The Shuffle: Odunsi (The Engine) & RAYE bring their seductive charm to “Tipsy”
The Shuffle: Odunsi (The Engine) & RAYE bring their seductive charm to “Tipsy”

The Shuffle: Odunsi (The Engine) & RAYE bring their seductive charm to “Tipsy”

the duo we didn't know we needed

When Odunsi (The Engine)’s ‘rare.’ arrived in 2018, it cemented him as one of the youngest mavericks spearheading the second coming of a creative renaissance in Nigerian music. Initially led on by the likes of Black Magic and Show Dem Camp, the alternative creative community took a new face with the likes of Odunsi and his peers leading the pack. Armed with a penchant for experimentation, ‘rare.’ tapped into the depths of the singer’s psyche to produce otherworldly music that rebelled against mainstream formulas audiences had grown accustomed to. His impact stretched beyond the country, gaining ears from music lovers across the globe. British-Ghanaian crooner and recent record-breaking recipient of six BRIT Awards, RAYE, was not exempt from keying into Odunsi’s imminent star power. 

With the synth-heavy nostalgia derived from the rattling samples explored on the genre-defying debut, Odunsi’s prowess as a well rounded artist and producer shone through brightly, setting the tone for chameleonic artistry he currently boasts of. A few months after the release, RAYE caught wind of Odunsi’s light and the result was a pristine collaboration dubbed “Tipsy” – a sweet spot between his avant-garde methods and her charming chords, meeting for a timeless R&B record. While the track was only released in 2019, the teaser—pre the seasoning of RAYE’S sultry rendition—was featured in the visuals for “In The Morning” two years prior. 

The track’s misty atmosphere is set with lush slow-tempo piano chords and groovy rhythms of 808 drums, followed shortly by Odunsi who begins narrating a tale of a risky night out. Set up by deep club-ready synths, it’s quite fitting that the scene is set on the dance floor, where a woman in another relationship catches the narrator’s eye. The intro line sings, “Sipping on something light, but you can’t think right” immediately establishing an intoxicated scene that whets our appetite for the series of bad decisions about to be made. 

Odunsi carries on to rain his muse with a series of praises and a couple lines and drinks later, it becomes evident that she is welcoming his advances. A brief consideration to retreat sees Odunsi masked with desire as he begs for divine assistance to inform his next steps in desperate croons, “God show us the way, God not another day, ah.” He holds on to a semblance of restraint despite his urge to reciprocate and briefly turns to address his love interest’s partner, “But your girlfriend tipsy, your girlfriend freaky/And she trying to impress me, she better not text me, ‘less it gets messy.”

Ahead of the melodious hook, Odunsi resigns his faith, indicated by softly delivered double entendre lines, “But baby you thirsty, so why don’t you have a drink?” The contemplative tone has now shifted to a slightly braggadocious one where he relishes the feeling of being desired and now, he is ready to engage consequences be damned. Odunsi’s cheery vocals are accompanied by a kaleidoscopic fusion of electric percussions, getting us ready for RAYE’s luscious perspective buoyed by soothing chords. 

Unlike Odunsi, she arrives at the table significantly more self-assured, backed by low cadence hums ready to seduce her love interest. She immediately confesses at the crown of the second verse, “Baby, I’ve been sipping now I’m tipsy again/Babe, I know you love, you like me moving risky again.” However, the following lines provide new information that leads us to believe that more than one member of this equation is in a relationship. “If you got a girl, you shouldn’t kiss me again/You won’t let me go cause you gon miss me with him,” RAYE warns. At this point, all caution is thrown to the wind as they give into the highs of their intoxication which have blurred the lines between right and wrong. 

RAYE has now taken full charge of the song and the situation for the rest of her verse, where she invites him to understand that the feelings are beyond her control. Subsequent lines also reveal that this isn’t the first time the pair are meeting on the dancefloor, “You’re the only one I call when I’m drinking, should be flattered by it.” After a brief rendition, Odunsi takes over again with the intoxicating hook, charming his way through the questionable morals behind their actions. At this point, the pair no longer feign remorse for their actions as they fully commit themselves to the helms of the liquor. 

They’re on the same page when the track draws to a close as they banter back and forth the tuneful chords. “Now when the liquor go down, I’ll be needing you now/So drop everything and pull up on your girl, cause you know I’m your favourite,” RAYE leads. Odunsi affirms her suspicions, beckoning her to leave all reservations behind as he confesses the dizzying effect she has over him. By the end of the song, the verses indicate that the alcohol-motivated affairs are only to be engaged within the dance floor as Odunsi lulls, “But when we sober up we can leave that in the past tense,” an agreement that’s clearly mutual. 

Listen to “Tipsy” here.

[Featured Image Credits/The NATIVE]