Help! I'm never usually starstruck but here I am completely won over by the voice of this - rightly put - Super Sun!. However, I'll get myself composed enough to put this review together. I got very excited to do the feature on this particular artist and his music and you can probably decipher the reason why as you read on. I have followed this cool gentleman (even virtually so) from his days of small cozy performances at a Jazz/Soul Jam slash Poetry Slam cafe of sorts called Taruwa in Lagos, Nigeria - a brain child of his sister Lydia Idakula-Sobogun - up to his involvement with one of the most popular and gifted Producers in Nigeria, Cobhams Asuquo and his C.A.M.P production outfit and label. We plug to you, one who many have referred to as "Nigeria's John Legend" - velvety Alternative Soul singer/songwriter by the name of BEZ.
This next song above, "Zuciya Daya" means "One Heart" in the Hausa language of Northern Nigeria. This is a keepsake song of love, as I would call it. Like most of his other songs, guitar intros welcome you to a journey of soft acoustic rhythms. "Zuciya Daya" is a sweet, romantic song delivered 'crooner' style. It's a cleverly done sentimental storytelling of a girl's feelings and assurance of love for her man (him?) and with lyrics such as "don't you worry about a thing she said, we should both be happy, we will be together, forever, baby", Bez' vocals are so velvety on this one - with what I'll call a "bubble gum" flavor. The piano interlude at the 2.39 minute mark make for such a soulful and relaxing listen with the accompanying guitar licks skillfully adding that added element also. At 3.44 and beyond, Bez goes an octave higher on the chorus and undulates about twice on it - this is my favorite part. Take a listen above and sway to this.
Bez - More You
The above record, "More You" is a deeeeeeeeeep record. It actually gets into your being and registers itself quietly to whirl up those crazy emotions over a lover and the desire for more of them - their whole being, their heart and soul. Bez takes his time to vocally express the message of the song in the best way only he can, showing excellent songwriting abilities. The scene set to the Kemi Adetiba-directed official video of the song makes the words on "More You" even more poignant and gives it a sad and melancholic twist. Bez - singing as the subject of love - delivers the lyrics with such poetic finesse and his choice of words are so intimate. Bez seems to love the partnership between the violin strings and his acoustic guitar in his music and that partnership fits so perfectly on this song. This is one of my favorite songs by Bez!
Finally, I plug to you - from Bez's wonderful Super Sun album - the infectious acoustic track titled "Stop Pretending". On this record, Bez sings to a girl (or three) telling her to stop pretending, to be herself and stop trying to impress him by being fake. Bez cleverly calls the girl in the song by three different names - Kemi (Yoruba), Nkechi (Ibo) and Fatimah (Hausa) - from the three main Nigerian tribes and I particularly thought that was really smart. By doing so, he is being culturally inclusive or neutral and it's either that or there are three different girls he refers to on this song, I guess I'll leave that to you to figure out. Musically on the other hand, it's a beautiful track that's mostly driven by the acoustic guitar and nothing else, plainly and simply a naked acoustic song. It's as always, in the style of Bez, well arranged and smoothly delivered, no excessive vibrato or vocal gymnastics. Soulful groove all the way, the applause at the end of it says it all, please join in.
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