By Udochukwu Ikwuagwu
Recently, Olawale Ashimi aka BrymO released the first official single off his forthcoming album, Tabula Rasa- which happens to be his fourth studio album. BrymO is one of few Nigerian music artistes whose music reflects: ‘what art is supposed to be, and how it is supposed to be done’. My first contact with his musical artistry was Shawty; even though he was an up and coming artiste, at the time of release, the video was brilliant for its era and subsequently bagged award nominations. As one in tune with the art aspect of his craft, BrymO’s music videos and album covers have been easy on the eyes. And, so, his latest single is worthy of a review.
The song – Fé Mi– which loosely translates to Love Me, is a beautiful piece of art. The song tells love in a non-conformist manner. The song wafts from the bedroom of two lovers, bearing tales of lust and love. The song is capable of sending listeners into fantasy land with the sensual lyrics crooned on a perfectly constructed beat- the beat itself puts one ‘into the mood’; it welcomes to an erotic session. The electronic drums lay the red and white roses; the keyboard notes light the scented candles; while the guitar riffs turn the lights down low. We witness this moment like a voyeur. You may rush to tag it risqué or salacious, due to the prudish cloaks our culture have gracefully given. But, this song is far from indecent or demeaning to ladies unlike what obtains in mainstream pop music- where women are objectified and wanted solely for their bodies; where sex is depicted as a male conquest, ignoring the sexually needs and pleasure of the woman. Though the song contains mature lyrics its rendition is commendable.
The Cover Art
Photo Credit: Abinibi/BrymO/The Bail Music Coy
One important parameter of art is contemporary relevance- art must play around reality without losing its ingenuity. It is rare in the Nigerian Mainstream Music- and in extension, its pop culture- to find plus-sized women depicted as the epitome of beauty and attractiveness. What obtains: artistes serenading ladies with flat tummies and curves in the right places. In the course of such adulation, ladies end up as sex objects who are only wanted for their ‘fit’ figures. But, in truth, these standards and subsequent fallings are images peddled by the media which fall short of reality. BrymO’s ‘woman’- the woman he loves- is beautiful in her own way, and she owns her beautiful. Her show of her stomach folds are far from stomach-churning like the world would want us to believe. They are a work of art to her lover and he showers her with praises. Her hair is glorious; full like her breasts. She is archetype of the Nigerian woman- not only in body shape, but in the essence of her blackness. The muse oozes seduction and sensuality with the hands arched. The colour choice aids the expression of the artiste’s mood (in the song) without inhibition. Abinibi and BrymO deserve credit for this beautiful artwork.
BrymO telling a tale that is usually tagged ‘borderline’ or ‘indecent’ in a manner that is neither repulsive, neither disgusting nor demeaning to women, says a lot about his penmanship. His rendition and songwriting is near-flawless and beautiful. The production on this song deserves high praise- Mikky Me did a wonderful job on this one. The three basic components of a song- performance, songwriting and production- are in sync with one another and the result is BRILLIANCE.
This is definitely one of the best songs from Nigeria, this year; and deserves all the ratings and accolades by music fans and critics. If this is a taste of BrymO’s Tabula Rasa album, it would be one of the best (if not the best) Nigerian album this year.
Udochukwu writes from Ibadan. You can catch him listening to different genres of music on his iPod or buying CDs at your popular music store when he’s not working.
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