THE CUTS reviews songs, videos or albums we think deserve your attention. The songs or videos covered are not genre and/or region specific. Once it is good, it would be reviewed or featured. THE CUTS is available every FRIDAY.
Jeff Ottis – On Them (Prod. By Flower Papi)
Jeff Ottis’ name has been popping up on my TL for a minute, mostly as a featured guest. His full length single, ‘’On Them’’ came out a couple of days ago. ‘’On Them’’ is a mellow trap number whose enchantment lies very much within its minimalistic, wheezy bass-line. Jeff Ottis delivers two verses that ran across stealing your girl, his ambitions as a rapper and praise to God for seeing him through.
The minimal tone of the beat allows for the vibrancy of Jeff’s voice. His pause-and-start delivery means the beat, especially that unraveled bass-line breathes before the next bar is dropped. ‘’On Them’’ is the first single off his upcoming EP titled ‘Leap of Faith’. Granted a first single off an impending tape doesn’t offer proof of what is to come, ‘On them’ seems like the harbinger to a good leap from Jeff Ottis.
Midi Kwakwa – Used To (Feat Jeff Ottis & Tony Bryte)
Midi Kwakwa is blessed with a voice that wakes up your musical senses. ‘Used To’, her most recent single attest to this. The modern-day trap-soul tune is a reflective song about a past love gone awry. She points out how her lover’s inexplicable actions have caused a strain in their relationship. Jeff Ottis playing her lover picks the conversation from his perspective, alluding to reasons why it didn’t work out in his rap verse. Ask me again and I’d say the rap could have been cut out and the song would still have been excellent, and also, offer listeners an opportunity to hear her fully.
Midi Kwakwa possess an incredibly voice- the texture is soulful, smoky, well cadenced. She joins a list of great young female acts who continue to wow whoever chances on their song the first time. All that is left is visibility, which she and her team must prioritize.
Asi – Soul Searching (Nostalgia)
The name Asi might not strike an immediate chord. But I bet you’re familiar with her voice. She is the singer on Joojo Addison’s breakout single ‘Guy Man’. Last year, she released a six song EP titled ‘’Piece of Me’’. She displays her full musical range and influences across the album: from soulful, afropop to afro-folk offerings as heard on ‘’Forever’’. ‘’Soul Searching; (Nostalgia) breath with the boisterousness of this eras afropop inflections. Its fast tempo aesthetics and easy to sing along hook makes it a good reference point to her art. (The 2face ‘True Love’ interpolation is the nostalgia in the song).
The passion is apparent across the EP, and especially on Nostalgic. Asi on the EP showed how she can stretch her singing abilities with little struggle. A relatively ‘silent’ release needs to be promoted considering the level of attention ‘’Guy Man’’ has elicited and more specifically, her vocal work on the record. Shine your light!
BuDu – Stay
The eeriness and chilling backdrop of this single sounds like something from the playbook of the Canadian pop star, The Weeknd. ‘Stay’ is a song about lost love as a result of a break-up and the corresponding hate that comes with it. ‘’Now you no dey see my face/ now you no dey come my place/ now you dey stay away’, he sings.
The unexpected outcome of the relationship had BuDu questioning his earlier assumptions of his lover ‘being a ride or die’. For a relationship to work, the parties involved deserve to make sacrifices. Faith, hard work, dedication are some of the elements he itemizes as key to an undying love affair. Here, BuDu sounds like a marriage expert advising a young couple. The only low point of ‘’Stay’’ is the mixing. It wasn’t sharp enough and this affected the vocal clarity of the song.
Summit Boahen – Minimalist Project
‘Minimalist Project’ is a six-track project that Summit Boahen has put out. Like the title suggest, the songs on the EP, produced by Bryan The Mensah are couched in a skeletal production, allowing Summit’s delivery to shine across them. The artist who describes himself as an ‘’experimental artist’’ touch on the themes of self-finding (Story), love (Just Do It), life (on Story, Vibes), political and social justice (Anarchy).
The themes are fleshed out on songs like ‘Story’, where he talks about how he fell in love with rap (or music); ‘’Vibes’’ is a reminder to take time off to relax or chill; ‘’Anarchy’’ is a reflection on the impact of bad politics on the society. On the RnB styled ‘’Just Do It’’, Summit allows Adjefa, a singer, to get listeners into the feelings.
B. Botch ft Dani Draco – Sumer Vibes
B. Botch is gradually courting attention thanks to his calm disposition on songs. His first real break by way of ‘’Banana’’ in 2018. ‘’Summer Vibe’’ follows in the same mellow groove of ‘’Banana’’, but this time, the Lynex produced song carries a tropical feel, befitting the title. Featuring Dani Draco, the two sing about women they wish they had. Whereas B. Botch’s verse sounds like the early stages of sunrise, Dani Draco comes through with a verse that is comparable to pre-sunset. Despite the contrasting styles, the obviously complement each other.
Kobi – Surulere Drive (Prod by Johnson IP)
There’s a long list of artists who have eulogized the city of their birth. Wizkid’s global smash hit, ‘Ojuelegba’ is a modern day example. Kobi, a young Nigerian artist has also paid ode to the city of his birth: Surulere; one of the busiest suburbs in Lagos. The soulful mood of “Surulere Drive” is set by the piano stumps at the beginning of the song.
Kobi’s pitches his dreams and aspirations (‘’I only pray for a better tomorrow) against the smooth mood of the piano and kicks; capturing the vibrancy of Surulere: ‘buzz on every street’. The energy that this boisterous commercial city emit is the well of inspiration that serves Kobi’s ambitions. ‘’Every memory I wanna keep’’, Kobi intones on the chorus of the song.