Oxlade – ‘Oxygene EP’ Review
Producers; Spax, Dera, Lussh, Echo and London-based Nosa Apollo
Duration; 16 mins, 35 secs (5 Tracks)
Released Date; March 27, 2020
Ikuforiji Abdulrahman Olaitan could have given up on music and the beauty which Oxygen is would have become a UFO in the clouds but “Mamiwota” happened and instead Oxlade is the cloud dishing melodious tunes and simple words that tells stories that makes you appreciate his art. Dubbed Oxlade of Afrobeats, this is an artist that needs you to have good listening skills to appreciate his arrangements of beats and notes.
One thing that is peculiar to afro music is the beats. We string together instruments to make a melody but Oxlade doesn’t just string together instruments, he takes into consideration timing, frequency and tempo to create a fine blend for each track. Starting the Ep is the song “O2” the chemical element for Oxygen, which is the title of the EP, you hear the EKG machine and heavy breath combined in a unique way with a tune that could easily be used as a game music readily telling you the story before Oxlade even begins with his promises to his love interest “I get plans for you, I no go take you for granted, I go ride for you, Even if the road is rocky” . With a soulfully voice Oxlade sings to his lover dragging you into his world of this music yet still sustaining your interest in his story.
With simple lyrics and catchy phrases, lover boy Oxlade tells another story of love in “Hold On”. While this time he isn’t making promises, he begs his lover to wait for him. “Hold On” is a danceable song beautifully created with catchy lyrics. The drums and the guitar were skillfully used and whilst you dance to the music the lyrics give you something to reflect on. The song has one verse, one hook, one chorus repeated twice but his passionate way of singing this song will almost make you think it has more to it.
“Away” has been stealing the numbers on streams and topping charts since its first introduction to the airways. It starts with a magnetic beat that immediately has your ear tune in to listen longer. Creatively Oxlade makes the chorus of “Away” have a charm and keeps it dreamy. The repetitive nature of the chorus creates an image as you listen to it you subconsciously begin to imagine the distance of “Away”. Away with your lover far from the noise that affects your love. It is a story of trust.
Fela remains the father of Afrobeats and when you listen to “Kokose” you get a strong Fela vibe and if you are anything like me you will readily swing your shoulders and arms like Fela. On another listen you might think there is a Wizkid influence on this music. Talking about “Kokose” Oxlade says it is a follow up to “Away”. He and his lover are far from the things that frustrates their love. In his words “Kokose is more uptempo and kind of like a follow up from ‘Away’ as here we are finally away from the negative energy. It’s basically a feel-good song trying to express that even in the hardest times, we shouldn’t sway to the bad energy, never fear the enemy, just dance and stay happy no matter what”
Who would have thought that a lover boy like Oxlade will ever have a bad love story. How can one who passionately loves get bad loving. I guess love is blind because in “Weakness” Oxlade confessed that he had been warned of this love and he protested to warnings and demanded to be left alone because “Something Must To Killy A Man” and this man chose to die by what he believes in love. In a twist of things Oxlade admits that he does not want to be cured of this weakness.
Do you believe in energies? After a good listen to this EP, you would admit that Oxlade does believe in energies. ‘Tables Turn‘ reminds you not to give up because this life has a way of swing. It might be bad now but it could swing in your favour. Which happens to be the tale for Oxlade. Before “Mamiwota” dropped, Oxlade had almost given up on music and started working at a cyber cafe just when he wanted to throw in the towel the tables turned for him. The trick “Just be doing good” Karma has a way of paying you for your good. Oxlade does not always readily write his song and that is the story of Tables Turn. Oxlade said “My love for the beat was love at first listen; I heard it and ran to the studio I could hear the sound was coming from and told the producer, Echo, to export it and record me on the spot! I had the storyline and what I wanted to sing about on the spot.”
Talking about his creativity on this EP Oxlade has made it point blank that he doesn’t care what the naysayer has to say. He has creatively merged the melodies of R & B, the energy of Hip Hop, the stories of Country and the entire vibe of Afrobeats into this EP to produce something we will not forget easily “My target is to be the biggest Afrobeats export to ever come out of Africa, when you hear afrobeats, you’ll remember Oxlade” – Oxlade
Oxlade is not just your regular musician he is a pilot taking you on a cruise and after listening to his EP Oxygene you would be glad you took the trip. From lyrics that have now dubbed him the kings of hooks to brilliantly created beats, Oxlade is stealing our hearts. The name Oxygene was used because music is the air that Abdulrahman breathes. Ironically, it is difficult to breathe at the sky level which his album cover depicts because of the air pressure but I guess only Abdulrahman can do it with his secret power — Music. Another study of the EP cover you see that aside Melody been inborn Abdulrahman is suspended by his grandma’s prayer that you hear at the end of Tables Turn. In an interview with Redbull Oxlade said “I needed people to know that it’s one woman that’s praying for me – instead of conceptions of a mysterious benevolent figure – and that’s all the power I need. That’s my generator, that’s my source, so it needs to be understood that it’s beyond the physical…”
The end of “Tables Turn” is one part of the Ep that hits the hardest. One thing we as Africans appreciate is the lovingness of a mother and the mysteries of the prayers of our ancestors.
In conclusion, What makes one EP stand out from the bunch can be that final touch in production where noise is eliminated and music well arranged to suit the purpose of the EP. Oxlade did mention that the purpose of creating this EP was to give his fan base something that they could call his. With several features making him a fast rising star Oxlade knows that good music is not rushed and like every art work it takes the right amount of attention to make it perfect. Oxlade might be one of the few artists that understands that good music does not need noise. The production quality of this Oxygen is to be commended and should be the benchmark for other projects. When you listen to this EP from the opening track “02” to “Tables Turn” it is clear that Oxlade and his team was very intentional with the music to be shared and how it would portray him as an artist.
With the artwork. Production quality and music arrangement this EP is rated 8/10
Written by Chioma Onyefuosaonu
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