Umu Obiligbo Signature Album review : Ife Chukwu Kwulu (meaning what God says)
Nigeria have always produced biological brothers in Music. From the Zulezu music duo to the defunct Psquare music duo, Nigeria have been graced with talents coming from families. Recently a new name have been rising. They are known as Umu Obiligbo and they are gradually becoming a house hold name in the Nigerian musical space.
Born into the family of music, Chukwuemeka and Ifeanyichukwu Obiligbo represent the third generation of musicians in their family. Brought up with rich Igbo highlife music flowing in their veins, their songs are a blend of Highlife, Ogene and local Igbo war music. With Nigerian music driving towards the popular sound made with loopy digital tools, The duo who are called Umu Obiligo which mean “Children of Obiligbo” have found a way to turn their traditional Igbo music into Afropop sound.
Igbo music as stated above varies from Highlife, Ogene and to lgbo War music. One synonymous element of these sounds is that they are majorly story telling. Umu Obiligbo did not leave that out of their music because 95% of the songs they made are all folklore and tales of happenings in life. They found a way to weave their stories with the nativity of their tradition in digital sounds.
Most of the songs on this album are pure ponpon sound. This can be heard with the sound of wood instruments in most of the songs. They also made use of the local igbo shakers. Just like the shekere, this gives the music an underlying African sound but with a more dry and crisp sound. Also there is the presence of electronic flute. Flutes are basic elements of a traditional Igbo music. Umu Obiligbo and their team of producers leveraged on this in songs like “Chisom”, giving it this epic Nollywood sound feeling.
Another sound element of importance is the presence of a lead Electronic guitars. To give it this unique sound, they employed the services of celebrity Nigerian Guitarist: Fiokee. Basic Nigerian Igbo highlife music is characterized by complex cords and these keys were adequately played in all the songs in the album
The lyrical theme of this album is mostly about life. Umu Obiligbo used the different songs on this album to tell stories about their life and experiences. For example in the song titled “Fine Bobo”, they shed light on how money enhances the beauty of a young man. According to them a man is not really fine until he has enough money to live fine and large. In a comical line they sang that a man who has love for a lady may never get invited into her bed unless he has money. They claim that its only rich men who are granted the luxury of touching a lady’s body.
In another song that tell a story about their experience in life, they sing about the day they got slapped by the Nigerian police. Police brutality have over the past five years become a major problem in Nigeria and Umu Obiligbo have had their share of the brutalism. According to them they encountered this naughty police officers on their way for a musical gig in the South East. They employed the services of Nigerian Rapper Zoro to help them sing their song in a fasted tempo Ogene music.
Working with Nigerian Hustle music maker Victor AD, they made a song titled “On God”. They used the song to admonish people to hustle hard to overcome and reject poverty. They however plead with God to bless the works of their hands so that they can shout hallelujah when they are finally living okay. Employing the services of Bube, they try to correct a regular serotype of people tagging riches as vanity. In the song titled “Aka Chineke”, they let people know that poverty is also a vanity. Hence people should choose the type of vanity they want to enjoy.
“Chisom” is another story telling song that Umu Obiligbpo used to buttress a fact about Life being all about the grace of God. According to a story they shared about a man who went oversees to seek greener pasture but did not make it, they claimed that life is all about God agreeing with one’s hustle before it pays. They finish off the song by declaring that their journey in life is only possible because they are working in the company of God and his grace.
In summary the album is a total package of inspiration stories about life and one’s dependency on a supreme being. They also used the album to admonish people to work hard for money so they will not loose their place in the society. A really dope album especially for the Igbo understanding individuals around the world.
Umu Obiligbo Signature Album review