Minimalism goes a long way on “Infinity,” which demonstrates that a sing-song melody and a persistent beat are more than enough for a gently propulsive hit. P.Priime, the producer behind “Infinity,” managed to create a song with hardly any other instruments aside from voice and percussion. A keyboard stabs occasionally in the background, but Olamide and Lay do the heavy lifting, repeating the song’s title in pretty, cascading permutations.
“Infinity” appeared on Olamide’s Carpe Diem album last month. The single has been especially popular in Nigeria the last three weeks, while Carpe Diem has quietly amassed more than 85 million streams worldwide. The album helped push Olamide into the Top Ten on Rolling Stone‘s Breakthrough 25 chart.
That suggests that Olamide is reaching new heights in the U.S., but he has been prominent in Nigeria for nearly a decade. In 2012, he founded the YNBL Nation label, which went on to sign rising stars like Fireboy DML. Earlier this year, Olamide announced that YNBL entered into a distribution deal with the U.S. company Empire, the latest in a series of alignments between American and Nigerian music companies.
Olamide has been keeping an eye on Omah Lay since before the young singer released his debut EP in May. “His sound is fresh, and he does a lot of what we call slanging,” Olamide says. “I had loads of friends growing up from Port Harcourt [a city south of Lagos], and every time he and I talk it reminds me of them because their slang is way different than Lagos slang. The way he uses words and lines is different from the way regular people from Lagos do their music. That’s why the guy stands out.”
Lay is now working with the Warner imprint Sire Records. He also appeared with DJ Tunez, Wizkid, and Adekunle Gold on “Pami,” a dreamy highlight from August.