What we know about Rema’s upcoming debut album

'Rave & Roses' should be out sooner rather than later

In 2019, Rema emerged as Afropop’s latest superstar. The awe-inspiring breakout was characterised with the release of three EPs within the span of eight months, positioning the Benin-raised artist as a maverick pop star. Including his self-titled EP, a pack of “freestyles,” and Bad Commando, Rema rendered his splendid powers are crafting inventive, insanely catchy hits, and experimental Trap cuts with a confessional essence. With a handful of smash hits, including “Dumebi” and “Lady,” it was clear that Mavin had unearthed another potentially iconic talent.

The following year, he continued where left off, initially with a scene-stealing feature on the star-studded “4AM,” and then a magnificent 3-single run that included the lush, mid-tempo “Ginger Me,” JAY-Z-sampling “Alien,” and a then-novel fusion of Amapiano and Nigerian pop on “Woman.” The run culminated in the release of Rema Compilation, a collection of those singles and some of his best and biggest songs at the time. However, many were expectant for Rema’s debut album instead of a compilation, which seemed like the next logical step in his high-flying career. 2020 came and went without the singer/rapper’s full-length debut, and he’s now marked out the summer of reopening as debut album season.

In a tweet from last week, Rema announced the title of his album as Rave & Roses. The title, especially its first part, is perhaps symbolic for two reasons. The first is, he calls his fans “ravers,” an ostensible dedication to the legions of listeners devoted to his music. The second reason follows a recent declaration, where he christened the style of his music as “Afrorave.” Initially stamping his arrival as an artist effortlessly capable of crossing genre lines, Rema’s self-proclaimed description for this phase of his musical career seems like a tunnel focus vision on delivering catchy bangers, as evidenced by the Don Jazzy-produced “Bounce,” a fast-paced smash hit with Rema in his lascivious element.

Few weeks back, the Mavin artist opened his account for the summer with “Soundgasm,” a sensual, dancefloor-ready song with a mid-tempo Afro-Caribbean beat and vividly raunchy writing. According to the press release, “Soundgasm” is the lead single for Rema’s long-awaited debut album. With the recent title reveal, it shouldn’t be too long till Rave & Roses graces our ears, but details for the album are still scarce. In a follow-up tweet, Rema did announce that the album will include a second collaboration with 6lack, deeming it “a masterpiece” on the level of their previous collab.

Considering how quickly he established himself as a superstar, with both sustained fanfare on the continent and an increasing presence on the global stage, the anticipation for Rema’s debut LP are understandably high. Speculations are in the multitude, expectations are through the roof, but Rema is nothing if not constantly confident in himself and his ability, a trait that should carry into what could be the biggest release of his career yet.

@dennisadepeter is a staff writer at the NATIVE.