Zinoleesky’s debut EP, ‘Chrome Eccentric ’ feels like a precious gold bar [Pulse EP Review]
Talent isn’t this boy’s problem at all.
In December 2019, he signed to Naira Marley’s record label, Marlian Music, alongside four other artists. After his first single got lukewarm reception, he returned with ‘Ma Pariwo,’ a sex-themed Afro-pop single became one of Nigeria’s sleeper hits of 2020.
At the end of the year, he returns with Chrome, his debut body of work. On it, he showcases his Oritse Femi-esque Yoruba Folk-heavy voice type. In a lot of ways, he shares similarities with Bella Shmurda, Yonda and even Qdot due to their respective mastery of vocal manipulations.
The project is largely based around topics of providence, God, love and sex.
Aside from ‘Bullet,’ the project has a sonic cohesion characterized by mid-tempo Afro-pop, Amapiano and Afro-swing production. A large chunk of the album is also delivered in Yoruba.
‘Angeli’ is a creatively mixed Gospel-tinged Afro-pop beat with hefty Hip-Hop elements. Interestingly, the bass melody that runs through the beat was made popular by 2Pac’s classic, ‘Hit ‘Em Up.’ But on his part, Zinoleesky uses it to discuss his journey so far, talk about providence and offer gratitude to his God.
Is it this writer or do the back up vocals on 'Angeli' sounds like Naira Marley's?
He sings, “Awon angeli n k’orin ogo…” In English that means, “The Angels are singing praises…” But his belief in his own ability and journey so far is summed up on the Amapiano record, ‘Kilofeshele.’ Zino sings, “Extraordinary things [that] I’m doing, ordinary things no fit move me again…”
It is also one of Nigeria’s best Amapiano records of 2020.
‘Won Wa Mi’ means ‘I am sought after.’ The Rexxie-produced song discusses Zinoleesky’s rise through the seams into a sought after artist. The Afro-pop ‘Nitori E’ has a Dancehall melody as Zinoleesky serenades a beautiful woman and declares the lengths he would go for her love. The same narratives continue on ‘Bullet.’
Zino sings, “Put a bullet in my head, if I do you wrong…” In fact, ‘Nitori E’ is the start of ‘Bullet.’ On ‘Nitori E,’ Zino also sings in Yoruba that, “Nitori e, mo le gb’abon nitori e…” In English that means, “I can take a bullet for you…”
Let’s just hope bullets aren’t involved in this love story, shall we?
The only thing this writer will critique on this project is its tracklist. For sonic and topical cohesion and progression, the tracklist should be;
Won Wa Mi
This way, part one would have discussed his purpose, goals and belief in God while the second part would discuss love and sex.
Naira Marley and Marlian Music should make sure ZInoleesky sings in more English and Pidgin to balance with his Yoruba. This would increase his market share and reach. Talent isn’t this boy’s problem at all.
• 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: 1.2/2
Songwriting, Delivery and Themes: 1.7/2
Enjoyability and Satisfaction: 1.8/2
8.1 - Champion
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