Album - "My World"
Veteran performer shows pop promise in transition album ‘My World’
Even though there is uncertainty on his acceptance level by extended Nigerians with a rounded global perspective on music, Pasuma can hold onto this, and promote his newfound sound.
Artiste – Wasiu Alabi Pasuma
Guest Appearances – Tiwa Savage, Patoranking, Olamide, Frankie Free, Phyno, OritseFemi, Qdot
Record label – Wasbar Records
Duration – 59 Minutes
This album is a gamble. It’s a roll of the dice for veteran singer Pasuma Wonder who goes on a hopeful transition from his signature limited Fuji genre, into the mainstream pop sounds.
The name Pasuma has been around forever it feels like a holy wonder of the indigenous Nigerian scene. Long before our country’s creative aspiration to Afropolitanism and frolicking with sonic influences from the West, there was Pasuma Wonder aka Oga Nla aka Popsi Aliyah and many more.
But with the millennial globalization of sounds, the access to technology, and the birth of Afro pop which has become a commercial mainstream monster, other local genres have had to face a growing audience with a constant metamorphosing music desire, and they have had to face sanitisation via genre-fusion and creation of sub-genres. Ask Victor Uwaifo and his attempts at Urban Highlife.
Pasuma was born in 1967, began music in 1984, and released his debut album “Recognition” in 1993. Two decades later we have a transition album “My World”.
This LP kicks off with an assertion of his timeless ‘Quality’. “Some dey try to block my way o…some they try to block my face o….see me I no dey for your lane o…So why you wan come dey run my race o, you know understand….na quality o, na quality quality o.” Pasuma reminds detractors of his proven track record in dominating Yoruba music. He has that base covered, so the need to push the boundaries of his art.
Next comes an ode to meaningless music, ‘Whyne am’ which follows the pop trend for basic lyrical adulation of a woman. “I want your sexy body, because I get plenty money…” You can predict the rest. ‘Abo’, and ‘Damilorun’, are still poster sounds for pop incoherence.
But he quickly switches to the trusted Highlife love tune ‘Ife’ with Tiwa Savage. With unplugged sounds from the drums, horns and 6-string guitars, Pasuma dovetails with the Mavin Records diva to produce one of the brightest tunes of this project. He follows similar script in ‘Oruka’, although choosing to walk that road solo.
‘O ti clear’ is Afrobeat with a pop twist which lends itself nicely to Pasuma’s raucous singing. Patoranking joins the fray with tinko music on ‘Our Lagos’. This collaboration is a crucial one with a lot of promise, but you get the feeling that the Foston Music star was wasted on this. He struggles to shine on this song. This album calls out to Olamide and an urban Highlife track is the product. It is a highlight, a case of perfection, with the artistic synergy between Oga Nla and Baddo made in heaven.
‘Ogede Ti Pon’ embodies the spirit of the album. With purely Western trap beat which would sit nicely on a modern Hip-hop album. Throw that with raunchy lyrics, and rap verses from Pasuma, and you would get the full scale of this transition. Here’s a rhyme: “I gat money to spend on you, Spending defending you, never offending you, other girls be up on me just because of you..” This is a flagship track which is impressive from a Fuji act. It deserves maximum appreciation for creativity and effort.
Pasuma reverts back to old indigenous ways on ‘Lagbe Igi’ with OritseFemi, who was thirsty on the cut. ‘Olohun ojee’ with Qdot falls to this zone, and ‘Sope’ is a failed attempt at marrying R&B with Fuji.
Pasuma gambled with 16 songs on this album, and like all risks, he has a standard average of hits and misses. His effort at transitioning deserves to be lauded and approved, as he shows qualities that are lacking in today’s industry. He has researched, plotted and made the leap to redefine himself after two decades of serenading Western Nigeria. That is worthy of emulation.
“My World” is fine personal success for the veteran. Even though there is uncertainty on his acceptance level by extended Nigerians with a rounded global perspective on music, he can hold onto this, promote his newfound art, and give it the best shot possible.
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