The young Nigerian singer Lyta enlisted Davido to add a gritty guest verse to his feathery single “Monalisa.”
“Monalisa” is just the third single from Lyta to appear on Spotify. The original, released in July, is a handsome contradiction, with fierce expressions of yearning — “You get my number I go wait for your call/And if you no call I go wait for your door” — set to a beat so breezy it’s barely there.
If Lyta was in danger of floating away on his own, Davido’s arrival ensures that “Monalisa” remains tethered to earth. His guest verse is full of raspy promises of affection and slathered with harmonies.
It’s been a busy year for Davido, whose springy single “Fall,” originally released in 2017, became a Top 20 radio hit in the U.S. earlier this year. After the breakthrough of “Fall,” radio programmers gave Afro B’s “Drogba (Joanna)” a try, and that became a success in its own right. The latest afrobeats-dusted single to perform well on the airwaves is “Love Riddim,” from Rotimi, an American singer of Nigerian descent. It earned more than four million impressions last week.
As afrobeats has proved its commercial viability in North and South America, artists as big as Beyoncé, J Balvin, and Swae Lee have paid tribute to the genre.