Late to the party, but Squeeze Tarela’s ‘Bend’ is a jam and half

Don't fight it, just bend.

There aren’t that many genres that allow for the ‘jollof’ uniformity that defines our music industry. Especially not dancehall that not only requires some proper vocal gymnastics but also outsize charisma. The last dancehall artists that went mainstream were Cynthia Morgan and Patoranking, both requiring some serious leg work to even get there. But if the auguries are telling us anything, it’s that there is a new heir apparent to the dancehall king throne: Squeeze Tarela.

Not since Timaya’s new incarnation as a dancehall behemoth have we seen a Naija singer jump on a dancehall beat and totally dominate it the way new comer Squeeze Tarela do on his new joint “Bend”. Tarela has been making the rounds and drawing some attention for his refix of Ohema and his collaboration with vocal powerhouse Ms Jaie on “I got love”. His debut single “Squeeze Waist” was decent but nowhere near the dexterity of “Bend”. JayPaul Beatz is actually a monster with the beat with splices traditional afrobeats percussions with traditional Dancehall accents, the distinctive honkey tonk piano single notes, and the reverb adlibs. And Tarela is unafraid to take charge, with a booming voice that completely belies his modest body. Bend is only 2 minutes 36 seconds long, but it feels simultaneously much longer and too short.

The classic hip-hop on the music video adds a little extra sum’in. If you need, I’m over in the corner doing the slow whine.

PS: Squeeze Tarela just signed to JustJojo Entertainment so that debut album will be fire.

Listen to “Bend” here.

Strictly Sowa wants you to “Parry on da block”