Revisiting Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde's 2005 "Gba" album

Omotola dared to push past her ceiling of achievement, by making music an extension of her art. She failed at it, but had she never tried, she wouldn’t have known.

 

Nollywood will forever have the name of Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde engraved into their history, as the phenomenal actress has been a blessing to the industry. With acting credits as longs as can be remembered, the movie icon has had a distinguished career in the African movies industry, which has served to a greater end, spilling into philanthropy and many other fields.

But one field she failed to conquer is the Nigerian music industry. The actress has one album to her name – a 2005 LP titled ‘.

At the very height of her fame, the Nigerian public lapped from the hands of the actress. The music industry was on the brink of an explosion, with Nigerian pop music laying its claim on our radio. It was at this time that Omotola launched her music career, with the hope that her celebrity status and goodwill would trickle from the movie fans, and facilitate a smooth process to acceptance.

She did this with ‘Gba’ a 10-track album, which taken many months to craft together. A prolific OJB Jezreel at the height of his production powers was her helmsman, who oversaw production of the work. The late producer once ruled the Nigerian production space from his Silverpoint Studios in Sururlere. Omosexy’s album came from that era. Other collaborators called in included the firing Ruggedman, Pasto Goody Goody, Six O, and Rymzo De Gusto.

The album opens with the Hip-hop influenced ‘Dance’, featuring Ruggedman. In keeping with its moniker, the duo fire off a dance track, which comes off as today’s equivalent of a trap record. The singer dives into love and all its friends on E. Here you begin to understand the paucity in lyrical depth. Omosexy’s inexperience and lack of songwriting nous is exposed in stark detail. This is accentuated on ‘Don’t Flip’, a dancehall fusion love song. Although Nigerian music have had a climbing development slope as the years went by, Omosexy’s music happened at a time when good music had just gotten a presence. This album was sandwiched between 2face Idibia’s classics, “Face 2 Face” which made Nigeria giddy in 2004, and “Grass 2 Grace” a solid classic from the legend. To say it was reflective of the time would be a misstatement. If anything, it was a reflection of her lack of a musical bone.

“Gba” was a bother to listen to, so also were other dance tracks, ‘What you looking at’, and ‘Show me love’. But not all of her efforts were negative. She achieved some redemption with the deep-hitting ‘Life or Death’, Baby Girl also displayed promise. Perhaps if Omotola had abandoned the pull of pop music, and concentrated on some good Soul, her today’s narrative might have been different. It is very telling that her best works on the album were not a pacey, dance beat.

Also, she does score huge points for bravery. Omotola dared to push past her ceiling of achievement, by making music an extension of her art. She failed at it, but had she never tried, she wouldn’t have known. This album isn’t one for regret, rather she can beat her chest, and add it to her rich story. The album was to have a follow-up, with Omotola stating that she was in the process of releasing another. However, that never became reality, and we are left with thinking of what would have been.

Ratings 2.5/5

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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