Best New Music: NATIVE Sound System’s “Wedding Ring” Is A Marker Of Its Continued Growth
the sound is coming
the sound is coming
For several years, NATIVE Sound System has operated in the background of many significant cultural moments. Whether this was a ‘guest list only’ London party, heads down on the decks as hands fly up on the dance floor or a guest spot on the NTS or No Signal airwaves, the once DJ duo consisting of Addy Edgal and DJ Sholz, spreading the gospel of emerging sounds from our home state, country, and continent.
First sharing a taste of our sound through impressive sets at Boiler Room or shows with the likes of artists such as Rema, Naira Marley, Odunsi (The Engine), the NATIVE Sound System duo quickly grew into a community of synergetic musical talent, identifying, championing and now producing sounds of tomorrow: today. Now, the producer, talent incubation and A&R supergroup is ready for its third act and the next step in its well-oiled sonic machine.
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Earlier in the year, NATIVE Sound System released their first single off their forthcoming debut LP. Titled “Runaway” and featuring two of the newest voices in Afropop, Ayra Starr and Lojay, the new number gave a taster course to the inventive sounds on the collaborative compilation project and foreshadowed what the group would bring to the Afropop space. According to those in the know, the forthcoming album spans the four climatic and cultural seasons in Lagos; summer, rainy season, harmattan and Christmas, and will feature a host of talented producers such as Trill Xoe, Adey, New World Ray and more.
“Runaway,“ a romantic ballad initially conceptualised during a recording camp in an off-site Airbnb during the stay-at home induced orders of 2020, soon found a home in the hearts and ears of curious listeners who have eagerly followed the group since its inception. A month after the release of their debut single, NATIVE Sound System achieved a stellar feat by garnering over 1million streams which have only served to bring the song closer to its core community and even earned the group a skit from the uber talented, Ikorodu Bois.
Now, ready to bring the album one step closer, NATIVE Sound System has returned with its star-studded sophomore single “Wedding Ring,” an Afrofusion number which draws elements from a range of genres including R&B, Afropop, and more, which all commingle together seamlessly for an enjoyable listening experience. Pulling together the best and talented from the alte scene, “Wedding Ring” masterfully features WANI, Odunsi (The Engine), BOJ and British-Nigerian singer, Odeal.
Produced by Trill Xoe and Sholz, the record opens up with the powerful vocals of WANI, as he quips memorable lyrics such as “I give you my all but I can’t give you everything/Pinky ring till I buy you wedding ring”, meant to serve as a warning to his love interest about his non-committal nature. Following WANI’s expert lead, BOJ steps in with a more relaxed and easy energy as he sings standout lyrics on his verse such as “Baby I’m a smooth operator,In the summer or the winter yeah yeah/Imma give you all you wanna, Biggy biggy bundle.”
Without losing any momentum, BOJ shortly gives way for Odunsi The Engine’s catchy verse which offers a rich trove of insight into his view on modern relationships. On his verse, he chants lyrics such as “Bad girl love it when you run to me, I know that you love me and I can’t complain/But if I complain make you no dey vex, I know shawty go crazy for that make up sex”, as he extolls his love interest while also reinforcing boundaries in their relationship. Odeal takes the final lap of the record as he concludes the number with his sonorous vocals, and a charisma that permeates of his amorous lyrics (“Girl your blessings and love wey you give me that’s all i know/But that you get everything, everything that you want.”)
The record sees all four collaborators drawing from each other’s diverse energies and sonic styles while staying true to their individual strengths. The song’s bubbly and high-spirited production disguises its toxic lyrics while offering up an enjoyable number that listeners will keep dialling back to catch all its intricacies. As the second promotional single off the forthcoming album, “Wedding Ring,” sets a vast tone for where NATIVE Sound System and its collaborators can go sonically and lyrically.
With the new single, NATIVE Sound System continues to showcase its improved growth while satisfying both old and new audiences who regard them as cultural tastemakers. We are eagerly watching this space for their next (next) act.
Listen to “Wedding Ring” here
Featured image credits/NATIVE