Tito Da.Fire’s artistry soars On The Shoulders of Giants
His lithe vocals open the record, with echoes of children underlying the intro. “My African woman, my tales by moonlight,” Tito Da.Fire’s emotive lyricism are the most striking element of the song, African Woman, which opens his forthcoming album, On The Shoulders of Giants.
He continues with an intimate ode to notable African heroines, including Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, and Queen Amina of Zazzau, among others, mirroring their legacies to that of every hardworking, industrious and selfless African woman.
The record snowballs into an Elevation, as Da.Fire continues his toast to African legends and landmarks, including Nelson Mandela, and Kilimanjaro, among others. It’s a heartfelt pontification of the need for pan-Africanism, and patriotism. It’s a groovy dancehall/rnb bop that helps Da.Fire creates euphoria from didacticism.
From the third song on the record, the Pop-leaning side of Da.Fire surfaces, serving a blend of Yoruba, and English, as he creates yet another pep-giving jam. “Your best friend could be your worst enemy, so shine your eyes,” he sings, setting the tone for the 12-tracker album, as an intimate and inspiring memoir of perspectives and experiences.
With the cacophony of mundane lyricism dominating the Nigerian music industry, it is easy to see why a maverick like Da.Fire resounds with appeal and replay value, as his music is baked into the socio-economic realities, taking his own swipe directly at individuals rather than solely on institutions.
In the album’s fourth track, Lifeguard, Da.Fire taps Grammy-winning South African composer, Wouter Kellerman, to create a soothing love melody that soars for its scintillating production elements. In Lifeguard, Kellerman who is a renowned flautist sprinkles his flute magic on the record, combining smoothly with the backing choir vocals. It is easy to see the A&R brilliance on On The Shoulders of Giants, as the record shines with a stellar track listing and arrangement, collaboration types, as well as maintaining profound thematic directions. It is a record made for moments, from difficult life situations, to the mesmeric seasons of romantic love, down to feel-good situations. On The Shoulders of Giants is easily an evergreen record, with an A1 in every facet of its composition.
Da.Fire also bares his versatility on the record, as he opens up his Naija-style pop-leaning flows with songs like, Fire Inna Dancefloor, where he adulates on his love interest, commenting on her seductive aura on the dancefloor. While Da.Fire Yoruba and English lyricism stands out, his Pidgin English, however, feels like a mismatch for the Recording Academy voting member.
From the middle of the album to the end of the record, Da.Fire evokes nostalgia with the 2000s Naija-pop style harmonisation and singing flow, mirroring a similar vibe with 2baba. While it colours the record with heritage and wholesomeness, melodically, it dilutes the appeal of the album for new generation listeners. Fortunately, the record picks up with the mid-tempo RnB bop, Breakup Anthem, which stands out as the most enigmatic song on the album. The momentum drifts with other heart-stirring melodies, such as the reggaeton-bop, Temple, where he talks about life’s vanity, throes, and the idea of the body being the temple of God.
The album climaxes with Abibeji, a euphoric love song where he serenades his lover, saying “I have found myself a lover/ I have found my world,” becoming a perfect wedding song; before concluding with Nighali, another love-adulating record.
From a distance, Da.Fire reverberates with much promise as one of Nigeria’s most introspective musicians, with a discography that appeals across generations of listeners. His biggest strength as a musician resides in his pen-game, while his confidence stays rooted in his voice. In On The Shoulders of Giants, he proves his mettle as a profound lyricist, and an innovative musician.
On The Shoulders of Giants is out across digital platforms later this month.