The Nigerian music industry artist base is divided into two broad categories of artists. Those who make commercial music and are in the business of making money and selling out arenas. And those who are in it for the love of their craft and making their own kind of music. Brymo falls on the group of artists that make their kind of music. He influence’s the music and the market and not the other way round. For almost ten years of professional music production and performance, Brymo has made music characterized and influenced by western culture. He found a way to fuse the local stories and issues surrounding his life and the country he lives in; with the sound of the British and Americans. These characters and influence is what is found in Brymo’s Yellow Album.
A majority of Nigerians are afropop lovers and are going to dislike this album. In fact, I believe Brymo should take his market away from Nigeria because it will not sell. I am a music analyst hence I have to go through the pain of listening to songs that sound more European than African. Most Nigerians who are supposed to be his primary listeners will not have that luxury of time and patience. An average Nigerian will get bored of this music. But the good news is that if you are a patient listener who loves Ballad and soul music then Brymo’s Yellow Album is for you. If you are someone who loves stories and tales sang in songs then this for you. If you are a person who will want to have a tribal or folk music spur you up, then “Yellow” album is for you. You may not enjoy this album on a first listen but give it time. Because such as it is hard to sink in, so it will also be hard to fade away from your mind. That is if it actually fades.
Brymo made an album that cuts across different topics. From politics, social mentality, deception, heartbreak, love and many more. He uses the unifying force of ballad and soulful storytelling to give a tearful album. Using some real Yoruba proverbs and analogies he sings about life and it’s up and down in “Abu ya” and “Orun n Mooru”. “Abu Ya” which has him feature a female Igbo ballad vocalist talks about life in a different way. In a plea she tells everyone that every day breaks to only one day. So we have to take the day at a time.
In a switch of sound to an ancient British folk dance music, Brymo makes a song titled “Brain Gain”. He sings about what the world needs especially Nigerians. He talks about everyone needing to develop their knowledge base because everybody and country has their problem. He claims that a mentality change is what everybody needs to adapt to life. Brymo declares that traveling abroad is not a solution. He also state that love is not a chess game that will always work out.
“Black man, Black woman” which is one of the most interesting music/ story in this album, talks about black men and women. He discusses the social ill of trying to impress people who are not worth our sweat. He talks about the suffering black men and women go through. He claims that after suffering to make money, black people allow the society to dictate their life style. He claims that they neglect solving their own problems and carry the problem of the world. He claims a black man and woman does what they do just to show off.
“Blackmail” is a song that defines romantic love as a blackmail. This is one of my favorite songs in this album because it talks about a part of life we all run from. Love according to Brymo is deception at its highest level. He claims that people will say they will love you but the only way they do that is to give and take from each other. He claims that in a love relationship, that one partner will want love and blackmail the other emotionally.
“Esprit De Corps i”s a song that switches it sound between two genre. Ballad and Hiphop is mixed together to create a song that talks about snitches. He talks about how snitches are always like force men in Nigeria. In another switch of sound, Brymo mixes Ballad and Electronic dance music and created a song titled “Heart break song is better than English”. In this song he claims that he cannot really apologies for the evil he did to his ex-lover using words (English). He states that he could express himself better using love songs.
Brymo had his foundation working with a lot of Rappers and that is shown in this album. Although it is deeply rooted in Ballad and Soul music genre, Brymo finds a way to experiment on some other genre. “Adedotun”, “Abu ya” and “Orun n Mooru were made with strong ballad and traditional Yoruba folk music influence. Adedotun for example had elements of traditional soulful sound of ancient Yoruba funeral to it.
“Esprit De Corps” had elements of trap music but also dies off into soul music. Same can be said of “without you” which has some elements of RnB.
In summary, Brymo made an album that has a character of Soul and Ballad genre but had to tweak it a little to suit his vocals.
The Engineering of this album is a total package with sound separation from ear to ear. Albums like this should be nominated for best engineered albums in award shows.
POSSIBLE HITS AND FLOPS
The songs in the “Yellow” album is hard to tag a hit or a flop because it is an album that can infect people differently. “However Heart break is better than English”, “Adedotun”, “Esprit De Corps”, “Blackmail” and “Black man, Black woman” are worthy to listen to. This album is good for a night rest and for meditations. It is a special prescription from me.