Odunsi is the name on every lip.
Singer, songwriter and producer par excellence; he is young, unassuming and easily the poster child of the new alternative Nigerian sound championed on SoundCloud.
Little wonder, MI Abaga is in awe of him.
Listen to his projects (Times of Our Lives and War EP albums) and you will get the hype. It has taken a bit of time, but finally, he has put out the ultimate game-changer by way of the LP album.
Named ‘rare’, the textual aesthetics of lower case lettering blends neatly with the unusual cover art where Odunsi is photographed sitting with a standing crew of white clad artistic-looking folks with pregnant poses.
The album starts and, in the course of a listening experience, is interjected by commentary that is self-reflective and vulnerable. It has got the poise of poetry but manages to be fleeting for the unsupervised listener.
At 14 tracks lasting 36 minutes, “rare” the album delineates Odunsi’s sound in far comparison to what the radio currently spews. His sound masterfully blends disco, trap music with R&B tendencies whilst retaining the spontaneity to burst into rap every now and then.
His music takes the reedy and barely audible syrupy sound of the newschool trap and reconciles it with the drug-induced psychedelia of the urban disco sensibility thusabrogating the distance between time, in the short run.
In the long run, Odunsi is apposing music of different era into a fine new blend that is digital, hippy, insouciant, exuberant and, most importantly, retrospective and contemporary all at once.
His lyrical interests range from casting fleeting concerns on place and body as if mimicking the itinerant strobe light in the proverbial disco club.
The music is imbued with more momentum for dance than introspection. The cursor behind the musical score is an intent towards abandon which brings back the syrupy psychedelia to the loop where there is an interminable circle.
Cult following notwithstanding, Odunsi might be our belated response to Prince. Looking princely, sitting in his black sequin clothes and shiny pointed shoes, Odunsi is the engine that takes it all in. On Falling, his sound brings memories, if not registers from your Disco retro superheroes to, wait for it, P-Square.
Just when you want to obviate notions as to the Africanness or Nigerianess of his sound, he takes a name or familiar phrase and puts it all in your face.
“rare” is soulful disco that is robust and rambunctious in equal parts and Odunsi is still the engine!