Ojayy Wright has been around for a minute, but he has definitely not been on your radar. He has not been on your radar because the vanity of the music audience is hit songs and he audience/machinery that brings it to them.
For that reason, the average fan has no interest in seeking out good music. Those privileges are left for genuine music lovers. But then, even the music lover sometimes lacks faith. Sometimes, he cannot see beyond the present or what he hears. Equally, what he hears in the moment is sometimes in its formative stage.
The above description fits this writer. In 2017, Toyosi, his friend started managing an artist called, Ojayy Wright. He was fresh, green and near-obscure. When I played his music, I could hear the passion, but that passion was overshadowing his talent. He was unintentionally stifling himself by making 'attractive' music.
On the two or three tracks I heard, it felt like those tracks were at loggerheads with his artistry. But to his credit, he managed to hide that from most people. Nonetheless, he has since grown and gotten more comfortable with expressing himself in ways that he's comfortable with.
In that element of growth, he found himself and his creative comfort. In that essence, he also found an unassailable sound and an intentional to take creative risks. It's worked out. 37 Degrees In Lagos is a mix of socio-political chatter, personal tales of growth and cravings as well as vanity.
The 11-track EP opens up to a speech from Innocent Ogbeh on the socio-political issues confronting Nigeria's economy and stunting its growth. It is followed by the sentimental ballad, 'Aye Dun' which features Heph B. In a lot of ways, the song is cliche. But on it, Wright discusses the importance of money to the good life which we all crave.
He also stresses the importance of hardwork to getting money. Then, something beautiful happened. The segway from 'Aye Dun' to 'Pink Moscato' is something impressive, it was so seamless that a listener would literally go from introspect to partying. The beat is a mix of afrobeats and EDM strings, but Chuza Declan could have done better.
What Wright is singing about doesn't matter because this song is such a vibe. And what's that beautiful drum on 2:57? The song also interpolates 'Guantanamera' by The Sand Pipers for its hook. 'Your Code' is what Nigerians now call vibe. It's afro-pop from the Maleek Berry hue. The mixing and recording of the song could have been better.
However, a pattern is unfolding - Wright is morphing into a hook master. The song is about a girl who likes the good life. This song is also good and this EP is coming along nicely. 'Real Madrid (Mamacita)' then comes on - it features Ice Prince. Oh, I love those guitars under Ice Prince's verse.
So far, Ojayy Wright, take a bow. These beats have been fire. But then, I'd have gotten BOJ for this song, not Ice Prince. The song is female adulation on wax, and the Real Madrid metaphor for Wright's beautiful experience with the woman underlines good songwriting.
'Hot In The Year! (Lo Picolo)' is cut from the Latin/Caribbean sound, but with an afrobeats drum arrangement. Again, this beat is sick! Lyrically, the song is a tale of braggadocio with with Wright underlines his ambition for 2020 - bring heat. This explains his EP title, 37 Degrees In Lagos.
'Must Must Bow' features Jaywon and follows that template. The feature is inspired because Jaywon likes singing about the importance of money and how he wants to get it. Forever, he has been trying to recreate the timeless song, 'This Year.' Even though it's not bad, the song is cliche.
Again, Ojayy Wright is on love. With 'Buy N Sell' which features Chidinma, Wright makes promises to a faceless woman. He claims his love for her is not, "Buy N Sell" - that sounds like what a Yoruba demon would say. The beat changes this time to something inherently mainstream Nigerian.
The momentum earlier has tailed off, and the sound has slowly changed, but it has not crashed. Again, credit to Wright. For his first major project, this is commendable. This can only be possible with good track arrangement. 'Let It Show' is something made for love music. Wright croons it and delivers.
When I heard 'Mofo (Remix),' I almost criticized he song. However, that CDQ verse just took everything to another level. The way Wright came in after Small Doctor's verse is just a madness. 'Formular' features Pasuma and it is nothing but beautiful. Those drums that start on 3:02 went in! I repeated that part like 10 times.
This project is a commendable first major one from Ojayy Wright. For one second - through the highs and questionable, he never looked out of place. He selected an impressive range of beats on which he crooned and delivered consistently. Even though his topical range is quite limited to commercial viability, he still released something impressive.
That said, the momentum tailed off after 'Buy N Sell.' Nonetheless, the track arrangement also aided the entire experience he hoped to convey. The only major thing that seems out of place on this EP is that awkward Innocent Ogbeh intro. It gives the wrong impression of this EP and could put some people off.
With all the commendable parts of this project, its sonic cohesion through the changing styles and BPMs stands out. Ojayy Wright, take a bow. However, work on your songwriting.
• 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
Tracklist and Arrangement: 1.5/2
Enjoyability and Satisfaction: 1.4/2
6.9 - Victory