Original Content on Arts and Entertainment

Video: Nigerian Crooner Brymo screams “Heya”

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Brymo is noted for his unconventionality. His bravery to push the boundaries of music and his art is revealed in each project he releases. He’s among a few Nigerian artists who defy pop culture stereotypes.

His songs are mostly meditative; eschewing the up-tempo, party music engravings that abound today. The incorporation of afrobeat elements and his social commentary clad lyrics or musings often reflect the nature of our society: corruption, injustice, poverty and inequality.

Similar to the music he makes, Brymo’s videos are artistically expressed in simple, beautiful yet compelling way.

The release of his 6th album, “Oso” (a Yoruba word for Wizard) came along with the video for the lead single “Heya”. Like many of his songs, “Heya” is a simple ballad, accompanied by strong piano chords.

On the song, Brymo paints a picture about human dynamics and daily politics. He decries how our collective ignorance continues to hold us back. ‘Lie, lie, you no go hear the people say, say our ignorance dey make life so hard’, he sings.

On the opening of the song, Brymo intimates: “everybody say dem dey go their way/ but, I notice say, say we dey block each other’s way’’; a reference to how, as people, we sacrifice the need to forge a community for individual gains, which ultimately, breeds chaos.

Instead of tackling it, we end up talking continuously about it without doing the actual work. “Heya” also touches on the subject of love where many allow their shortcomings to steal away what is precious to them.

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The Video

When a short video of “Heya” popped up online, the responses were diverse. For his critics, he, being virtually naked, was considered ‘madness’. For others, they saw art.

The opening scene that greet us is an aerial shot of the Third Bridge with the Lagos lagoon resting calmly across it. A butt naked, barefoot Brymo strides across the lagoon, taking his seat in front of a grand piano.

His whole costume triggered many-he wore a strap of leather which covered his penile area, his butt uncovered. According to Brymo, he chose this style to remind people of how his ancestors use to dress before the arrival of western civilization.

As the video rolls, we see him standing atop what looks like the foundation of a ruined house, gazing across the vast lagoon and the busy bridge in front of him. A long shot of the whole area is seen, the beautiful web-like bridges and the calm lagoon, with a shrunk Brymo reduced to a spot at the foot of the bridge.

Like the use of figurative expressions and metaphors in his songs, the beautifully constructed bridge and the wooden rafts floating on the lagoon could symbolize the beauty that people strive to project daily to others, yet beneath their souls are rotten or poisonous ideals.

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