Best New Music: Lojay and Olamide are a captivating pairing on new single, “Arizona”
a masterstroke in songwriting
a masterstroke in songwriting
Since his dazzling breakthrough with revered Nigerian DJ-producer, Sarz, on their collaborative EP, ‘LV N ATTN,’ Lojay has rightfully earned the ears of many listeners by carving out his own space in Afropop complete with a charismatic personality, emotion-laden songwriting and back to back hits. The 5-track offering evidently primed him for greatness and has sustained the artist since then as he proves he’s worth more than his salt.
Earlier this year, the singer served up his sophomore effort, ‘GANGSTER ROMANTIC’ which more than proves his solo capabilities as a performer. What makes ‘GANGSTER ROMANTIC’ an easy listen is the faultless sequencing that accentuates Lojay’s emotions throughout the project, from playboy to loverboy, and from self-assured to hesitant. Although his career is still nascent, Lojay has worked with some of the best hands in the music business and, with his ability to make great music, the signs portend good tidings for his future.
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On the other side of the coin, Nigerian rap legend, Olamide continues to leave an indelible mark on Nigeria’s music history with a series of timeless hits and the mentorship of prized signees via his record label, YBNL. The release of his latest and according to him, last album, ‘Unruly,’ crystallised Olamide’s status as the leading street-pop artist of our generation, eclipsing all leftover doubt.
And if it is truly the last we hear of Olamide in album mode, as he chooses to focus on expanding and reaping the benefits of the powerhouse that is YBNL, he is well within his rights. A few weeks ago, his star signee, Asake pushed the boundaries of his success a step further after snagging a Grammy nomination for “Amapiano” under the Best African Music Performance category. As Olamide joins Lojay for an intoxicating delivery on “Arizona,” it is evident that he is currently on flight mode, breezing through with potential hits like the superstar he is.
From the opening seconds of “Arizona,” it is clear that we’re in for a good time. The track opens with signature log drum-shakers combination that portends the song’s irresistible and dance-ready quality. With this solid sonic foundation, Lojay and his guest star, Baddo lay down poignant and intimate verses that find them in loverboy anguish. Lojay’s lush chords alongside Olamide’s sonorous bars come into the picture, making for an instant recipe for success.
The track leads in with a heart-thumping mid-tempo beat, credited to P.Prime, only to be accompanied shortly after by echoey chords fading in and out of the track. Lojay’s croons take over as he sings, “What’s your lucky number baby, give me update,” immediately alerting us that we have another love-themed track on our hands. He takes on the narrative approach to detail an interaction with his love interest, where he beckons her to commit and follow him to various parts of the world.
Olamide slips in immediately after, raining praises on her physical appearance while explaining how crazy she makes him feel, “Nobody got this type of ukwu, omo buruku/You make a nigga coocoo.” As opposed to clearly expressing in words in a similar way to Lojay, he takes the onomatopoeic approach, creating melodies by repeating similar sounding words. It wouldn’t be Olamide without a comedic and memorable one-liner. So when he wraps up his verse saying “Agege bread no dey get label” it reiterates his witty penmanship many listeners have grown to love. His razor sharp flow, matched with the track’s smooth progressions and ‘Piano log drums in the background allow for his verse to carry tension of its own, forging “Arizona” as one of the catchiest feel-good numbers in recent months.
With a pairing as promising as this, coupled with the synergy the pair were able to display, it is safe to conclude that Lojay has added another string to his ever-growing catalogue. His efforts are a clear indication of his desire for growth and global visibility, achieved by his consistency all bound together by his admirably raw approach to relaying his lived experiences.
Listen to “Arizona” here.
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