The Nigerian Christian music landscape; All five words used to be very good prompts for laughter from a cynical audience. Used to be, a lot has changed and for the better too. We’ve come into an era of (almost) complete relevance and much more bravery from Christian acts.
The Yadamag Music Project’s fourth installation offers a prime example of this bravery; more artistes are launching themselves out of the box. There is much more by way of a wide genre spectrum with what would’ve seemed weird musical choices just a couple of years back.
Take for instance “Ocho” with Phrance serving up a worship ballad tinged with some pretty excellent acoustic guitar progressions. Often shirked so people can rather dance, this approach was used and will most likely get you lost in awe of God’s glory with the accompanying smooth lyrics.
The aptly titled “Behold the Man” takes a similar route, Ivory sheds everything but her pin point voice and strings for this soulfully alternative number. She uses this stripped down combo to point in the right direction. Finding resistance ti her mellow tone would be more or less futile.
Then Femi Leye does you a solid with “Smile”, tag team member to the Laykay Sax effort “Na Wa O.” Now both are straight instrumentals; courageous choice in an era of noise. You can’t help but listen and get carried away by the arrangement on the smooth jazz waves from the former or the more earthy punch and praise mix the latter provides.
I do feel if we can have more of these kinds of tracks done so well we can be taken much more seriously.
Dipson’s approach is just as brave as the rest of the pack but his Yoruba rendition of a tribute to God’s power on “Ola Oluwa” does all sorts of good things to the mind (goose bumps included). Chris Brown might listen to this and go green with envy as he can’t speak Yoruba.
“Care about the Journey” from the steadily impressive DavidB, “Akagi” from Kellar Thrills and Sheddy XL’s “Unek” are all examples of how well those from within the church are doing in setting examples for the “mainstream” crowd/audience to follow.
Each song can easily rub shoulders with most radio hits and still come off as dipping with integrity from both a perspective of sound and faith. Much like the rest of the compilation these tracks exhibit a necessary boldness that has been missing on this side of the imaginary divide for a while.
As mellow as the compilation is, it widens the field for not just the laid back but for the adventurous as well. The diversity far beyond the usual “safe bet” genres is an enjoyable perk too. If there ever was a time for folks who think they can offer something “different” (and good) to step up, it is now.
YadaMag is all for sharing knowledge and getting the people armed with the right information. This compilation proves that and you would do yourself a huge service getting it here.