On April 3, 2020, Nigerian singer and WeTalkSound member, Eri-Ife released his fourth EP in four years. The EP comes after, 'Eri-Ife: The EP' (2017), 'November' (2018) and 'YLLW' (with Remy Baggins in 2018).
The EP contains 6-tracks that documents the life of Eri-Ife as a new Lawyer at the Nigerian bar and as a hustling Nigerian on the streets of Lagos, Nigeria. The EP is literally titled, Esquire which is an added title for Nigerian Lawyers.
A few months ago, his Twitter account was flooded with congratulatory messages that he had gotten married. While it remains unclear if it was actual marriage or promo for his new single, we did see pictures. Now, the singer who used YLLW to document the struggles of the average 20-something Nigerian alongside Remy Baggins is now discussing the themes of semi-growth.
The EP opens up to the folk sounds of the title-track, 'Esquire.' The track documents a typical week for Eri-Ife from waking up to go to work the corporate world in a suit and tie to going to performing at Industry Nite on a Friday. He calls himself, "Best of both worlds (Law and Music)..." and "Esquire wey dey run choir (A Lawyer who sings)..."
The next track is 'Ba Mi Lo,' an Afro&B tracks that Eri-Ife seems to dedicate to his lover. While one can never be too sure, the lyrics of this song feel to personal to be fictional. 'Ba Mi Lo' is Yoruba for 'Follow Me' or metaphorically, 'Be Mine.' So far, Eri-Ife has commendably switched between English and Yoruba to deliver his lyrics.
Up next is the reggae essence of, 'Dusty Love.' The song documents the struggles of a troubled love affair that both partners are scared to admit has run its course. Instead of punishing his partner, Eri-Ife assumes the role of a liberator as he tells her that its time they had went their different ways. This was strictly delivered in English.
'Way Out' is a ballad and it's arguably the best song on Esquire EP. The song documents frustrations in life and the mental strain it takes on a healthy life. Efe Oraka, what a performance - take a bow. She did not only complement Eri-Ife, she elevates the entire experience. This is like the cries of a troubled subconscious or the thoughts of a mind screaming for help.
'Satisfied' is another ballad on which Eri-Ife examines life, its challenges and its pitfalls. But instead of getting downcast, he peruses the positives and claims that he is satisfied. Maka defined this song, so kudos to Eri-Ife for picking his features perfectly.
In the most beautiful segue, satisfaction becomes gratitude on 'Thankful.' In Yoruba, Eri-Ife flips a classic Yoruba church tune for a tune of gratitude.
There is nothing to be said other than to extol the growth of Eri-Ife and how his music always reflects his current standing in life. It's hard for a lot of people to let their music be their diary, but Eri-Ife has done it for the fourth straight of body of work. More importantly, his artistry is growing - sometimes, he seems like an R&B singer and another time, he seems like a panegyric singer in a Yoruba palace.
Asides that, Eri-Ife is also growing as a songwriter. This writer is just looking forward to his next phase...
• 0-1.9: Flop
• 2.0-3.9: Near fall
• 4.0-5.9: Average
• 6.0-7.9: Victory
• 8.0-10: Champion
Pulse Rating: /10
Songwriting, Content and Themes: 1.5/2
Enjoyability and Satisfaction: 1.6/2
7.0 - Champion