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Fave continues her Caribbean exploration on 'Riddim 5' [Pulse EP Review]

January 20th 2022, 4:22:58 pm

While she seemed destined for the Alternative, R&B or PR&B world, she has slowly found her sound in the Caribbean, by way of African pop and R&B.

Fave: From SoundCloud to national sensation

The Fave hype train was annoying. It’s about as annoying as anything the internet has propagated since alte. But it was also unfair. Obviously, she was a bag of talent doing cartwheels in the land of musical brilliance. Her biggest asset was her contralto/mezzo soprano voice type, which sometimes veers towards subtle bass.

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Her rawness was obvious, but the internet was keen to make her their new object of proof for ‘I know the underground of Nigerian music.’ While she seemed destined for the Alternative, R&B or PR&B world, she has slowly found her sound in the Caribbean, by way of African pop and R&B.

Either due to her talent, what she consumes or due to months of practice, she seems to be a master at it. By way of her double-edged, but slightly underwhelming feature on Olamide’s UY Scuti, she introduced a different side to herself.

But with ‘Baby Riddim,’ she struck gold. It almost felt like she was Moses, who struck the rock speculatively, and produced an endless supply of water.

The record threw these observations in the air;

  1. It took Fave away from the land of lyrical depth, which sometimes hampered female-led Afro-pop. 
  2. The record was a minimalistic approach to lyrically blend a production at the intersection of three genres. She said some relatable things with the greatest ease. 
  3. The song excelled because it wasn’t overproduced in anyway. 
  4. Its content opened Fave to a young adult fanbase, who became more than just listeners. She was like the Nigerian version of the teenage sensation in 90’s American pop music, making dreamy pop music about love and romance, but with subtle allusions to sex and intimacy. 
  5. That sound also has international appeal. She’s from a country that’s currently the global obsession for sound and style. Why not explore it further? 
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Fave and her team have gone a step further in that exploration. Her debut body of work is titled Riddim 5. The spelling of ‘Riddim’ is a nod to the expected Caribbean style of music, which she hopes to explore even further. Like ‘Baby Riddim,’ her EP is filled with records rooted in Dancehall/Bashment, by way of R&B and percussive Afro-pop elements, which also reflect in chord progressions.

Sometimes, pockets of Fave’s delivery lean towards subtle patois. In a way, her exploration of Caribbean pop echoes Swae Lee in 2017/2018. Her effortless coast through the sound echoes distant similarities with Ruger, but without the sexual innuendos and profanity.

The title is also a nod to the EP’s length and brand of danceable pop, which it contains.

Across five tracks, Fave is dreamy and giddy, as her tales share sentiments of the earliest days of teenage romance. While she occasionally aims to portray herself as grown, her takes on love subtly reveal her age. And therein lies the appeal of her music.

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Valentine’s day is approaching. People are usually reflective about their personal life between January 1 and February 14 - even more so this year. It feels like everybody is obsessed with relationships and love, strengthening the hold of Justin Laboy and Spiritual Word on pop culture. Thus, the music is perfectly-timed, with the right message of carefree belief in love.

What Fave excels at is portraying herself as a modern woman: Gen Z woman, groomed by elements of feminism, to the exclusion the classic portrayal of womanhood. She isn’t afraid to take control or demand intimacy.

In the opening seconds of ‘Kilotufe,’ she sings, “Hey, can I get your attention…” with calm authority.

On her ‘Mr. Man’ hook, she also demands, “What you cannot say with your mouth, will you say with your hands?”

While ‘Mr. Man’ and ‘Kilotufe’ have great potential as singles, ‘Obsessed is the best new song on this EP, followed by ‘S.M.K.’

‘Obsessed’ might even be a better song than ‘Baby Riddim.’

And the hooks on ‘Mr. Man’ and ‘S.M.K’ are a madness.

Final Thoughts

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Fave is growing and so is her confidence to experiment with delivery. For example, after her chorus on ‘Mr. Man,’ she plays around, just as she plays around with adlibs and parts of her second verse on ‘Obsessed.’

There is also the linguistic dexterity with which she delivers across ‘Riddim 5.’ At different times, she was like a linguistic chameleon, bending and switching styles a technique, between Patois, Yoruba and English.

While the EP aims for range with ‘S.M.K’ and ‘Mr. Man,’ the Caribbean influences battle with the range, to keep the EP in a land of singularity.

What’s not clear at this time, is if ‘Riddim 5’ is loaded with single-worthy materials, or if Fave just has an ability to make every track sound single-worthy.

Ratings: /10

• 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

Album Sequencing: 1.8/2

Themes and Delivery: 1.7/2

Production: 1.6/2

Enjoyability and Satisfaction: 1.6/2

Execution: 1.3/2

Total:

8.0 - Champion

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