I’m very excited to bring you this post! The first review on this blog goes to *drum roll*—- FEMI LEYE!!!!
For those who didn’t know before now, Femi Leye (Whose full name is Oluwafemi Ogunleye) is a Nigerian Afro Jazz artiste and guitarist whose first album was released on the 7th of September, 2015. The word ‘EKAABO’ which is the title of the 10 track album is yoruba for ‘WELCOME’. The album is almost all instrumental and this already impresses me. To be honest, I didn’t think a Nigerian artiste would be able to pull that off.. But I was proved wrong. I am really impressed by the fact that music can still be complete in itself without any words said. An amazing fusion of deeply rooted African sounds and jazz is what you will find in this album.
The album features only two other artistes -Naomi Mac and Titilope Sonuga.
Track 1 is titled ‘Ekaabo’ and is a 17 second intro track. It is an amazing use of the talking drum and actually makes you want to listen the rest of the album. It is a masterful use of 17 seconds to say ‘welcome’ to the listener!
The second track is called ‘Irawo Owuro’ (which means morning star) shows off Femi Leye’s amazing mastery of the guitar. It’s like I could practically pick out one string after the other (even though I know next to nothing about the guitar). I especially love the first ten seconds of this song.
Track 3 titled ‘Smile’ is extremely calm! And it’s almost as if you can hear what he’s telling you (stuff like sleep my child, sleep.. lol) It actually makes me smile everytime I hear it.
‘Wewe’ is the fourth track on this album. And this actually the first time you hear a vocal on the album. It features the amazing ‘Naomi Mac’ whose voice I also adore. I think ‘wewe’ is a yoruba word that describes substances in tiny bits. A captivating story of a woman who is about to lose a child, and who’s also in love. Such a very sweet song. And the percussion in this song? Amazing!!
And then track 5- ‘Orin Ife’ which translates to ‘Love Song’. It’s an acoustic sound. All I can hear is guitar and keyboard. It is also a great sound and very gentle on the ears. I have always imagined this song having a re-make featuring a male soul artiste and then with like drums and the ‘whole nine yards’ (I’m not sure why). This is another great track all the same
Track 6- Adina reminds me somehow of Ebenezer Obey and then somehow of Frank Ocean (not that these two have any correlation). This is another track that makes me feel like I can hear what he’s saying. Even though no words are spoken. It creates that slow wind/ sway type mood and creates a picture of afros and oleku wrappers.
The tempo increases slightly as I get to track 7 titled Rain. This track features Titilope Sonuga who does SPOKEN WORD on the instrumental!!!! Oh yes she does and she kills it!!! The spoken word piece sends one to a place of deep though.. JAZZ+SPOKEN WORD=SCORE!!!
Track 8 is called ‘Better Age’. I unconsciously want to move my head anytime I hear this song. And I love the simple message- Igba Otun Wo’lede (Which means A new dawn has come). Another beautiful song
Sise (Work Hard) is track 9. I think he killed it with this song. And it is my favourite on the album!
Track 10 is titled Ayo (Joy). A song of prayer and prophecy which simply says ‘Joy will not depart from our homes, Our Joy will last forever. It is a beautiful song! And an amazing way to end an album.
Ladies and gentlemen, for me this is an awesome A1 album.
Thanks for blessing us with this Femi! Thank you!
Have you listened before? What do you think? Haven’t listened? Listen below!
Track 1: Ekaabo
Track 2: Irawo Owuro
Track 3: Smile
Track 4: Wewe ft. Naomi Mac
Track 5: Orin Ife
Track 6: Adina
Track 7: Rain ft. Titilope Sonuga
Track 8: Better Age
Track 9: Sise
Track 10: Ayo
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