With 2016 almost done, it’s hard to know what to expect next. The fascination and confusion of living through unchartered times, can be unnerving. Movements rise up and wither just as quickly. Some revel in the chaos, repeatedly chanting about the element of destruction necessary in creating fresh opportunity, others self medicate, while many more simply are simply overwhelmed with its intensity. Living in the future means processing viral images of destruction and war on a daily. Advances in technology happen at breakneck speed, and the impact of it all we have yet to unpick.
Something that people always come back to is culture. The Great Depression served as the backdrop to the Harlem Renaissance, and as we persevere through the worst decade for wage growth since the 1920’s while seeming to watch a familiar history play out across the Atlantic, the need for unflinching navigation has never been greater. Voices resonate when they reflect our deeper frustrations and Nigerian born Obongjayar exists as a vocalist unconcerned with making candied melodies for the masses.
Obongjayar’s debut single, ‘Creeping’ arrived in October, a nocturnal hymn filled with anguish. Directed by the critically acclaimed Frank Lebon, it was a track that set a high bar. Now, two months later, his debut EP, ‘Home’, is available free and in full to stream or download. Rough hewn soundscapes and Obongjayar’s trademark raw vocal fall together across five tracks to create a project of unfiltered dreams, social commentary and spoken word.
The EP’s opening track, ‘Lullaby’, is powerful because of its vulnerability. Background keys mingle with his spoken word verses, the sound has a childlike essence behind it while the lyrics speak openly of losing hair, sleep and overthinking things, anxious and awake. Speaking of the way in which we’re hooked on wires that really just divide us, Obongjayar, is not content with a passive audience.
‘Home’ is a track that contends with pursuit and failure; static crackles give way to a song that shimmers and a track that asks are we worthy of redemption if we lose our way? ‘Blue Skies’ is a track filled with loving and promise, twisting and unfurling it speaks of the carrot that keeps creatives chasing their dreams.That glory just out of reach, the sacrifice demanded of ourselves and the ones we leave to get there. While finally the EP ends with ‘Live’ it’s declaration is defiant “I blame my generation for my lack of patience”. Strong in delivery it’s a commentary on modern life, the way we accept what we are told and the ways in which we demand more.
It’s a great ending to a serious statement piece that will leave you thinking about just how much you’re willing to blindly swallow in this life. And how willing you are to fight.
Download ‘Home EP’ from www.obongjayar.net or stream it below;