If there ever was a tortured soul that walked on the magnificent shoreline of the Nigerian music industry, it has to be Ahmedu Augustine Obiebo, popularly knows as Blackface. The Benue State-born act was part of Nigeria’s foremost three-member R&B music group, Plantashun Boiz.
As a solo artiste, he experienced a series of successes with hit tracks such as HARD LIFE, AHEAD OF THE GAME, and arguably, AFRICAN QUEEN (which he reportedly co-wrote with his former bandmate and international heavy-hitter Innocent ‘2baba’ Idibia)
There’s something about the subject of love and Benue-born crooners. They seem to possess the spell to draw you in and stop you dead in your tracks wondering where the inspiration came from. From the great Bongos Ikwe to Blackface, 2baba, and Chris Morgan (to name just a few), they master the art of translating the love language in the most palatable of ways and it’s always hard to ignore any effort from them on this front.
Cutting straight to the chase by savoring this latest offering by Blackface Naija titled WIFEY. I’ll start by saying, if he could craft and pen a chunk of the national treasure titled AFRICAN QUEEN, then nothing he renders and delivers should astound you on a good day of his, and I dare to say, he has something adequate enough to get anyone’s attention.
If you cannot vocally phrase like Marvin Gaye or David Ruffin when talking about romantic love, the best conveyor is reggae. Check out records like TICKLE ME by Alex Zito or BABY I LOVE YOUR WAY by Big Mountain and you will acknowledge this observation.
Being the well-versed old stager that he is, Blackface spawns irie vibes — thanks to the tight rhythm section and his ever-present capacity as a pensive lyricist. He serves it to you with vocals so vulnerable and sincere that you are drawn into a nostalgic bubble for the passing of time.
The record opens with lyrics like “hold on let me paint you a picture/of you and I taken from Jah’s scripture… These well-structured lines lead you to one man’s artistic interpretation of his tender love for another soul. In all, I hope this is a continuation of wonderful things to come, I hope he keeps digging into the dark mines of the past and bringing forth messages of love and hope with a lot of light. One thing is for sure though, if ever I find the one, and I’m ever going to walk down that Isle in my half-spent life, WIFEY is definitely making the playlist.
Go listen to the track and come back to air your view in the comment box.
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Ogechukwu Oluwaseun Anyanwu is head of Rapid fire integrated, he is a seasoned music business entrepreneur, A&R administrator, song writer, music critic, journalist (Nigerian institute of journalism) and graphic designer. A former rugby player (young lions rfc lagos) and a boxing enthusiast, and crazy Liverpool fan.