#BumpThis: Barry Jhay’s “Melanin”

June 23, 2019

There’s so much music out there that it’s hard for even the most loyal fans to stay up with their favourite artists or what’s new and hot right now. That’s why we’ve created #BumpThis – a daily series that features the one song you need to listen to, every day. Don’t say we never did anything for you.


It took one single for Barry Jhay’s vocal ability to become apparent. Sung mostly in Yoruba, “Aiye”, his official debut, was one of the biggest crossover songs of 2018. But anyone who felt the Surulere-born singer would be under the pressure of heightened expectations need not have worried.

After a year of sleeper hits, Barry makes his claim to the summer with “Melanin”, an upbeat celebration of black beauty. It is a testament to his strengths – Barry flexes his vocal chords like we know he can – that also shows how fluid he can get.

“I’m in love with this African woman, I don’t know”, Barry seems totally bewildered by this woman who could be from South Africa, closer home in Ghana, or down east in Tanzania.

Barry glides on production that is lush and celebratory by Tee-Y Mix. Beach clubs & bars will play this one for a while this summer. But what makes it also fit for a personal listen and gives it replay value is that Barry’s songwriting asks to follow his lead, in a matter that reminds one of 9ice and another of his influences, Chronixx.

It’s not a mix that you’d expect of someone you’d consider a street pop artist – which makes sense because he isn’t – and “Melanin” is easy proof that Barry can insert his love of Yoruba tradition and panegyric lyrics into modern pop and dancehall music.

“Barry Back”, his debut body of work, will be released in December 2019, and if his recent releases are anything to go by, it will be a rich update of traditional pop and the indigent culture that has inspired it for decades.

He’s always had big shoes to fill – and there’s no reason to think Barry Jhay won’t.

Stream Barry Jhay’s “Melanin” here.

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

korede bello's sun momi
February 12, 2020

Korede Bello — “Sun Momi” There was a time Korede Bello was Mavin Records’ MVP, doling out monster hit after monster hit. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case for a while now, with none of his recent releases gaining adequate momentum. Well, with his first single of 2020, “Sun Momi”, it seems the afropop star […]

April 2, 2020

For years, the talented producer, BankyOnDBeatz has been bringing out the absolute best in all the stars he’s worked with — an impressive list that includes Niniola, Lady Donli, Tomi Thomas and more. Now, he’s teamed up with frequent collaborator, Muyiwa for a brand new project, Hard Guy — a 6-track EP that thoughtfully documents […]

July 22, 2019

Nigerian folk singer, Mobelieve’s indigenous aesthetic has been described as many things. Some view him as ‘shalte’, the descriptor given to artists who tether the line between the retro alte subculture and more contemporary or ‘shepeteri’ influences. For others, the extremes he combines are farther apart. Mo’Believe is a child of two significant eras of […]

Watch

Now on Zikoko

Recommended Quizzes

how tall are you
March 11, 2020

Did your parents give you enough beans when you were growing up? If they did, then you’re probably around 6’0″ and above. Either way, we created a quiz that can guess your current height (pretty accurately, if we do say so ourselves). Take to see if we nailed it:

What are you like in a relationship?
February 7, 2020

Your taste in music can say a lot about you, and this time, it’s going to reveal what you are like in a relationship. So, pick a few of your favourite Nigerian love songs, and we’ll let you know if you’re typically a distant, passionate or unbothered partner. Here you go:

November 30, 2019

With No Nut November FINALLY coming to an end, we’ve decided to mark the torturous month with some more horny content. After quizzes that guessed how many people you’ve slept with, how good you are in bed and who you’ll sleep with next, this one will guess when next you’ll get lucky. Take it to […]

April 3, 2020

While the rest of the world loves to treat our continent like a country, there are actually 54 African countries. So, in a bid to test your knowledge (and educate you), we’ve created a quiz to see how many of their capitals you can correctly name. Go ahead:

More from #BumpThis

August 14, 2020

Crayon- Do Me Mavin’s talented artist, Crayon has once again showed just how talented he is with his new single, “Do Me”. Nice, progressive love song about he’d jealously guard his babe through thick and thin. Fire. Fireboy DML- Tattoo Whoa…Fireboy released this single with a Clarence Peters directed video, and if you’re going to […]

July 24, 2020

Fireboy DML — “ELI” Following the success of his first single of 2020, the impressive “New York City Girl”, Fireboy DML is back with the even stronger “ELI” — an infectious reminder of the rising star’s enviable range.  Kida Kudz — “Buga” ft. Falz & Joey B Kida Kudz is one of the most consistent […]

Watch

Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

September 13, 2022
Vs The World is a Zikoko original video series that follows best friends Astor and Hassan as they take on the world.
August 23, 2022
Zikoko Ships is a Zikoko Original series where we invite two people who share a relationship to play the Zikoko card games
December 14, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.
X