Joeboy’s “Baby,” released earlier this year, is a beam of contentment. “I’m always making really happy music,” Joeboy says, and it has worked for him — “Baby” is a breakout hit, with over 20 million streams this year spread across YouTube and Spotify.
But Joeboy changes course on “Don’t Call Me Back,” a collaboration with Mayorkun that deals with the potentially vengeful aftermath of a relationship. The instrumental “brought out a different emotion,” Joeboy says. “That made me reach for one of my past realities.”
He lays out the scenario: “I was really into this girl, she don’t like me no more, she’s on to another person, I feel bad about it, but at the end of the day, I tell her not to call me back when she finds out I’m with someone else too.”
“People are like that sometimes,” Joeboy adds. “Once they find out you’re ok without them, they want you back.”
Joeboy was an early participant in emPawa Africa, a talent incubation initiative started last year by the Nigerian star Mr. Eazi. After completing the program, Joeboy released “Baby,” and the track promptly charted on Apple Music in multiple countries.
His next solo release was “Beginning,” which also detailed romantic infatuation — “I want your heart and soul and your own body too,” Joeboy sings. “I can’t let you go.” The singer says “Beginning” is now doing even better than its predecessor: “The numbers are actually growing faster than the way ‘Baby’ did.”
“Don’t Call Me Back” is the work of the producer Beats by KO.