Mike Akox’s African background as a Ghanaian, West African affords him the advantage at shaping his sound along the dominant Afrobeat sound. As an artist based in Australia, he is able to infuse some of the oceanic influences to create a sonic palette that appeals to his fans on each side of the continents.
The musical journey of Mike Akox has been a gradual one. Through the release of singles, he has been able to build a following and succeeded at forging relationships between himself and artists in Ghana, as well as connecting the sound of West Africa with the Oceanic region.
The beginning of the year saw Mike Akox releasing his new EP “Florence” (Jan, 2021). Consisting of six (6) tracks, the EP is moulded on the afropop/afrobeats sound with love – all of its facets- as a running theme.
Prior to the release of this body of work, Mike Akox dropped a couple of lead singles off the tape. Songs like “Super Mario” featuring renowned afro-dancehall artist Stonebwoy, “SAA” and “Florence” had gained traction, helping boost anticipation and visibility of Mike Akox. Aside the theme of love, the melodic compositions and musical arrangements offer the EP a replay value.
This review explores the EP in depth on a track-by-track basis.
Spectacular: A perfect opener, Spectacular is your quintessential Afropop tune that highlights the melodic beauty and infectiousness of the record. It’s a song about affirmation, assurance, and protecting his love interest. Lyrics like ‘’For your sake I go kill person/For your love I go delete my DMs’’ is something every guy would relate to and every girl would like to hear despite its banality. The pre-hook and the hook of the song would get people singing it on top of their lungs.
Super Mario ft. Stonebwoy: Undoubtedly the best record off the EP, ‘’Super Mario’’, named after the video game character has Mike and Stonebwoy pleading with their lover not to play them (treat them with contempt). The repetitive nature of the hook offers it this sing-along quality.
Florence: They often say ‘it is the little things that matter in love’. And, Mike Akox emphasizes that on the title track of this EP with a line that loosely translates as ‘’my lover serves me milo and fried eggs as breakfast’’. The mid-tempo, Afropop song sees him drawing a comparison between his lover, Florence, with some beautiful women around such as Genevive (Nnaji), Yvonne Nelson, and Beyoncé. To enhance its crossover success, Mike Akox spread some Nigerian lamba couplets on the record.
Woman: This mellow tune celebrates the goddesses that women are. Mostly performed in pidgin, Mike Akox reminds us of what makes women special. ‘’No Woman no life oo’’, he croons before laying out the qualities of women, from being nurturers to playing the role of life coaches. The appeal of the song lies more with the live African saxophone heard on the song. This offers the tune a remarkable soothing feel.
Merlot: ‘’Merlot’’ is the only track on the EP that trades Afropop inflections for RnB/hip hop grooves. The song appears to have been modeled on The Notorious B.I.G’s ‘’Big Poppa’’ and highlights the things you tell a girl when inviting her over: “I bought some wine for you… maybe we could catch a vibe’’. The tone of the song makes it a perfect background song when you want to catch a vibe.
SAA: Just like ‘’Merlot’’, ‘’Saa’’ is a smooth, mellow afro-dancehall song that celebrates the beauty, sexual appeal of his lover. The song evokes a feeling similar to ‘’Work’’ by Rihanna. ‘’Saa’’ is a record fit for the club especially the ‘slow dance’ sessions or when driving around alone or with your lover.
‘’Florence’’ is a mix of Afropop, RnB/Hip Hop, and afro dancehall project; a fit for diverse music taste. What is revealed on this EP is that Mike Akox is aware of the musical taste of his fans and thus, crafted an album to satisfy them. In the end, there is a song for every fan to enjoy. Stream Patience EP on all Platforms