If you’re an OG KiDi fan (way before the Hitmaker days), you are well aware that the music he has been putting out since 2015 is different from what he was making earlier in his journey. Before he became a nationwide sensation on the music competition show, he was known mostly as an RnB/Soul artiste with unmatched vocal prowess among his peers.
His performances and ultimately his win on Hitmaker revealed to the nation that if there was one thing worth knowing about his artistry, it was his versatility. Week after week, he dominated the live performances regardless of the genre and whether the songs were original or covers. This won him the best performer accolade four out of the seven weeks of live performances. While those who discovered him through this competition became immediately aware of this versatility, the early fans were not happy about his switch from what they knew and loved him for.
Fast forward five years later and he is one of the most prolific musicians in his generation and in the top three of what we have come to know as the New Lords of GH Music. This he has achieved primarily through highlife and afro pop releases such as Odo, Adiepena and what was arguably the biggest song in Ghana pre-pandemic, Enjoyment. Clearly, the idea to focus on the kinds of songs that do well in the current music landscape has served him well. So it was a surprise to wake up to his latest project, Blue.
Blue: The EP is a five track project that enlists five of the most impressive producers our industry has to offer and a single feature from two time Best Female Vocalist Adina to assist KiDi prove his musical dexterity to anyone who has doubted it. So let’s look at what this EP is made of.
Produced by Groundup’s KaySo, Say Cheese kicks off the project with a sound that is undoubtedly a deviation from what most KiDi fans have come to expect. It is neither highlife or quintessentially afro beats. It is an interesting blend of the London sound and what could be seen as dancehall. In spite of the aforementioned deviation, the song comes together smoothly and shines a light on a collaboration between an artiste and producer who get each other. This is far from their first time at the rodeo together. It is fitting that a KaySo production starts this project considering the producer is responsible for KiDi’s first two original releases; Bleed and Drunk.
ONE MAN ft. ADINA
The second song has the only feature on this EP, Adina. One man is glaringly different from Say Cheese. The perfectly produced song starts in the way that would make you expect a Burna Boy feature but the beauty of it is that it manages to stand on its own feet without the African Giant. The familiarity of this song’s introduction doesn’t prepare you for the unexpected style that KiDi gifts us. Adina fits in effortlessly with her verse and harmonies and provides an already good song the push to be great. Another unexpected thing about this song is the production credit. While it makes sense immediately, you will never guess just from hearing it that it was produced by Richie.
END IN TEARS
If Drake has mastered the art of creating lyrics that become quotable and social media slang, KiDi has the ability to bring social media slang into the mainstream through music. That is what he does with End In Tears. This pop-inspired performance is rich in production, thanks to DaBeatGod, Kaywa’s protégé who is best known for his work on KiDi’s Adiepena. End In Tears is what you get if KiDi’s Never Again had the ability and managed to evolve and grow into maturity from experience.
By the time you get to Freaky Lord, you’d have heard the name in a few of the previous songs. While Sugar Daddy was a progression from Gyal Dem Sugar, Freaky Lord feels less like it is going to replace Sugar Daddy and more like an add-on or an alter ego even. KiDi uses this MOG-produced song to re-introduce himself.
NEXT TIME I SEE YOU
For a song produced by the same guy who gave us Joey B’s Stables, Pappy Kojo’s Balance and Sarkodie’s Overdose, the last thing you’d expect is for it to sound like something meant for Daddy Lumba. Nova and KiDi’s partnership on Next Time I See You is one of the most surprising acts on the project. The instrumentation creates the expectation of a throwback style track from Lumba’s hey days but ends up delivery something more akin to a Michael Jackson throwback because of the melody and arrangement KiDi goes with.
If there was any doubt that KiDi has the ability to create music from diverse genres or music without call backs and samples, this is where those end. For early KiDi fans looking for more Bleed-esque music, this might not be it but this represents something even better about the artiste you fell in love with. He has evolved and owned his capacity to create music that fuses all his influences and tastes rather than the one dimensional RnB & Soul music that became expected from him largely as a result of him beginnings in cover music.
Written by: EBO KILSON