Pulse Album Review Sojay balances his act on "So Far" EP

“So Far” EP has Sojay playing the balancing act, for us, and for his career.

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Sojay - 'So far' EP play

Sojay - 'So far' EP

(Instagram)
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Extended Play – “So Far”

Artiste – Sojay

Record Label – Les Roses Rouges (LRR)/Edge Records (2016)

Duration - 33 minutes

How do you get by in an industry where lofty vocal abilities are the least defining qualities for being a star? Where the audience has lost the subgenre attention needed to grow away from pop culture? Where R&B lies imprisoned by our collective quest for pop music?

These are the conundrums facing Sojay, the singer who is signed to the Reminisce-owned Les Roses Rouges (LRR) Record Label. From his days as a player in Trybe Records, Sojay has stood out for his vocal abilities. The singer ought to be regarded as the most underrated vocalist plying his trade in the country. On the strength of his vocals alone, he walks along the fine lines that can be claimed by only a select few including Banky W, Capital Femi, Darey and Timi Dakolo.

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“So Far” EP is his first work since he found refuge and a place to thrive at LRR. That vocal talent shines through on the opener, ‘Work Harder’, where he engages a prodding piano arrangement to bare his heart and make affirmations. It is on these songs that the singer shines. The voice gets romantic in ‘Everything’, a gem backed by humming guitars and live drum arrangements. Things get less intense but nonetheless in the thumping ‘Holiday’, but very cerebral and less groovy on ‘Fill my cup’.

As with many R&B singers, thematic love gets consummated by sex. Slow, grinding and fulfilling, baby-boy sex. Sojay paints that picture with ‘Manual’ and the less discreet but nonetheless satisfying ‘Fook you’.  There’s make-out in the vocals, sex in the synths, and thrusts in the lyrics. This is Sojay in his element. Although you can’t fail to spot the Iyanya-influence on ‘Fook you’.

Sojay play

Sojay

Commercially, Sojay needs to breakthrough, and that’s what drives him to strike that balance with the radio-friendly pop tunes. There’s a gong in the hustler’s dream which he delivers on ‘One Day’. Olamide brings on some of that stardust on ‘Garawa’. This is a breezy, tropical track designed for appeal.

This Sojay’s effort at gaining a pop ground while not sacrificing his dependence and romance of R&B. Although at no point did his vocals not prove an asset, production suffered a dip on ‘Sugarcane’ and ‘Garawa’.

“So Far” EP has Sojay playing the balancing act, for us, and for his career.

Rating: 3/5

Ratings

1-Dull

2-Boring

2.5-Average

3-Worth Checking Out

3.5-Hot

4-Smoking Hot

4.5-Amazing

5-Perfection

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