Our First Impressions of Victony’s New EP ‘Outlaw’
his debut project
his debut project
Victony’s ability to turn life experiences into fully realised songs has not gone unnoticed. Last year, the musician returned from a ghastly car crash to imprint his transcendental sound on listeners. After the two-track ‘Dark Times’ produced his most introspective song yet (“Pray”), Victony’s svelte vocals was the dominant feature on arguably the biggest song of the year (“Holy Father”), carrying him into 2022 as one of the artists to watch out for.
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And truly, he hasn’t disappointed. Being in the center of a friendly spar against Omah Lay made his earlier music reshared on social media, where listeners got a taste of Victony’s background in rap. There he emerged as a savant of the Soundcloud era, wielding emo sensibilities and after EP ‘Saturn’, pairing them with the pomp of contemporary Afropop.
The deliberate synthesis of such artistic virtues were again highlighted on “Apollo” and “Kolomental”, his previous pair of singles released earlier this year. Their brilliance has done well to helm the release of Victony’s anticipated EP, ‘Outlaw’. Purple-themed, intricately structured and imminently personal, the seven-track project is bound to dominate discussions over the weekend and most likely, beyond.
Our editorial team at The NATIVE have clocked in their early listens of ‘Outlaw’, and here are our first impressions of the project.
Tela: “Outlaw” has to be the best song from the album. There is a melancholic yet hopeful tone to it as if indicating a great renaissance,, which is evident in the tape. Exploring a deeper theme as he translate his headspace into melody, the opening chant “we are the champion, king champion” serves as a reminder that we are champions giving you the will to move ahead despite tribulations. The melody is meticulously infused amid the chant leading to a crescendo as the harmonic set of pitches and the subtle background vocals set the tone for the song. His songwriting is witty offering comfort while still motivating as if he in a conversation. Outlaw emphatically captures the high and lows of an outlaw.
Chibuzo: I’ve listened to the project several times in a bid to be certain of my ‘Best song’ pick and I’ve concluded that “Chop And Slide” is the crown jewel of this majestic 7-track offering for a vast number of reasons. To start with, the production of this song and “Soweto” are incontrovertibly the best on the project. The production is minimal and apt, allowing Victony’s voice to shine through. But make no mistakes, minimal does not imply basic. The keys on the song are dreamy, ethereal and immersive, to say the least. On this song, Victony’s mesmerising vocals take the spotlight and boy! The boy can sing. He maintains cool composure for the first half of the song but when he gets to the second verse, he goes off totally, delivering a jaw-dropping sonic spectacle. His texture is silky and malleable, his range is also dazzling. In many ways, this song functions to display Victony’s overall range as a vocalist and a songwriter.
Moore: “Outlaw” is definitely my personal favourite from this project. The intro drew me in immediately, it feels like something to be chanted along to. This flows well into the rest of the song, which feels like a somber melody that also insists you sing along to it, this time more quietly. At least until the energy begins build until it reaches its peak with the lyrics ‘I no dey fear fire’, a height of emotions.
Wonu: For me, the best production will have to be the production on “Soweto”, I mean what was Tempoe on? One thing I’ve noticed about Tempoe’s production has to be the finishing on the beat, down to the last detail. The blend of each element on this beat is very intentional and I’m not just talking about the kicks or drums, I’m talking about how it all comes together. This record is very special if you ask me.
Dennis: I’m not going to lie, this one is hard. Every song on ‘Outlaw’ is a masterclass in instrumental arrangement, which is a huge plus to Victony—his ear for beats has always been phenomenal. Because I have to choose, I’m going with “Apollo” and “Soweto.” With all the great hit songs they’ve produced in recent years, it’s impossible to say P.Priime and Tempoe had due bills when they created these respective songs, but the level of meticulous genius in those beats sounds like their landlords were banging on their doors and hounding them for rent. Thankfully, Victony responded by delivering inspired performances on two of the best beats we’ll hear all year.
