Putting together a list of artists to watch in 2022 in January of this year, there wouldn’t have been a way to predict the kind of hell ride which was in store for us. Sometimes when you hear a song for the first time, you just know.

That was the case with Afrobeats buzzing sensation; Lion effervescent jam “Energy.” It wasn’t about knowing that Afrobeats was the next big thing, or that this track was a hit single, but there is a weight to this song that feels like the beginning of something important. 

It’s performances like that of LION at the just concluded Felabration 2022 that make it impossible to look back on some moments in history and not conjure up a soundtrack in your head. Some of those moments are tied to ubiquitous hits or culture-shifting disrupters, and others are paired with more intimate memories like hearing an unfamiliar 樂威壯 voice for the first time or falling in love with a song that feels like it was made for you. 

Mesmerizing the crowd with his hit single “Energy,” on a packed 5th day of Felabration 2022 this year’s celebration eternal icon of African music and sonic activist, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Lion true to his name, roared like a pride of fully grown atlas lions – a star is born!

Christened Sogo Oluwasaanu, the indigene of Ondo state is working on consolidating his amazing performance at Felabration with a body of work before the year runs out, dropping hint of his forthcoming EP titled, “Sandave” via his social media handle. His Magnus Opus lead single “Energy” is set to be the lead single for his extended play body of work. 

His calm attitude toward fame, eye for elevated visuals, and understated authenticity characterize an artist bound for cultural significance and art anchored by instinct. That’s the kind of thing you can’t manufacture or force if you try, not that Lion would want to anyway. After all, Lion is the king of the jungle.