Samini has been in the news for a couple of days, thanks to the unfortunate incident that played out during the “S Concert” a few weeks ago. Scheduled to perform, he left the venue after feeling disrespected by the organizers – they kept him waiting for over four hours backstage, according to him . For any unbiased watcher, Samini was very much justified in taking that action and subsequent explanations by the organizers confirmed this.
But for that incident, Samini’s name would have been mentioned not in the same sentence as ‘controversy’. Rather, it would have been because of music. His song, “My Own” scores high on many fronts. The song is a reminder of what has been ‘missing’ from Samini, specifically his music over a period of time.
For almost a year now, he has been embroiled in a beef with another dancehall artist, Shatta Wale. Shatta has constantly thrown series of shades at Samini over who is the hottest dancehall artist in the country. This beef had elicited similar responses from Samini, who persistently tried to alert all that he is still the ace on the dancehall front.
Beefs are, as I have argued elsewhere, good for the industry since it has the tendency to draw attention to a genre of music, the artists and overall music scene of the country if it doesn’t assume a ballistic (violent) nature. It also helps the creative process of the artists. In the case of Samini, the beef led to him losing touch with himself; what distinguished him from fellow ‘dancehallers’, and what endeared him to many of his fans. The downside of beefs are that, the aggressor always has the advantage since they dictate the pace.
The veteran Samini lost it, not because he isn’t good or the best to ever do it, but because he couldn’t keep up with the frequency of diss records Shatta Wale kept releasing. It’s common knowledge that Shatta is like an industrial machine that keeps churning out products with little stress.
Despite these spanner in the wheels moments for Samini, he has taken a step away from the beefing space. The outcome of this decision is his song ‘My Own’.
‘My Own’ is not steeped in the hardcore, hard drums drenched dancehall vibe. Samini didn’t spread that timbring, husky and smokey voice over this song either. What he did was to take a more softer, elegant approach.
The love themed ‘My Own’ is a cross between highlife and lovers rock. The tone is mid-tempo. Samini’s voice is very clear and enjoyable. The song celebrates love, with Samini chronicling how his lover stood by his side during his struggling years.
The anecdotes shared are mostly real life situations which many could relate to. Samini details how she was with him when he was unemployed, had no place to live or had no money to take care of her. His unfortunate condition, notwithstanding, his lover kept faith and stood by him in the rain.
It’s said today that, it’s hard finding a ‘ride or die’ girlfriends (men are trash, of course). This song is a reminder not to give up on a girl who has held you down through the low swings of life. Be thankfully for their presence and celebrate them every dime time when you make it.
The tone of ‘My Own’ is a reminder of Samini between 2006-2010, arguably his finest years. This was the period when most of his songs were national hits due to it’s tone and reflection of reality of life. Most of these songs also carried this afro dancehall/lovers rock tone. Mention could be made of ‘Odo’, ‘Movement’, ‘My Baby’ and ‘Sweet Mistake’.
What these songs had in similarities are the lovers rock tone of the songs, the clear twi spoken, the themes of life and love, and the overall melodies that were present on these songs. Samini had producers like Quik Action and JMJ understood the musical philosophy of Samini. The results chalked include Samini bagging a MOBO Award in 2006 and the ‘Artiste of The Year’ Award in 2007 at the MTN Ghana Music Awards.
It is therefore disturbing to come across online comments that seek to diminish or question the legacy of Samini. Even if these critics seek to obliterate his legacy (which would be a foolish attempt), they can’t deny the fact that his success was like a burning torch that lightened the dancehall path for of today’s artists. From General Marcus to Sonni Bali; from Pricky Yardey to Yoggi Doggie, none was as successful and huge as Samini.
‘My Own’ hasn’t been an instant hit as some of his previous works. The reasons could be quiet myriad. I sense ‘My Own’ to fall within those type of songs that grow in popularity as it ages. That’s, its popularity grows gradually over a period of time.
But then again, the excitement for me, lies in the fact that, Samini has tapped into his old vault and released a song that bears trait with some of his standout records that earned him such attention, establishing him as one of the best artists in the country. I hope he won’t get himself distracted from what matters to him and his fans.