Nigeria’s top record label releases its first-ever African compilation album featuring 19 artists.

EMPIRE, Nigeria’s top record label, is releasing its first-ever African compilation album titled Where We Come From (Vol. 1) featuring 19 artists from six different African nations. The passion project of Tina Davis, the album showcases 15 exclusive new tracks from Afrobeats royalty, including Wande Coal, Tiwa Savage, Olamide, Fireboy DML, Asake, and Kizz Daniel. The sounds on the album traverse East, West, and South Africa, incorporating drill, amapiano, trap, and Afrobeats to create a body of work that is hedonistic and captivating. Reflecting on the project, Davis adds “We decided at the top of 2021 that we wanted to bring our artists to America to showcase how brilliantly talented they were as entertainers and writers at the SXSW conference.The energy was high and very creative! On one of the days, we rented a bus and Ghazi (EMPIRE CEO/Founder) took everyone on a tour of San Francisco for the day.We hired Sak Pase in A&R because of his professionalism and creativit and Every artist walked away from that camp with a Sak Pase song and a strong respect and knowledge from him.” adding “The final product is an amazing body of work that has artists from every region of the continent. We’re looking forward to Vol. 2!”

The album’s cover art, created by Nigerian artist Dricky Stickman, incorporates all 15 songs and illustrates unity, community, and culture. According to EMPIRE’s Regional Head West Africa, Kareem Mobalaji, “This project is a perfect example of music having no limitations. Yes, we are from Africa, but we are truly determined to reach the entire world with our voice which is music.” This compilation project was created during a writing camp at EMPIRE’s headquarters in San Francisco following the label’s first showcase, “The New Africa,” at SXSW. The showcase featured performances by BNXN fka Buju, Cheque, Fireboy DML, June Freedom, L.A.X., Wande Coal, and other Afrobeat trailblazers signed to EMPIRE. The familiarity among the performers inspired the collaboration, with Wande Coal saying, “Everyone on this album is a family. We’re all involved in each other’s lives which makes it easy to bring out your best self when creating music.”

EMPIRE is committed to furthering its artists’ existing success across the world and highlighting the accomplishments of Nigerian artists. The label has seen recent success with Asake’s Mr. Money With The Vibe album, which became the highest-charting Nigerian album on Billboard and the biggest Nigerian album in Apple Music history. Fireboy DML also became the first African artist to perform at the BET Awards this year and had one of the biggest songs of the year in the UK. Kizz Daniel broke the record as the most streamed artist on Boomplay, while KiDi went platinum in India for his hit single “Touch It” featuring multi-platinum recording artist Tyga. “The artists from Africa really transcend where music is today,” says Ghazi, EMPIRE Founder and CEO. “This is a legendary moment for EMPIRE to be able to share incredible African music with the world, much of which we were fortunate enough to record at our studio here in San Francisco.”

Tina Davis, the SVP of A&R at EMPIRE, worked with Sak Pase, the VP of A&R to bring this compilation album together. Giving us a breakdown of the album’s highlights, Pase reflects on each track:

“I Feel Nice”

“This was produced by Kuami Eugene and MOG Beatz, and the smoothly layered percussion, sing-along hook and adlib chants from the Ghanaian star Kuami and South Africa’s Group Chat is a perfect intro for the album, setting the stage for a matrimony of good energy and melodic singing. It’s surely a sleek addition to any Amapiano playlist.”

“Slow Motion”

“On this ballad, vocal excellence from Wande Coal and Tolani ooze with every lyric sung. This collaboration between these two artists was that duet that we didn’t know we needed until it happened. Tolani fearlessly goes toe to toe with one of the greatest Afrobeat vocalists of all time and her reputation – and our earbuds – are all the better for it.”


“I recall at one point I was in a room working with L.A.X, and I got a text stating if I had heard what Wande Coal had recorded to another production of mine. When I entered the room, I was met with so much jubilation and excitement as a room full of people were singing ‘If you say make I stay for love o / I go stay for love o / I go dey for you o, oo ohh’. Those words would later become the song “Umbrella”. A declaration of unconditional love performed by Wande Coal. The legendary vocalist flexes his versatility on this groovy record to sing of love as protective as an umbrella – and long-lasting too.”

“Hold On”

“On this track, West Africa meets East Africa in this Pan-African convergence between Navy Kenzo and Fireboy DML, which was produced by Shully and Nahreel, who are the co-founder of Tanzania’s Navy Kenzo. The track is perfect blend of Fire Boy DML’s blazing melody and Navy Kenzo’s catchy patois flow, and it is full of quotables as well.”

“Thing For You”

“One of the most exciting opportunities that the EMPIRE camp provided was the diversity in culture. The June Freedom and L.A.X collaboration reflects that in so many ways. On “Thing For You”, June Freedom, who is Cape Verdean, appeals to an audience that appreciates him for his romantic approach to music, and Nigerian star L.A.X blends so well alongside him on the song.”

“Wound Someone”

“Olamide may have seen it all, done it all and won it all, but the versatility and talent that propelled him to the top echelons of the African music pyramid are still in abundant supply. On this song, Baddo shows he still owns the clubs as much as he owns the streets.”

“In The Middle”

“Some of the unique moments from the album came after the camp. We had weekly A&R calls on how we can elevate all of the amazing ideas that were created during the camp. I remember one call where Tina and the rest of the team were speaking about what we can do to highlight not just West Africa but the continent of Africa.Tina suggested adding Leil (an Empire artist from Morocco) to the song “The Middle”, which at that time, only featured Bnxn. I was not yet familiar with Leil, but after hearing some of her music it proved to be an idea of brilliance. She steals hearts with a stellar appearance, singing in Yoruba, English and Arabic, over the catchy production from Hitmaka and Tenroc.”


“Asake is one of the Afrobeats revelation of 2022, and he teamed up with the Queen of the genre, Tiwa Savage to deliver perhaps the biggest collaboration of the year with “Loaded”. It is produced by his long-time collaborator, Magicsticks, and as expected, Asake snakes around with his peculiar, riveting reinterpretation of the Fuji genre, while Tiwa uses the track to address her critics.”

To listen to “Where We Come From (Vol I)”, head below…