On its 5th year following its release, we look at how Tay Iwar’s “Passport” opened him up for notice.
My curiosity was piqued after my first listen. The songs on the album led to my searching for information on this young talented singer. Despite the paucity of information on him (yeah he is a new act); this 17 year old crooner cum producer unsurprisingly idolized Michael Jackson, Usher and a litany of talented RnB talents.
On Passport, Austin ‘Tay’ Iwar exhibited his smooth, tendering vocals on Gabriel, an ode to his guardian Angel. What Tay did on perfecting this album was his ability to choose the right beats to match his voice. His singing style was an amalgamation of The Weeknd, Trey Songz and Lloyd.
Whereas ‘’Lost’’ and ‘’Spiritual’’ get you finger snapping, Bounce which featured Sute will get you dancing, courtesy its mid-tempo vibe. It must be said that, everything about ‘’Lost’’ is taken from the playbook of The Weeknd. On ‘’Lust or Love’’, Tay is caught in a dilemma about his feelings for a girl he had a one-night stand with: ‘’I don’t know you but I want you”, he confessed over this The-Dream-esque type beat. Tay brought his music home with Party, an afro-pop tune.
But, it was on “TheBox”, an acoustic cum mid-tempo, percussion heavy tune that you felt Tay Iwar’s musicianship. ‘See I don’t even know those rules and stuff like you do”, he intoned over the squelching guitar licks that surround the song. ‘Cos everyday that you think about what you wanna do/makes you lose yourself…/You don’t wanna break yourself’, Tay Iwar made clear. “TheBox” was like a pep talk to himself about being more free, experimental and unafraid to be disruptive.
With ‘’Passport’’, Tay established himself on the minds of RnB fans. It was incumbent on him to pull them along to win more fans with his next album, since there are not many on the Nigerian RnB scene.
My reservation is why he decided to leave songs such as P.Juice and Try interludes when they could have been turned into a full song. Again, he should have his own distinct style, something that people can easily identify or connect to.
In short he should sound like him and no other.
Thanks to St. Nick (@St_NickOWT ) for putting me on.
This short article was originally written in 2016 when St. Nick sent a handful of albums by Nigerian acts on the emerging Alte scene. I wrote a review for each album but never got around to publish them. Had to bring this one out after seeing Tay Iwar’s tweet.