Extended Play - AphrodijaArtist - Di'jaRecord Label - Mavin Records (2017)Duration - 21 minutes
The problem with Di’Ja isn’t that she doesn’t have talent. It’s simply the application of it that has prevented her from soaring. You could feel it manifest in bits and spurt, feel it rear its pretty head in some records. And when she performs live, it flourishes.
But it hasn’t grown to the level that is expected of it. That anticipation to see Mavin Records singer bloom and thrive is slowly giving way to resignation, but she isn’t letting it happen. Prior to this album, 2017 has been a slow year for Di’ja. Her three singles, ‘Air’, Oh Radio’, and ‘Wan chop’ carry with them a diverse range of sounds. But none of them has stuck, penetrated or dominated the mainstream scene like she would hope for it too.
But that hasn’t stopped her. Sticking to plan, the singer comes through with a project that carries her music in the format that binds it together as a body of work. Her new EP, “Aphrodija” is surprisingly her debut project, since she was signed in 2015.
What does “Aphrodija” offer us? The 7-track EP contains a new batch of fresh songs. It’s a new beginning for her, a fresh start that is definitive of what direction she wants to go with her music. So personal is this project, that the cover art is partly made up of hand drawings by the singer. She describes the entire process as “Quirky, emotional, weird and most of all creative regardless of what is out there.”
And that’s how some parts of the music is. On ‘Save me’, she looks inwards and excels on the rock record, calling out for a saviour. The singer bares her soul over synchronized guitars, and drums. This thematic consciousness also opens the EP on ‘Ordinary day’. ‘Abi na jazz’ meanders through a number things, but ends up as a victory.
In between, she reverts back to her pop leanings. ‘The way you are (Gbadun You)’ her first collaboration with Tiwa Savage. It’s heavy drums confer a presence and a rhythm that is targeted at Nigeria’s dance culture. Reekado Banks adds vocals to the percussion-driven ‘My lover’. Producer Babyfresh unleashes the horns on ‘Something new’, which is the gem of the project. Things come to a head on closer ‘Yeye’, a dazzling Afrobeat finale that stands tall with Don Jazzy’s back up vocals responding on the hook.
Everything on “Aphrodija” is polished to standard, making it clear that there’s more Di’ja to come, and what we have scratched isn’t the surface. It is the thin line of film that gives us access to the real deal.