THE CUTS reviews songs, videos or albums we think deserves your attention. The songs or videos covered are not a genre and/or region specific. Once it is good, it would be reviewed or featured.
Amaarae ft. Wande Coal – Spend Some Time
Amaarae moves in silent yet the results are somewhat astounding. The outcomes are beyond the punch of an artist who is still ‘not there yet’. But again, the results mean one thing: talent will attract recognizable talents within the space she operates. And her new release – and its video- validate this fact.
“Spend Some Time”, her new song features Nigerian versatile act, Wande Coal. The song possesses the trappings of soul and 70s funk, with both Amaarae and Wande Coal’s falsetto, loved themed verses either floating above (in the case of Anaarae) or cutting through the production (as confirmed by Wande Coal’s delivery). Both seem to take a languid yet infectious approach; pouring out their feelings towards ‘each other’. And like the video- with its 70s Earth, Wind and Fire styled, neon lights berated, disco setting concept, Amaarae and friends are seen partying. Wande Coal is absent in the video but Amaarae fills in perfectly.
Rapper Future’s words: I make Yeezy Boots moves in my Reebok’ applies solidly to Amaarae. After announcing herself fully to ‘cool kids’ on Ghanaian social media courtesy her 2017 “Passionfruit Summers” and securing features with Nigeria’s ‘new wave’ huncho Santi (on ‘Rapid Fire’), M3NSA on ‘SDI’ and the remix of “Pepper Dem” by Stonebwoy, Amaarae is moving steadily towards the dream; something she has not hidden. Getting ‘Spend Some Time’ premiered on Beats1 is perhaps, the first ‘big’ step.
FOKN Bois – Account Balance
It’s not too hard to figure out why “Account Balance”, an afrobeats tune with EDM synth aesthetic has caught on with the Ghanaian public. The message is very relatable: love is money. The duo of M3NSA and Wanlov seem to be speaking the reality of our time. ‘I say I love you my baby/ She say that no dey work no more/ I for show am my account balance/Before she go fall’, they intone on the record.
Content aside, the video is a cultural exchange between Ghana (via the FOKN Bois) and Japan. The shots showcases Wanlov and his Japanese lover lying opposite of each other while M3NSA’s appeal for a love-minus-money talk is seen as flippant and gibberish. The scenes are shot in frame-like formats, like pictures you hang on walls. One of the exciting scenes of the video come by way of the Geisha dressed Japanese dancers excellently pulling out some Ghanaian dance moves.
Jean Feier – Rain
Being in a relationship where one party feels unloved could be menacing and suffocating. Exactly the sentiments that Jean Feier expresses on ”Rain”, the Yusei produced trapsoul single that opens with a solo guitar performance. Jean Feier sings about being suffocated, wanting to ‘break free’ and being a ‘shooting star’.
“Rain” is a one verse song delivered in two halves accompanied by different vocal and production tones – first verse is minimal and calm, the second is thundering in both vocal and sound. It’s always better to move out and discover your strengths when you feel unappreciated. This, exactly is what Jean Feier is emphasizing on “Rain”.
Adraxx – A Qaurter Century
First, the beat comes from a stack of samples which Adraxx added some elements to it to suit the message he wishes to deliver. The beat, however sounds like something off a J. Cole mixtape. It’s soulful without sounding boring and well-spaced, allowing Adraxx’s lyrics to fill in like water in an ice cube tray.
“A Quarter Century” is Adraxx musing about hitting 25 years. He raps about his life- reflecting on both his past deeds and present circumstances. The song is more of a musing than just rapping. Adraxx is one of the young rappers who has kept his consistency and work ethic a buck, releasing good records that reflect his growth as a rapper.
Papa Chie ft Ayat – Rayuwa
Afro-EDM/house act, Papa Chie and Ayat have built a chemistry that potentially led to a joint EP ‘’SABO SABO’’. This new release is the third song coming from a collaborative effort. It is not too hard to see why the two seem to enjoy working together: they are both experimental, their energy and music style is in sync, and they both love stretching their musical abilities through experimentation.
Produced by AFROLEKTRA, “Rawuya” carries an electro house music aesthetic. The title is a Hausa word that means “Life”. Papa Chie and Ayat, singing or rapping in mostly Nzema and Hausa languages respectively pour out their feelings about cheating and heartbreak. Papa Chie singing in his Nzema mother tongue is great. Representation matters even if many people don’t understand the language.