Essentials: Seyi Vibez’ Debut Album ‘Billion Dollar Baby’ Pairs His Aspirations with Vibrant Music
Essentials: Seyi Vibez’ Debut Album ‘Billion Dollar Baby’ Pairs His Aspirations with Vibrant Music

Essentials: Seyi Vibez’ Debut Album ‘Billion Dollar Baby’ Pairs His Aspirations with Vibrant Music

the singer comes from a long line of Nigerian street-pop tradition

Seyi Vibez comes from a long line of Nigerian street-pop artists using their music to document their realities, anguish and victories. He got his breakthrough in 2020 with the single “God Sent,” which earned him attention and a loyal following. Since then, Vibez has been consistent with putting out music and reaching new listeners in places as far-reaching as Nairobi, Cairo and the US. On Audiomack, his total plays stand at 239 million. Last year, the indie act released his debut EP ‘NSNV,’ featuring music stars Teni and Reekado Banks and sharpening his vibrant brand of Hip-Hop, Fuji, and Afropop fusion.

One year after ‘NSNV,’ Seyi Vibez’s debut album ‘Billion Dollar Baby’ is out in the world. He keeps things short and sweet with just 11 tracks while serving as co-executive producer on the project. In an interview with Audiomack World, Seyi Vibez revealed that he was dropped from a label when he was 17.  “I just took it as one of those challenges I’d have to face in my career as a young artist,” he said. “I told my parents about the situation, and they were really helpful because, outside them, there wasn’t a support system at the time. I went back to the studio and worked on improving myself because I knew there was work to be done.”

One of the characteristics of street-pop artists is that they never fail to let their religious sensibilities guide them. For many of them who grew up in underprivileged areas, music, aside from an expression of talent, is their ticket out of poverty. On “God Sent,” Seyi Vibez, sang, “No rich papa and no rich mama/Sometimes I wonder why I come this life/Maybe na me God send to make things right/For my family with my melody.” Like other street-pop artists, Seyi Vibez sends supplications to a higher power for protection and blessings throughout ‘Billion Dollar Baby.’

On “Saro,” which pays subtle obeisance to the character played by Kunle Remi in Kunle Afolayan’s film Aníkúlápó, prays that the whole world hears his story. Over the saxophone-and-violins-led track, sings that his career is the product of hard work and perseverance. “I no fit hear the haters talk/‘Cause I’m writin’ songs all night long/Say the young G gettin’ to lit/Never let the fame get into me/I refused to be a failure (Stubborn)/Shebi oluwa na my saviour?” he sings on “BD Baby.”

Nigerian music producer TBM is responsible for seven tracks on ‘Billion Dollar Baby,’ a project where the production level is at the same level as Seyi Vibez’s vocal excellence. One of TBM’s most intriguing productions on the album is “Chance (Na Ham)” as he mixes Amapiano rhythms with Vibez’s Fuji-inflected delivery. “Chance (chance)/Tell them, tell them make dem give me chance (chance)/‘Cause if na jazz (jazz), e go cast (cast),” Vibez sings, declaring his belief that his music is here to stay. Another feature that makes the track irresistible—as well as other tracks on the project—is the crowd vocals, which give the feeling of a community tapping into Vibez’s declaration.

On “Billion Dollar,” TBM keeps the Amapiano rhythm on the mellow side as Seyi Vibez sings about wanting a billion dollars from his sweat. “Where money dey I go dey there (eh I go dey there)/No ask me why I no sign to label/Omi o lota oo/Water e no get enemy/Any weapon against me no fit prosper (Amen),” Seyi Vibez sings on “Bullion Van,” as TBM taps into Amapiano and crowd vocals. The track is hypnotic with Vibez’s vocals floating seamlessly with the beat.

Elsewhere, Seyi Vibez unfurls his romantic leanings. On the Simi-assisted “Darling,” he and the Nigerian songstress merge for a ballad dedicated to their lovers. He reproduces that affection on “Ife,” which samples Sola Allyson’s “Eji Òwúrọ̀,” as reassures a lover that being away from her because of work hasn’t affected his feelings towards her.  On the QueBeat-produced mid-tempo “Gangsta,” he sings, “Never met a girl like you for my life/Say, I no fit lie, I dey kill for your body/Make dem dey try, dem no fit off our light.”

Seyi Vibez returns to his love for enjoyment on “+234,” singing about his ability to “chop life on the low,” and drive expensive cars. On “Ten,” he and Mayorkun jeer at detractors while expressing gratitude for the successes they enjoy. “Even when money no dey, make you give thanks to Almighty/In every situation (in every situation, yeah),” Mayorkun sings. On the album closer “Bank Of America,” produced by Rexxie, it’s a full-blown party as Seyi Vibez celebrates his victories on the Amapiano-influenced tune.

From previous releases, Seyi Vibez has demonstrated that he is an amazing singer capable of moulding relatable stories; on ‘Billion Dollar Baby,’ though, what he makes clear is his ability to produce a fat-free, cohesive album that is a delight from the start to finish. Full credit should also go to the producers—TMB, ENTA, Fresh VDM, QueBeat and Rexxie—who give Seyi Vibez an amazing collection of beats to display his talent.

‘Billion Dollar Baby’” is my story and it is my reality; because we all truly deserve the good life,” Seyi Vibez wrote about the project and it is exactly that: a manifesto, buoyed by diligence, to seek and acquire many of life’s pleasures.

Stream ‘Billion Dollar Baby’ below.

Featured image credits/IsraelAjayi