Valentine’s Day is upon us but much like every other special occasion we’ve celebrated in the last year, it’s set to look very different from what we’re used to.
The love holiday with romantic connotations will have to be celebrated indoors or virtually by many of us as current Covid-19 restrictions forbid us from visiting hotels, restaurants and spas like in previous years.
Whether you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day indoors with your love, virtually via video chat or you’re nursing a broken heart in anticipation of your next intimate adventure, take in our list of 14 Valentine’s Day essential bangers.
Chip – “Lockdown”
Taking his talents to DJ Frass’ Lockdown Riddim which also features Mavado and Shenseea, Chip offers us a dancehall love song here as he serenades his bae.
Delivered in his unique melodic tone and offering patois-tinged bars, Chip paints a beautiful and aspirational picture as he describes an amorous relationship filled with mutual affection, respect, luxury and sexual chemistry.
Jorja Smith featuring Popcaan “Come Over”
Following on with the dancehall theme is this collaboration from Jorja Smith and Popcaan.
Not all Valentine’s Day couplings are as simple as we’d like – sometimes there’s confusion, insecurity, apprehension and anxiety.
“Come Over” conveys the insecurity that many youthful relationships embody and for this reason, its relatable themes make it the perfect addition to your Valentine’s Day playlist.
Stefflon Don “Can’t Let You Go”
Likely inspired by her relationship with Burna Boy, Stefflon Don offers an afrobashment inspired bop here that touches on attachment, compatibility and raunchy encounters.
Offering some Yoruba bars on this track, Steff shares and embodies her beau’s culture – perfectly exemplifying what love and Valentine’s Day is all about.
B Young – “Ride For Me”
This new offering from B Young is a tearjerker.
Thanks to its stripped-back instrumental and B Young’s emotive lyricism, “Ride For Me” is sure to become a wedding favourite thanks to its warm energy, it’s depictions of commitment and its open vulnerability.
Ray BLK featuring Ivorian Doll “Lovesick”
Valentine’s Day isn’t filled with rose petals and chocolate-covered strawberries for everyone.
Ray BLK’s “Lovesick” is a confident and assertive offering that hears Ray and IVD take back control from a toxic and unfulfilling relationship.
If you’re single this Valentine’s Day as you’re newly empowered, seek solace and inspiration from this track – your Cinderella Story will come around soon enough.
Teks Sinatra – “Same Old Number”
Perhaps you’re spending the Valentine’s season angry and scored over an ex. Everyone’s been there, hold tight.
This new offering from Teks which is taken from his debut EP Home For Winter perfectly articulates the confusing feelings that come with breakups.
What does it sound like to be angry, hateful and jealous – yet in love and remorseful at the same time? Teks evidences it perfectly.
Take your time and process your emotions. The Maggie and sprite that Teks suggests might help but we wouldn’t recommend it.
Miraa May – “Woman Like Me”
Miraa May often offers us romantic bangers and “Woman Like Me” is no different.
With Miraa’s high pitch and the jazz instrument incorporating instrumental, “Woman Like Me” perfectly embodies the euphoric feelings and the high that comes with being in love.
The track replicates swooning and with the bubbling passion embedded within it, “Woman Like Me” is an essential Valentine’s Day track.
Frosty – “Free Bae” featuring Dirtbike Lb
Frosty’s “Free Bae” is UK drill’s answer to the infamous Bonnie and Clyde narrative as this track is Frosty’s ode to his partner in crime.
With declarations of loyalty and bars that call attention to his partner’s most alluring traits, “Free Bae” is a perfect example of a roadmantic banger thanks to its combination of raw trap life themes and romantic depictions.
Abra Cadabra featuring Dirtbike LB and Young Adz – “You”
This offering from Abra Cadabra and D Block Europe iss an explanatory track in which the guys attempt to balance the roughness and grit that comes with their lifestyles with the softness and vulnerability that comes with being a lover.
A tough balancing act for sure but Abra, LB and Adz depict both contrasting sides on this track and present a duality that many will relate to.
Headie One featuring Mahalia – “You/Me”
Another drill artist with a romantic side is Headie One.
Taken from his album debut Edna, “You/Me” calls on Mahalia for warm vocals as Headie One battles with fidelity, devotion and loyalty.
Headie dedicates the first verse to his beau as he serenades her with a loving shower of compliments.
“You/Me” is the perfect track to dedicate to a love one should your own words and feelings be hard to articulate.
NSG – “Lupita”
Named after Hollywood actress Lupita Nyong’o, NSG’s “Lupita” is a soft and sweet celebration of black beauty and black love.
“Lupita” merges together elements of jazz and R&B along with NSG’s afrobashment origins and the result is a versatile offering that calls for admiration of beauty and sensuality.
Alicai Harley – “I Just Wanna Know”
This new offering from Alicai showcases her duality thanks to its combination of Alicai’s strong vocals and her bars.
The track touches on themes of uncertainty and insecurity – two unfortunate elements that often embody our youthful relationships.
Alicai questions her lover on this track and specifically evaluates his loyalty – something you’ll hopefully be doing long before Valentine’s Day.
Tiana Major9 – “…Exclusively”
This offering from one of the UK’s most prolific voices is a Valentine’s Day essential.
Drawing on themes of monogamy and devotion, Tiana shoots her shot on this one with confidence as she demands a committed relationship from her lover.
With lyrics about falling in love and asking her potential bae if he’s there too, the track is vulnerable and brave.
One Acen – “Fugazi”
Again conveying insecurity, uncertainty and a need for validation, One Acen asks his lover to prove her loyalties on this one before he offloads his fantasies.
Acen talks about luxurious foreign holidays, starting a family and asks for transparency.
With Acen asking for society’s idealistic monogamous expectations here, “Fugazi” is sure to resonate with many this Valentine’s Day.