Best New Music: Victony & Rexxie become musical kin on 2-song pack, ‘Nataraja’
Best New Music: Victony & Rexxie become musical kin on 2-song pack, ‘Nataraja’

Best New Music: Victony & Rexxie become musical kin on 2-song pack, ‘Nataraja’

An intermingling of individual sensibilities

In the summer of 2020, Victony eased his way into Afropop with an elegant and vibrant debut EP titled ‘Saturn’. It marked a pivotal point in his transformation from rapper to singer, showcasing a precocious ear for melodies, musical choices as colourful as a pack of Crayola, and a voice brimming with charm and boyish charisma. In his follow-up year, he’s greatly consolidated on his pop star potential, in part due to a sizzling star turn on Mayorkun’s “Holy Father.”


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Before then, he shared the reflective and hopeful ‘Dark Times’, a balmy 2-song pack centred on the life-threatening event he survived earlier this year. Refusing to let tragedy solely define his headlining output for the year, Victony has teamed up with producer Rexxie for ‘Nataraja’, a new 2-song pack built on the palpable symbiosis between both artists. The two songs, “Like Dat” and “Ego,” operate on a push-and-pull basis between the pair with the former being a gleaming Alt-Pop bop and the latter being rooted in the booming wheelhouse of Rexxie’s Afro-House experiments.

In theory, a collaboration between Victony and Rexxie is quite the left-field attempt, but the easy denominator is the willingness that both artists have to try out new styles. Over his short but growing catalogue, Victony has chosen to operate with a nebulous sonic palette, ensuring the constant and defining element of his music is his voice—part-buttery, part-holler. For Rexxie, who has built his reputation as the leading purveyor of the modish street pop bounce, there’s enough evidence on his debut LP ‘A True Champion’—along with more outré work like Naira Marley’s “Bad Influence”—to prove there’s more to his musical chops than his most popular music.

All that said, Nataraja’ benefits from the pair playing to their individual strengths, culminating in a union of their kinetic synergy. Writing-wise, “Like Dat” is the more vivid of the two tracks. The music Rexxie helms is quite delicate, comprising twinkling keys and a gently thudding drum patterns, with Victony’s ethereal chants rounding out the atmospheric beat. Within the first lines of the song, Victony describes an intimate scene in first-person perspective, where rolling weed is a love language, sex is meant to be savoured, and shutting out the world keeps the moment pure. The innuendos are scarcely veiled, like when he sings, “You doing stuff you cannot tell your mummy,” and football-related symbolism that’s ingrained in pop culture.

“Ego” is the groovier affair, coining in on the Amapiano-infused bounce Rexxie has mastered since his seminal smash hit “Ko Por Ke (KPK).” A shimmering piano riff is laid under its synth bassline, giving the song an instantly catchy melody that’s emboldened by its bulbous percussion and log-drum combo.

Slipping into lascivious mode of many party-ready Afropop songs, Victony sings with a snappier edge, revelling in his infatuation with an interest’s physical figure, while leaving just enough devotion in his lyrics—“Who do the polishing, oh ya?/’Cos you dey shine like morning sun”—to keep his charm intact.

‘Nataraja’ works because it finds the balance between both artists intermingling already established sensibilities. The two comprising songs are stylistically disparate, but they are unified in spirit because Rexxie and Victony don’t trade-off as much as they figure out a sense of musical kinship.

Listen to Nataraja’ here.

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