It’s high time we began to appreciate our youngsters that are trying hard to make something good of the Nigerian music industry. The new artistes, the new wave or ‘alte’ artistes as they like to be called are out to create a different impression on music lovers and at the same time carve out a whole new era of music. We’ll be taking a brief survey on the beautiful work recently put out by Odunsi. This album isn’t for everyone, it’s for those who love the alternative genre of music; every lover of good music would love to explore this wonderful work of art.
Some may know him; others may not. For the latter, he is one of the clear representations of the posterity of Nigerian music. Bowofoluwa Odunsi, popularly known as Odunsi, came out with his debut album on the 12th of October after much anticipation.
For fans of Odunsi, this album wouldn’t be so much of a surprise as he had been teasing via his social media, with the album cover and even his inspirations and triggers to the album. Some of them include Ralph Tresvant, Sade Adu, Asa, Prince Okotie and Prince. This album was meticulously made and all details were appropriately dealt with. For a newbie in the game, this wasn’t bad at all. At first, when the title was revealed, it looked promising and exciting. Not just because of the literal meaning of the title, but the way he presented it. The letters of the album title were written in a lower case with a full stop at the end. This was fascinating and another proof that this guy knew what he was doing.
The first song, Falling, was a typical Odunsi style which he keeps showing off in different ways without people recognizing. The fusion of P-Square’s classic hit, Ifunanya, and Seyi Ogunnaike’s bass guitar performance made the song magical. Odunsi is very fond of this kind of style. Off the album, one of his songs with Tay Iwar, Desire, is a good example where he spiced up the song with the hook in one of Baba Dee’s classics, Gum Body. He’s got good skill with sampling and yet, not misusing.
The second single, Take Me There, was just a slow jam you’d most likely listen to with your eyes shut. What really got me in this song was the narrative on Odunsi and his transition from down to apex as well as his current state of mind and mood- all positivity and happiness.
Outcast was another piece worth being on the album. It was quite an interesting one for youths to connect to, especially those that always do something unique but such never goes down well with mum and dad or just naturally being the black sheep. In this song, he recalls how he was ‘kicked out of high school’ and how his mum was so concerned about him. It generally paints the picture of a young boy on the way to finding his path all alone with a lot of criticisms and a few lashes from people, which might have probably taken a toll on him, but he eventually prevailed unscathed.
Divine, featuring Davido was everything you’d expect from a hit. The single dropped before the album was released and it had a pretty good reception from fans. With the album dropped and Divine on it, it was like getting a box of candies for a baby.
Angel is that king of song you instantly fall in love with. Quite a number of fans, when listing their various songs on the album, never leave out Angel. It featured vocals from the sensational Duendita and the result was a glorious wrap of a beautiful love song rendered with the realest emotions. The way the album makes fans of Odunsi to immediately grasp everything about him within the few minutes the album lasted was just amazing.
Take a Break was a track that revealed different relationships in his life with their ups and downs.
Express featured the young South African rapper and hiphop star, Nasty C and Nigeria’s very talented Santi and this wasn’t disappointing at all. Of course, you could not expect anything short of perfection when three stars of the same like-minds and goals- making wonderful and impactful music, join forces. It was a total banger!
Dance Floor reminded me of the good old days with good old sounds. The piano which played at the beginning was just infectious and apt; the resounding snare with its classic tone was just nostalgic. It was a slow, lovable dance song which was annoyingly short. It could be imagined that Odunsi thought that the album might be incomplete without a little highlife/afrobeat feel to it, trying to cut across all genres and at the same time keeping it strictly alternative.
He then decided to put Runtown on the project, Star Signs, and it was good, that’s all I’ll say. Runtown, known to never disappoint, did not. The guitars were just juicy.
Hectic had a unique sound; it wasn’t the stereotypical kind of song everyone would dance to. It featured young and great beautiful singers like him too. I was really excited to hear Amaarae, the young Ghanaian master of emotions, on the track. I just loved the way the song and its beat progressed from a slow tempo at the beginning, to a fast one at middle and towards the end. That’s just outright creativity.
Wanted You definitely gave me the chills. It was another nostalgic track on the album which reminded me of Selena (Selena Quintanilla-Perez) and Michael Jackson. It is a reminiscent of soundtracks you’d hear in Eddie Murphy’s movies like Beverly Hill Cop or Coming to America.
Greenlight was another song on the album. This one was with the very talented Tay Iwar, an Abuja based young artiste who produces and possesses a voice to kill. Of Course, Odunsi wouldn’t do an album of this worth without Tay on it. The song was produced by Odunsi with the amazing guitar performance from Tay Iwar and additional vocals from DJ Yin. It was smooth and cute, although, it seemed like I was struggling to hear Odunsi’s voice at the beginning.
The album wrapped up with the jolly track, Altè Cruise which was like an anthem for all lovers of the alternative movement or ‘altè’ as he called it. It’s all about being different and standing out, placing your standards up there and sticking to your great ideas, not allowing anyone to talk you out of it into theirs and persuade you to join their wagon. The track featured Zamir and Santi and was also released before the album dropped.
Creativity speaks for itself and consistency is a way of getting it out there. Odunsi has been consistent for some time and it finally paid off! It cannot be over-emphasized on how dedicated he was to this project, to each and every song on the album. This move of featuring more of his young colleagues and a few big stars also did the trick for him. It wasn’t a bad start for him, it’s just the beginning. Nice way to pull off a debut, Odunsi! You just unlocked a new era. You can give it your own ratings below but for me, it’ll take 8 out of 10, scorpion style!