Chibuzo: While I feel that Victony’s songwriting on this offering could have been better — considering that his crafting dazzling verses is his forte — his penmanship on ‘Outlaw’ is incredibly stellar. Victony displays this in earnest, melding words with an uncanny deftness into plush earworms. Like how he sings “Ogologo something wey you carry o/When I’m moving west I Dey find your Taribo” on “All Power”, or when he cheekily blurts “Oh keep it shaking, Joliy you be my Faraday. When it is shaking, e dey gimme light, I nah fi explain”, he makes crafting these quintessential Afropop lyrical masterpieces sound painfully easy.
Maria: Victony’s penmanship on “Kolomental” is stupendous. Throughout the mid-tempo track, Victony seamlessly intertwines gems on self-belief, stardom and shrugging off naysayers all while creating a smooth groove. It’s a great combination of danceability and relatability.
Tela: An undeniable fact is that Victony’s approach when creating ‘Outlaw’ was strategic and deliberately different from his previous projects. With an aim of embracing new freedom, he vibrantly tackles deep issues such as his second chance at life while cheekily inserting songs such as “All Power”. Victony’s third verse on “Outlaw” is a burst of emotions. Inviting you to his mental headspace he takes you through his acknowledgement of his fans, naysayers and his self prophecy of being great without having an idea of what to do but his self-belief serves as a reassurance of his greatness. As you listen to the verse, you have the epochal feel of redemption.
Moore: It’s always hard to predict what will connect with people, but I’d say I can imagine “Jolene” being a hit. It’s infectious beat immediately makes you want to dance, which is necessary for Nigerian listeners. It also has an extremely catchy and easy to learn chorus that I’m sure many will sing along to.
Chibuzo: “Soweto” and “All Power” both have hit potential. They both check all the boxes that have defined hit songs in the past year and half — resonating lyrics, tight production, and breezy vocal delivery, but I reckon “All Power” has more potential. It’s a mid-tempo bop but it’s fast enough to dance to, plus it’s a song that would fly for TikTok videos.
Maria: My pick for this would be “All Power”. It’s clear that I have a bias for songs that praise women’s bodies (I mean, why not?) but asides that, the beat is infectious and Victony’s vocals are silky smooth throughout the track. Also, the hook is really catchy, you can almost visualise girls acting up when it comes on. It has all the necessary elements of a hit single. This one is going to be shaking clubs up for sure.
Dennis: If I wasn’t obligated to be more elaborate with my opinions, I’d just insert the mind-blown emoji here and be on my way. Outlaw is one of the best projects of 2022, and I’m saying that off one listen. I can already tell the replay value of the entire project is insane. The beats are multi-coloured, multi-layered slabs of excellence. Victony sings every syllable of every melody with an infectious passion. I’m going to repeat myself again: ‘Outlaw’ is one of the best projects of 2022. I’m about to run it back and send out a tweet with the project link and a mind-blown emoji.
Emmanuel: Victony’s unique ability is sounding fresh each time you hear him. His songs have this mesmerising attention to detail, building subtle layers of sound in each count of the minute. I first experienced this on “More”, and I’ve been a fan ever since. Suffice to say, I entered ‘Outlaw’ with high expectations and frankly, I wasn’t let down. Each song on there is arguably the best song, distinct in their own way as they cover the subjects we know him for. There’s lot of sex, but also lots of introspection; however, it’s his songwriting that renders them heft, makes you listen and listen till you can’t wait to sing along. Production-wise, the EP is also competent, building clouds of mostly soft beats under Victony’s alert vocals. In all, ‘Outlaw’ is a thoroughly enjoyable project that will go on to do great things for this talented artist.
Wonu: I’ve listened to this ‘Outlaw’ EP about 4 different times now and I must share, when I heard it the first time I knew it was going all the way up. Victony created something magical on this project. There’s a different experience with every listen and there’s this level of confidence you can sense in terms of the delivery. His writing on the EP, the production, the song selection, the track arrangement, everything seemed so organised and in order. On first listen, I knew this would definitely be here for some time. The replay value is also there so I’m excited to see how it all works out for him and how he manages the marketing of the project.
Stream ‘Outlaw’ below.
Featured image credits/TSE