Unveiled in 2021—Magixx was part of a new generation of artists that Mavins had signed during the same period and groomed, before being released into the spotlight. His self titled debut EP was released in September 2021 and it acted as an avid showcase of his impressive skillset and range as an artist.
It’s not usual that the most popular song off an EP in the Nigerian mainstream scene would be an heartfelt Afro-R&B record in the presence of other upbeat, pop songs on the particular album but it’s no puzzling mystery, when analyzed closely really. You see, just like a handful of other popstars in the new generation, Magixx is primarily an R&B act before he is a pop one. Yes, he has some good pop records but his sonic palette is tailor made for R&B.
The genre’s prominent themes that revolve around love and its confessional themes, the soul nature of its vocals atmosphere and it’s mid-tempo BPM’s. Love Don’t Cost A Dime happens to be the said song in question and although it didn’t go on to achieve certified smash-hit status, it was well known amongst its faithful loyalist demographic of slow-burn-loving Afrobeats enthusiasts.
Ever since then Magixx has released his sophomore EP, Atom that was well received and also spawned TikTok sensation, All Over. Just like his debut EP, it would be this swoony Afro-R&B record that would make a solid statement, thus proving that although he could make make fine pop records like Pati and Weekenjoyment, he excelled the most in an R&B soundscape. However, with Colors/Loyal that status quo might be changing.
Colors (My Baby) treads that fine line between R&B and Pop. It has the mellow pace of an R&B bop, and even its thematic direction. On the chorus, Magixx professes his love and declares that he’d do anything for his lover. It’s right up the alley of the genre and the confessional nature of the verses tie into that. The beat is tinged with pop kicks though, that would make it groovy enough for a dance floor and Magixx’s dynamic delivery on the second verse would have you moving but the overall structure of the song is still R&B.
Magixx’s strengths as an artist shine through. At this stage, everyone is privy to his vocals but perhaps its his impressive pengame that stands out this time around. He’s always been a good songwriter, but there has been an intentional improvement since the last project he dropped. “I’m straight to the point, i no be circle” he sings on the second verse, with a metaphor that epitomizes the profound nature of his writing. The entendre here of course is that he doesn’t go round in circles and he knows what he wants.
On second track, Loyal things get more interesting. At first listen, from the mild patois infusion in the lyrics of the song and sonic template of the beat, one can glean its a dancehall record with prominent Afro elements, that could also make it pass as an Afro-swing record. Despite R&B, being this writer’s favourite genre—Loyal is probably the better track of the two.
Produced by Andre Vibez also, it sounds cut from the sonic cloth of a Maleek Berry record. It’s integrated with synth pads, that defined Maleek’s era of Afro-fusion that produced songs like Been Calling and Konnect. The second part of the song is also interspersed with EDM-type jolt snares, overlapping the tepid notes of piano at the bedrock of the beat. The song is tailor made for African and carribean dancefloors in the same way Ruger’s Bounce was. Matter of fact, it’s one of the better dancehall records out of the country since Bounce and one can only hope it experiences similar success.
It’s no mystery why the snippet in particular garnered a lot of attention online and was Magixx’s tweet in a longwhile that had generated the most traction. The first verse most especially featured a very impressive delivery from Magixx and he belts out such a treacherous, sacrilegious line like “she wetter than John the Baptist” on the second verse.
The story of Magixx till late has been the fact that he’s had more success in R&B than pop, but perhaps that story is about to change soon and it’s not even coming in the way of typical mainstream, Afro-pop but a Dancehall esque one. It would be interesting to see where the artist goes from here, what the direction of his next project would be and what the reception of this potential crossover record would be like. Time can only tell, but as of now, all we can say is that the music sounds great.
–This article is written by T.J. Martins, an Album Talks writer.