The Grey Area is the coming together of alternative duo, KidMarley and 3rty, with the sole aim of leaving an imprint with their music that is not bound by rules.

Over the last couple of years, the two talented individuals have steadily climbed from obscurity into the consciousness of music lovers with consistent releases, experimental sounds and their distinct styles.

In 2015, the duo worked together on 'Monkey Business' off 3rty's Magic EP, and it was easy to tell that there was a chemistry in place.

Born out of a mutual respect for each other’s work and joined by common ideology, the young talents decided to come together under the group name, The Grey Area, for a project aimed at bridging understanding of their sound and music direction.

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Two years later, they released the song, 'Sunday Morning', initially announced as the lead single of their joint effort, The Grey Area.

But it wasn't until Monday, June 25 when they finally put out their debut eponymously named project, The Grey Area to the delight of their fans.

The great thing about being an alternative duo is the room it allows for experiment, ideas stretching and even when they stumble on unfamiliar genres, the shortcomings at-times produces ­fascinating results.

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The 7-track album is a buffet of genres from Afrobeats, Fuji, contemporary pop, house and sprinkle of rap, covering a wide range of musical inspirations and exploring a rich and progressive sound from their previous individual works.

Opening the project is ''Sorry'', a song that starts slowly, patiently, with vivid vocals, then it begins to build as the drums kick in, this is like Monday morning inspiration before you hit the streets of Lagos as they apologise for everything done and yet to be done.

Watch out for Marley's harmony towards the end that perfectly hypes the crescendo of the song, this track is a good way to start the project.

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The culturally influenced 'You' delivered in a mixture of English and Igbo language is not a bad listen laced with a catchy hook, while 'Dark Clouds' finds the boys searching for light amidst the darkness as they sing, ''Look in the mirror, what I see I despise myself, I need help, I need God''

Despite the dark mood, the production creates a bright atmosphere that allows the duo reveal their inner fears.

Thots and Ogunfe follow a mid-tempo pattern that detours unto different lanes of failed love and feel good vibe.

Mokanla 11 is the guest artist on 'Erekere' (delicate game), which borrows from a popular Yoruba saying as they creatively serve a comical and subtle message.

The album closes with Denge Pose, a stand out cut and befitting way to exit the stage as the duo nail it with the melodies.

The Grey Area believes that life is neither black nor white, but best lived in the grey and undefined moments that do not conform to what is readily attainable and that is what they seek to achieve with the music.

Just as the Grey Area literally exists between two mutually exclusive and acceptable positions, these songs don't align with everyday music and comes across like some teenagers scribbling art that is left open to various tastes and interpretations.

Kid Marley and 3rty complement each quite well, as the project is not overtly ambitious but even though it is delivered differently, the duo are conscious enough not to allow for it to be too detached, as across the seven songs, The Grey Area retains a vibey appeal that makes for an entertaining listen.

Rating: 3.5/5


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