Wande Coal Previews 'Realms' EP With Brassy 'Ode Lo Like'

After remaining relatively quiet for most of 2019, the Nigerian singer Wande Coal released a new single titled “Ode Lo Like” on Thursday. The track marks Coal’s first release through Empire, and it precedes the Realms EP — the first project from the singer since 2015 — which is due out March 6.

“Ode Lo Like” builds around a sinuous guitar line and cheerful synth-horns from producers Dapiano and Screwface. “‘Ode Lo Like’ is a [Nigerian] phrase which means ‘They love fools,’” Coal explains. “It’s a street [slang] generated for people taking advantage of entertainers and ‘cool personalities’ and seeing them as fools, and liking them because they are easily accessed and [they] easily give in. I’m saying: They love fools, but we are not fools — we know what we are doing.”

Coal is the latest Nigerian singer to earn a deal with an American label or distribution company. RCA has signed Davido and Wizkid, Atlantic has Burna Boy, Columbia briefly had a deal with Tekno, and Santi is now affiliated with LVRN. Tina Davis, VP of A&R at Empire, called Coal “a true star and incredibly talented writer.” 

“Ode Lo Like” follows “Vex,” a buzzing single released quietly in November. Other than, Coal has restricted himself to guest verses on other singer’s tracks.

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