So Reekado Banks finally held his album listening, where people selected from the industry got to get a first-hand feel of what the entire project sounds like. If you want a detailed description of how the unveiling went, follow us on facebook
This article is strictly about what I think about the album as Reekado Banks played it out on that night. It is not an official review, because I didn’t get a solo personal taste of the work. Neither did I have the chance to listen to it continuously, digest the sounds, note the messages, find the patterns and dissect the direction and all the elements. I simply stood in a place filled with beautiful women, proud men, enthusiastic media practitioners, packaged Victoria Island big boys, and weird-looking upcoming artistes who were just happy to be a part of the events.
There was noise, plenty of it coming from everyone and everywhere. There were also punctuations, shout outs, applause, and many other distractions. But the music was present too, and it was carried across to everyone with loud speakers, and standing there, listening to song after song, here’s what I think about the album.
“Spotlight” album is Reekado Banks’ first body of work. It is released under Mavin Records. The album is produced entirely in-house, by Don Jazzy, Babyfresh and Altims. Don Jazzy produced 6 tracks, Babyfresh got tied that number with a decent 6 tracks, while Altims got a slight edge, supervising work on 8 tracks. This brings the sum of all the songs to 21, inclusive of a skit handled by Kenny Black. The album contains 18 new songs, with released singles ‘Katapot’, ‘Oluwa ni’, and ‘Standard’ making the project.
Reekado Banks sticks to his pop themes, chasing the bright lights of commercial success via making pop sounds. Opener ‘Hey stranger’ is an Afro-EDM fusion, suitable to a production from Major Lazer. There are also shades of this sound on ‘Love my baby’ (Track 13).
For party pop Reekado scores a major win on ‘Problem’, and continues along these lines through ‘Koloba’. Dancehall makes an appearance on ‘Killah whyna’, and the Falz-assisted ‘Biggy man’, which were carried through by Babyfresh’s drum-heavy production.
Afrobeat and it’s derivative sounds were contained on two songs; A Don Jazzy-produced conscious track titled ‘Change’, and in a more direct Fela-esque format on ‘Gba gbe’.
Highlife was also a heavy feature of the album, with Reekado Banks specifically targeting thematic events for the writing of these songs. For weddings, the romantic songwriting on ‘Today’, are infectious, Money spenders will have to make do with ‘Dangote’, and the older generation of listeners will be catapulted back to the 90s goodness with ‘Olaoluwa’.
Reekado experiments with rock on the deeply personal ‘Turn the lights on’, and professes his love to Vanessa Mdee, the Tanzanian singer featured on ‘Move‘.
Reekado Banks delivers a solid debut project, with plenty of materials to enjoy. Only time and promotion will tell if this is the best album out of Nigeria in the past 10 years. It is special, and has all the markers of a dope project.