Best New Music: Rema Brings His Debut Album One Step Closer with “Calm Down”
'Rave & Roses' is almost here
'Rave & Roses' is almost here
In 2019, Rema arrived on the block, hot on his heels and ready to prove his star power. Launched into the music scene off the back of one of the country’s most illustrious record labels Mavins, the singer and rapper was bolstered to new levels of recognition within days of releasing his debut self-titled EP, which housed multiple seminal hits. Since then, he’s more than proved his salt, earning a spot in wider Afropop conversations and transforming into an industry tsunami to be reckoned with, with every drop.
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This year, Rema is fanning the flames of polarising conversations more than ever before. On March 25, the singer will finally release his debut album titled ‘Rave & Roses,’ nearly three years after a magnificent 3-project run back in 2019. While most fans are already hypothesising on what a Rema album would sound like in 2022 (us included), it’s evident that whatever Rema serves up will only be another step towards the powerhouse he is capable of becoming.
Since his debut on the scene, Rema has occupied an interesting position in the game. From “Dumebi,” to “Bad Commando,” and “Alien,” Rema has always grappled with different sounds and genres, bending them to his will as he delivers a melody driven sound with unfettered eccentricity. Music is evidently Rema’s playground and it’s clear that he’s able to shape-shift and contort his vocals to blend with any beat he’s given as we’ve seen from his growing catalogue.
As he continues to gain more mileage in the game, Rema has now coined his current sound as ‘Afro rave.’ While he’s left the term open to interpretation from his fans and peers, some of his recent releases have hinted at the direction he’s poised to go. Last year’s “Soundgasm,” is a sensual dancehall-track laced with sticky beats and euphoric sexual innuendos. On it, Rema directly addresses his muse, candidly expressing his intentions to share salacious moments together. It won’t be the first time he would be explicit about this side of himself, a feat that we’ve seen from his debut on “Dumebi” till now, with his recent release, “Calm Down.”
Gearing up to release his debut album, the singer and rapper has released the Andre Vibez and London-produced track titled “Calm Down.” The smooth Afropop number is a romantic track that finds Rema singing about his crush, regardless of his hesitancy to approach her. The song plays out as Rema moves from admiring his love interest in the background, to plucking up the courage to approach her at a party and dance with her under the twinkling of the dancefloor lights.
Over the song’s rhythmic production, Rema sings “Baby calm, this your body dey put my heart for lockdown,” on the song’s infectious hook, inviting his love interest to give into his advances with an irresistible boyish charm. In his usual manner, Rema throws in a mix of pidgin English and his now signature garbled-speech to convey his affections and emotions. Melodies are front and centre in everything Rema touches and on “Calm Down,” it’s no different as its catchy beat evokes feelings of nostalgia in listeners. The production seems to embrace both nostalgic and modern elements into its composition, arriving at a mixture that sounds like a comforting friend recounting their romantic trysts.
For most of us, we are able to see ourselves reflected in Rema’s catchy lyrics. More than just a means to offset Rema’s current emotions as a young artist on the scene, the innocence of the young romance that he sings about is instantly relatable and familiar for anyone who has put their heart out there. The song’s accompanying video by Director K echoes the song’s lyrics to a tee. Here, we see clips of a Rema navigating a party which his crush is attending. He goes from watching her on the sidelines to approaching her and winning the girl over–just like he says he will.
Confident and in the best possible position to take his sound to a new level, Rema is one step closer to the release of his debut album and with a midas touch that never weans, we’re confident that ‘Rave & Roses’ will encapsulate everything the star has to offer.
Pre-save ‘Rave & Roses’ below.
Featured image credits/DirectorK