The Shuffle: Revisiting Maleek Berry’s Debut EP ‘Last Daze Of Summer’

In celebration of its sixth year anniversary

Since his transition from producer to a full-on artist, Maleek Berry has risen to an undeniable level of prominence. The latter part of the last decade saw him deliver a spate of hit songs and two well-received EPs, while he’s also played his part in furthering Afropop’s global agenda, featuring on international collaborations with Estelle, Kid Ink, Goldlink and more.

Towards the end of summer in 2016 Maleek Berry shared his evergreen debut solo EP ‘Last Daze Of Summer.’ The 6-track EP, introduced the world to a new side of Berry, one with an army of party-starters under his belt and the ability to soundtrack our summer day parties and nighttime rendezvous.

While Berry’s last official release came in 2019, six years on from the release of that career-defining EP, the songs still live on, serving as a reminder of that period in time, an apex where Afropop was on the hinges of becoming a globally recognised genre. Now, there’s no denying that Maleek Berry’s influence is palpable in today’s musical landscape.

The 6-tracker executively produced by the songwriter, singer and producer is a compilation of catchy romantic songs laced with alluring melodies. On the opening record, “Kontrol” he faces his love interest and focuses solely on her and her feistiness, singing “Oh you want take kontrol/See my baby want take kontrol.” Back then, when this track was released, it spread like wildfire, quickly becoming the soundtrack to many summer nights and spun many video recreations from lip-syncing fans.

On “Let Me Know,” Maleek maintains his directness as he speaks to his muse to remain honest with him. The sharpness of the records helped listeners understand the point in which the artist was trying to make. Shortly after the release of the project, “Let me know if I’m more than just a friend to you” instantly became go-to lyrics for Afropop listeners and teenagers who may have found themselves tied up in situationships or in the friend zone. 


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Elsewhere on the project on “Flexin,” Maleek Berry is singing about his baller status and enjoying all the good things any young African artist would want, money and fame. Over the melodious production of the track, he is deep in self-reflection singing “I’m flexin yeah, cause I just checked my bank account and I’m good/I’m flexin yeah, cause my single’s going off in my hood,” referencing the wide acclaim the songs would go on to have in the UK where he was born.

The Geko-assisted record “Eko Miami” is the most memorable of all the tracks with its feel-good production and catchy lyrics. After a tempo shift, Berry switches to a slow-rolling cadence fit for an after-hours session as he weaves lyrics about living life to the fullest. He sings “from the early yeah morning na we faji, eko miami/no work tomorrow, we go saye we faji, eko miami” sharing with listeners how he’s living in the moment and enjoying it, with the ostentatious flair of Lagos electrifying party scene.

As a frontrunner who set the tone for producer-artist transitions, six years on from the release of ‘Last Daze of Summer,’ the body of work is now revered as one of Afropop’s finest classics.

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