If there’s anything that the churn that is Nigeria’s slew of music themed reality shows have done for our industry’s pool of extra-talented upstarts, is providing them a ready made fan base. It certainly did for 20 year old Jeff Akoh, whose bubble gum pop affectations and excellent voice catapulted straight to the top of 2015’s Project Fame Cycle and helped him winning the damn thing. We worried for a while that he would fall to the wayside like of the ex-Project Fame finalists who either fall off entirely or end up with middling careers that never go anywhere. But in February 2017, Akoh signed with the newly established talent management firm, Temple Management Company, as one of their flagship artists alongside Big Brother Nigeria’s Bisola and Iyanya.
In September Jeff Akoh released “Water and Fire”, his debut single under TMC and the first from his upcoming album Lokoja (to be released late October). Even with a feature from agency mate Bisola didn’t do much to help the single top mainstream charts, so it’s an interesting twist that Akoh has chosen “Shokolokobangoshe” as his second single.
It is rare to see an artist, especially a Nigerian popstar find a way to marry satire, self awareness and feel good pop and present it in a non-threatening way. With a pop instrumental that shifts into afrobeats and a riff that segues into trap, Akoh craftily shows us just how versatile he can be as an artist and how easily he can crossover between genres while expressing his dismay at an industry that forces artists to shrink themselves into the tiny mold of success that Afrobeats has become. “Shokolokobangoshe” has a relentless pulse that carries no matter when Akoh takes the song and his hooks are earworms that will have you humming along before the song is over.
Akoh is destined for the big leagues and we hope he doesn’t have to eat his words and “Shokolokobangoshe” his way there.
Listen to “Shokolokobangoshe” here.
Edwin eats his rice and cabbages. Tweet at him@edgothboy