Love is the leading theme of this project, and for Morell who feels the need more deeply than many others, it isn’t just art. It’s life itself.
Album -Musa Jikan Musa
Artist - Morell
Record Label - Nordan Orrty (2017)
Duration - 47 minutes
Music from the North rarely makes it mainstream. While there are numerous stars who are pushing the art from other parts of Nigeria, the North has never really held its own at the top level of Nigerian music. And history has shown that we have had different artists attempt to change that fact, but ultimately, little successes have told their full story.
Morell is seeking to change that. The rapper from Borno State is pushing for a change in the system, relying heavily on the quality of his music to lead the charge. Born in Bauchi State, Morell is armed with a smooth vocal delivery and artistic dexterity which has him blurring the lines between singing and rapping. His 2013 single, ‘Anti-social’ which featured Olamide has thrown him on the radar of the industry and made in-roads for his brand.
But that was all there was. Morell’s flirtation with mainstream success wasn’t sustained, but he had kept up the push and built his artistry. And part of that push is his debut album “Musa Jikan Musa.” The project comes delivered in a mixt-tongue; Hausa interspersed with music, each language flowing through each other to create a balance.
“Musa Jikan Musa” translates as ‘Musa, grandchild of Musa, and its 13 tracks open up as an exploration of love, family, life and happiness. The North is represented every step of the way, with diverse elements such as the percussion, drums and more.
From the energy on opener ‘Danna Musu’, which bounces off with conviction to the depth of ‘Safay’, a record carrying his vulnerability as storytelling. He builds a simple narrative which cuts through his life experiences and ends right at the foot of God.
But that doesn’t tell the full story of the project. Love cut ‘Amala’ is a clever play through food-inspired allegories, and Di’ja’s dynamism completes him on ‘By your side’. ‘Aure’ has wedding bells tolling at every corner, it’s a record with the potential to explode culturally. ‘Part of me’ carries emotion as its driver.
Northern Nigeria cannot be represented in music, without addressing the insurgency from Boko Haram which has destabilised the region, destroyed lives and property. For Morell, it’s personal, as Borno, the home of the insurgents is his home state. Morell shows up with a tribute song named after the state. He leads with love and preaches it as a healing balm for troubled hearts.
Perhaps that’s the only thing we all need right now, and Morell provides it in abundance on “Musa Jikan Musa.” It’s the leading theme of this project, and for the musician who feels the need more deeply than many others, it isn’t just art. It’s life itself.
3-Worth Checking Out