May D gets high in new EP
When he first emerged on the music scene in 2011, Akinmayokun Awodunmila, popularly known as Mr. May D, stole the hearts of many with his smooth vocals and intriguing dance steps. It was almost a smooth sailing for the young, promising artiste, especially with the backing of P-Square twins.
Right after his 2012 exit from the now-defunct Square Records, which was affiliated with the former singing duo, P-Square “due to irreconcilable differences,” he went ahead to release his first compilation project, Chapter One, which officially announced his arrival in the music industry.
However, there was no follow up to his debut album, even as many had anticipated Chapter Two. In fact, there was nobody of work from the artiste until his recent when he dropped his six-track Extended Playlist (EP), High With You.
One unique thing about Mr. May D, which has reflected in this new offering, is his vibrant and catchy vocal persona; it effortlessly trademarks him as a bestseller in the vocal shops of Afro Pop. The 19-minutes listening experience glues you from the very first track, Call My Name, a groovy Afro Rnb/Pop record, which also features Wande Coal, his old-time friend from his days at the University of Lagos, until the last song, Belong, another Afro Pop song.
The project dons an effective A&R, as the listening process is seamless, without suffering ‘sound boredom’ from the track listing. All the sounds are Afro Pop/Rnb, except for High With You, which is a Trap-Soul/RnB, and all adorn that essential Nigerian gbedu rhythm that is patriotically found in most of our songs.
The work is largely an inviting playlist, which, as most good playlists do, leaves you longing for more, at its end. Interestingly, MayD, who sings under his self-owned Confam Entertainment label, wore multiple hats on this project. Right from being the Executive Producer to being the sole songwriter and compositor, as well as the Artists Repertoire personnel, and eventually the singer… it was an exhibition of his mastery of music.
Meanwhile, Mr. May D brings his creative artistry to commendable performance with the way he easily juggles between English, Yoruba, Pidgin and French languages on his songs such as Belong (with Stanley E-Now), High With You and others, are colourful examples of the lingua-vibrancy of this project.
However, as customary with many Nigerian Afro-Pop artistes, High With You EP is another cliché compilation of songs that vainly adulate or obsess with the beauty of a woman and the euphoria of substance intoxication. While we know that these are contents that we have overheard, projects like this still score massive streams and airplay, because they are danceable and appealing; High With You EP is no different.
The album is definitely not MayD’s best, because drawing from the examples of his hit singles so far, such as Soundtrack, Ile Ijo, Bamilo, and Gat me High, you would observe that his creative prowess as a singer is less explored in areas such as content uniqueness and relevance. High With You EP is a marketable sound, quite all right, but the core question is, can it sell an experience beyond evoking dance steps?
Notwithstanding, industry pros such as Vstix, Dante, Showboibeats, and Swapsonthemix created all the sounds on the EP. While every minute of the project had clean, clear and smooth sound, the style of the beat itself is still largely outdated and monotonous. The project did not explore any experimentation with sound, a key attribute of any compilation project and artiste that is poised to thrive and is more of a refresher of our overused, gbam-gbam dum-dum drum riffs and piano melodies, which were still trendy in the early 2000s and 2010s.
While MayD flexes his vocal finesse on this new offering, which is already gaining massive appeal and streams on digital distribution platforms, it is unclear as to whether we would see anything stronger from the Mass Communication graduate in due time. However, as EPs are usually precedents of longer body of works, one can hope that the label owner has more up his sleeve for his fans in the next ablum.