Many music purists argue that we lost something fundamental when we made the shift from analog to digital in music production. Musical performances are meant to be enjoyed in the moment and except for the best performers, capturing music to last forever on records and tapes diminishes it’s greatness. Today music is mostly synthetic, cobbled together in studios where sounds are doctored and replicated to make them more flexible and easier to manipulate. Of course this makes music production cheaper, more accessible and ultimately better, but too much tweaking usually makes for soulless, boring music. Nigeria’s pop music is suffering from this and you only have to look to the absence of any big rock bands or artists to confirm this. That and the startling amount of forgettable concerts by our favorite artists.
In fairness, Afropop songs in the hands of a good forward thinking producer is really good. Though not good enough to be neglected, certainly good enough to be pardoned for stage fright. Every now and then however, we get gems like Sarz beats, Krizbeatz and others who experiment with different sounds to inject life into the Afropop sound. Telz became a candidate for that list of elite producers after his skilled production on Laime’s 2017 debut release, “Red Dots” that featured a soulful trumpet solo that made the song memorable.
Laime, obviously recognizing the proficient producer he was working with has featured Telz for a fresh new single, “Oranges” that also features vocals from Famous Bobson. Telz produces a haunting ambiance of piano harmonies, heightened by layers of synth noise that listens like a melodious choir of angles backing up Laime’s somber vocals and lyrics. He takes the first verse and chorus—gasps! Comparing apples and oranges?—before Famous Bobson assist with a verse of his own and a cut of the chorus. But it’s Telz’s head bumping electronic guitar solo that steals the show. Much like Eddie Van Halen’s guitar solo on Michael Jackson’s “Beat It”, the solo is practically out of character for pop music, let alone Afropop. Never has shock and awe been so appropriate, and so worth it.
Give Laime’s “Oranges” a listen below.
Featured Image Credits: Instagram/laimebennibor
You are meeting Debola at a strange time in his life. He wandered into a dream and lost his way back. Tweet at him @debola_abimbolu