The crux of every artist’s existence in Nigeria should be versatility, not necessarily existing as an artist to prove this skill but it’s more like a prerequisite for you to display to lovers of your music how well diverse you are, as an artist.
This does not apply for Asake, who as an artist has taken to be well content with everything his music stands for, seeing no need to deviate from the usual dose of musical melodies he so often feeds his fans with.
Asake is well known for hacking the elements of amapiano as a music genre and thriving off it, he has in fact, based his entire discography on it, well, if you’re going to count out his first ever debut song into the Nigerian music scene, “Lady”; where he was simply testing his talented foot in the music scene. Ever since then, it does not ring a bell where Asake has made music, or hopped on a feature outside it.
For this artist perhaps, he has picked a chosen craft in the music and who knows? Might base his entire career off of it.
As opposed to his statements in his song, “Introduction”, off his sophomore album, “Work Of Art”, Asake needs no introduction. If you’re well-versed in the affairs of Nigerian music, Asake is the prince of street hop, the dominant force of 2022 and the most beloved by most Nigerians; as is with the saying, the artist has so far not had a bad song. He is reigning supreme as an artist who has the record of dropping songs with urgency and while yet, somehow gaining the reputation of being a hit maker with every track.
When Asake dropped his debut album last year, months after he dropped his EP, in the same vein as he dropped smashing singles, the artist was blowing hot, given how with the drop of the album, “Mr Money With The Vibe”, every song off of it was a smashing hit, no misses. It was permissible with how enjoyable the album was, following the tiresome amapiano the project embraced from start to finish.
Asake is defined by majorly three things— amapiano, crowd vocals and his extensive use of Yoruba language.
Quite alright, almost every artist employs Yoruba language as a way of expressing themselves in their lyrics but there’s a glee that comes with that of Asake’s. It’s as though the profound use of this language is something that was crafted for solely him, his ability to sway on it effortlessly, gliding and reigning rich in the native tongue. Very few artists can ace this and Asake is most definitely one of them.
Releasing his sophomore album, “Work Of Art” very recently, Asake has brought a new wave of fresh air for his music lovers, ensuring that he reminds us all of his very essence in the music game, of course, along with his indelible stamp of what his music is defined with. Asake’s sophomore album, like the title implies, is indeed a work of art.
The album this time, compared to his debut, is much more diverse in exploration, on the conversations he has with himself via the chords of rhythms and his songwriting skills. However, he doesn’t make an attempt to prove his versatility, where he adopts same pattern and same elements as it “Mr Money With The Vibe” in the 14-track album.
One of the most lustrous things about Asake however is how he’s able to use the ever tiring amapiano and yet, captivates listeners each time with his voice. The artist does not make light of the genre, filling in the beat with heavy laced Yoruba, showcasing the dexterity of his songwriting skills and adding profound words laced into his lyrics.
If one thing, Asake did not give clear thought to not attempting again what was done with his debut in “Work Of Art”— how he lined up his tracks, rushing into a new song as he rushes out of one, opening the album with a melancholic track and diving straight into a world of bops and jams. Having done this, Asake might just be one of those artists who are highly predictive and bring no new perspective to their music.
There lies a but in the album however, how he makes sore effort to ensure that “Lonely At The Top”, a track off the album is the only song without the amapiano strings. He closely serenades the track with old nostalgic beats, and speaks on his position in the music industry, sighting how he is the only one at the top of the game, which when though carefully, is a ridiculous boast.
Yet another distinction in this track is the beauty of “Sunshine”, where the lyrics do not suggest “get on your dancing shoes and vibe”. It suggests ease, blazes the hems of softness and serenity; whereas he attempts his love for his style of music, Asake’s concept of this record is most astonishing. For this writer, it is a solid track, that shows a peek of the other side of this artist.
Asake’s music suggests everything vibe-y; it is a depiction of sharp, burst of loudness (which in itself is not a bad thing) and yet, very introspective— because while you’re immersing in the jingling melody and rhythm, you’re dumbfounded by the words of wisdom the artist dumps as lyrics.
Asake did not only imitate the pattern of his debut album in his very recent project, but also rinsed thoroughly some of the tracks of the debut, into the sophomore. A tingling similarity is noticed in some of the new tracks, which careful listen will gain you insights into how alike they are with “Mr Money With The Vibe”— for songs like “2:30” and “Basquiat”, it is more of a Peter and Paul kind of work, where first few seconds are more alike in thousand ways than one.
“Work Of Art” might indeed be a project that displays craftiness, melodious tracks, but it doesn’t stop it from being a work of art with no versatility whatsoever displayed. Asake might have been able to prove he’s a master of melodies and well orchestrated music, but he is yet to show his dexterity, which one day, would be a topic of conversation amongst his listeners.