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In Awolowo, Mayolee blends creativity and skill

By Guardian Nigeria
18 March 2023   |   3:45 am
Mayolee’s album, ‘Awolowo’, speaks to the body and soul.

Mayolee’s album, ‘Awolowo’, speaks to the body and soul.

The mastery with which the beats were pieced together calms the heart. Also, the creative process of each track is incredible, as the harmonies, melodies, percussions and drums make the body move.

‘Awolowo’ is a holistic body of work perfect for introspection, meditation and relaxation. Though, it could have been more expanded, Mayolee gives a good account of himself in the album.

A great body of art, ‘Awolowo’ comes across as a blend of creativity, skill and innovation. It amplifies the essence of African art as it fuses jazz, lofi, pop, hip-hop and esoteric African music in one album. The intentionality with the production is beautiful, as even the track list.

‘Oduduwa’ and ‘Olatunji’ are two tracks that amplify Africanism and are created with esoteric colours for two purposes: to be enjoyed by people who understand the native African sound, and to introduce to it those not familiar with it.

Both tracks are Mayolee’s attempt at showing the world some untapped African music. They were created on a tonic-modal harmony with a key center that stems from the Yoruba traditional music, Apala. The musician made a decent effort to make a fusion of these on a beautiful Lofi spin.

For a debut album, ‘Awolowo’ gives an insight to the artist’s creative potential. The lyrics on tracks like ‘Wish For’, ‘Breath’, ‘Dues’ and ‘Desire’ show Mayolee’s creative ability to play with words and tell stories. Other musical genres in the album include Afrobeat, hip-hop, jazz and pop – all cutting it.

Mayolee could have diversified the 12-track album with collaboration with other musicians, but to preserve and communicate his thoughts, he went solo. Perhaps, he also wanted to express himself on each instrument and that turned out pretty good. Moreover, fusions like this most times require that the artist has a good sense of harmony to make a smooth flow, else it sounds odd. But then, what Mayolee has done is truly impressive. Kudos to him!

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