Niniola, the Nigerian singer known for danceable hits like “Sicker” and “Maradona,” adds spark to “Love Me,” the latest track from the producer Juls.
Like many Juls songs, “Love Me” is a deft hybrid of traditional instrumentation and modern programming. A saxophone plays skronking lines, cutting and slicing through the track; a guitar picks out a series of pretty riffs that bound forward and then come to a sudden halt, like a car speeding up to a stop sign. But the tone of the programmed bass line, hollow and slightly ominous, nods to the dance style known as amapiano, which became popular only recently.
In a statement, Juls described “Love Me” as “spiritual” and called Niniola “one of my favorite African artists.” “I threw in some elements of South African amapiano,” he added. “It’s all about the global sound of Africa for me right now.”
“Love Me” follows on the heels of “Chance,” a Juls track featuring Projexx and Tay Iwar. Both songs are set to appear on an album from Juls later this year. The producer has been putting out music regularly for close to a decade, working with stars like Mr. Eazi, Wizkid, Burna Boy, and more; his last release, the Happy Place EP, came out in 2020.
Niniola reached a new level of international fame when Beyoncé paid tribute to “Maradona” on The Lion King: The Gift. She put out her sophomore album, Colours and Sounds, in 2020.