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Dami Ajayi

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Music Critic. Dancer. Poet

2 EP Reviews: Mojeed’s Search of Higher Frequency & LuluRap’s Eye for a Naira

Mojeed is made for great things; his time has definitely come. Lulu Raps 'An Eye for a Naira', also deserves its moment in the sun. But like everything indie and alternative, it is in need of a miracle.

Album Review: Ill Bliss’s ‘Illy Bomaye’ – a Familiar EP With a Whiff of Insight

If Ill Bliss is able to take us through the motions and different phases so quickly and effectively within an album, then Illy Bomaye is a triumph.

Contemporary Nigerian Music: Why Music Reviews are Necessary

The boom of our dancehall-influenced fast-paced rhythms often delivered in Pidgin English travels across geographical distances, social class and time. This think piece clarifies the exact moment.

Album Review: Wizkid Gave Us Sounds From the Other Side… And Everywhere

Sounds from the Other Side, ironically works as a title for the Nigerian listener. Yea, Wizkid giving Caribbean influences their due.

Album Review: How Omawumi Became a Jazz Singer on ‘Timeless’

Omawumi has outgrown both superhero argot and mannerisms she adopted on her first two outings. Her creative journey in 'Timeless' is heading ultimately towards Jazz.

Album Review: Flavour’s Ijele, The Traveler or The Traveling Circus

It seems Flavour has outgrown his comfort box. It is time he broke out of his current creative bubble and forged ahead in his musical career.

Music Review: Davolee’s ‘Festival Bar’ is More Than Just a Lagos Barman’s Tale

Listening to Festival Bar made me reflect on the art of the short story and especially how the song works with acute observation, colorful characterization and witty dialogue

Music Review: The Ultimate Palmwine Easy-Listen Contemporary Album by SDC

SDC’s Palmwine Music borrows from the Palmwine Highlife tendency. Imagine a sound that tries to be a sponge, soaking a megacity’s stress, that lures your attention to details antithetical to stress.

Music Review: Of Plain Love, Banky W and His EP ‘Songs About U’

"Songs About U" has too many songs for an EP and is shorn of skits which this reviewer thinks may have made the album more visceral.

Album Review: We Know Why Skales’ Sophomore is ‘The Never Say Never Guy’

There is nothing wrong with aspiration if it is realistic and meaningful efforts are made to realize it. It is this tenacity that must be applauded in Skales; he never says never!

Album Review: ‘Petite Afrique’ by Somi – Returning Jazz to Africa

This is not just music for the sake of clear vocals and sonorous singing. This is fifty two or so minutes of jazz music that carries the trials, memories and testimony of a people; in Somi's own words, ‘the skin and bone and hide.’

How to Criticise Contemporary Nigerian Music

I don’t think Nigerian music is its best place. I do think there is room for improvement. But I also think these musicians deserve our respect, appreciation tweets and goodwill messages.

Album Review: Sugarboy’s Debut is a Box of Sugar Titled ‘Believe’

For Sugarboy the journey has been long, from when he used to go by the name A1, to when he assisted Modenine in 2010 with ‘Badman’.

Retro-Review: In Praise of the Old & New School Nigerian Music

Our current sound (Nigerian Music) has bounced from the West back home to feel comfortable in its own skin and this is all that matters.

Retro Review: The Timeless Song “Easy Motion Tourist”

As an agidigbo-exponent, and highlife crossover musician, Rolling Dollar re-imagines Easy Motion Tourist as a highlife tune with wailing guitars and a tempo slightly quicker than the typical juju rhythm.

Retro-Review: A Toast to Chief Commander Obey at 75

The widespread popularity of juju music can be attributed to the duo of King Sunny Ade and Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey. Now both in their 70s, these two dynamic musicians have aged rather gracefully and have continued to champion the course of a genre of music which they charted as young men.

Retro Review: Revisiting King Sunny Ade’s ‘Sweet Banana’

KSA’s vision of Juju music was similar to Fela’s vision for Afrobeat: to make vibrant, sonically robust music that is remarkably African and reminiscent of Classical music.

Music Review: On Iyanya’s Signature EP

Signature is popular music fodder. It sounds exactly like what is played on the radio and in the club; that reiterative mid-tempo music whose Afrobeats label we loathe but quote.

Music Review: On Cobhams’ Debut Album ‘For You’

Cobhams has taken all our experiences and spun a tapestry of artful melodies for God. We may very well listen to it in churches, in our cars and in the comfort of our privacy.

Music Review: On Korede Bello’s Belloved

‘Belloved’ makes for a decent listen with subtle and not-so-subtle musical influences drawn from both foreign and local scenes.

Music Review: On Vector’s Third LP Album, Lafiaji

Vector is more than competent as a rapper. His word play is perhaps his strongest asset. His story-telling is better than your average. His range and cross-over appeal also checks out even if it feels sometimes restricted.

Music Review: On Mr Eazi’s ‘Life is Eazi: Accra to Lagos’ Mixtape

Eazi who clinched the coveted Headies 2016 Next Rated Award has already pointed us in the direction of his trajectory: from Accra to Lagos, from singles to mixtape.

Album Review: On Bez’s Sophomore Album – Gbagyi Child

On ‘Just for Mary’, he is sublime and sets the record for the best bedroom ballad recorded by a Nigerian, but elsewhere, you may want to ...

Music Review: Rhythm & Life – The Beautification of Shaydee

I have a lot of admiration for Shaydee. He has been in the game for a bit. Beginning his ascent into stardom after his chance encounter with Banky W after opening for him in Ilorin, Shaydee has not only waited a whooping four years to put this album out, he has also endured some measure of neglect.

Music Review: Symbol of Hope – Review of Olamide’s ‘The Glory’

Interestingly, the most important song of his career on this album is not ‘Oluwa Loni Glory’, rather it is ‘Symbol of Hope’ on which he announces his current status in the game

Music Review: On Snobbery, Sobotone and Small Doctor

Even if Small Doctor’s albums are not popularly branded and marketed, one thing is clear to a discerning ear: Temitope is only interested in his streets.

Music Review: Táabákú – The 12th Studio Album by Beautiful Nubia

Introspective lyrics with philosophical depth. Tongue-in-cheek humour. A subliminal promotion of Yoruba culture amongst other things. But what they don’t expect is the new dimension and terrain that Beautiful Nubia's new music will explore.

Album Review: Lynxxx’s ‘The Album Before the Album’

If one word recurs in an appraisal of Lynxxx, that word would be 'Easy', perhaps because there is certain level of insouciance (not effortlessness) that he brings to the table, utunu!

OTV Special: Disappointing Nigerian Music Albums (LP’s) of 2016

The art of the music album, though on a decline, seem to have flowered in 2016. That said, many albums fell short of expectations this year. Here are some of them

Album Review: On Solidstar’s Brand of W.E.E.D

In essence, Witness Everything Exceptionally Different (WEED) aspires mostly to lover’s dance. And if anyone is deserving of a pat on the back, it is the various featured artistes who grace the album