of minimalism and repetition. 2022’s “I Want You” finds the singer repeating the title phrase like a hypnotist. Born and raised in Lagos, Ikuforiji Abdulrahman Olaitan’s music career truly began while studying history at the city’s university. Having been a choir kid, he kept his passion for music alive during school by dropping a couple tracks on Soundcloud. “Shugar” in particular caught a small viral wave, and the response was strong enough for a further push: Olaitan vanished, Oxlade appeared in his place. Lately, Oxlade has honed his craft with singles and collabs. This summer another “moment” arrived. With a smile plastered on his face, the 25-year-old cruised through a COLORS performance of “KU LO SA.” Was he grinning because he knew that in the near future the clip would earn more than 40 million views? Maybe. After all, confidence checks in as Oxlade’s biggest strength. In these Artist To Watch performances of “Away” and “More” – not only does the guy clearly love what he’s doing, he’s also spreading good vibes as he does it. “I don’t call Afrobeats a genre. I call it a way of life. It’s a movement. It’s an umbrella that covers every African artist,” he says. As African pop music continues to explode around the world, Oxlade’s perspective should have fans feeling good with him holding it down at the forefront.