Saturday, 20 April 2024
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Shoday’s “Brkfst” EP, A Treat With Just Enough To Relish [Review]

Following a trail of singles dating back to 2021, Nigerian Afrofusion act Shoday formally gets down to business with his debut EP, Brkfst.

Brkfst Cover art.
Brkfst Cover art.

Brkfst is a six-track reflection of life, love and wealth supported by the singles ‘You’ and ‘Girls Hostel’, released in 2023 and 2024 respectively. The project blends Afrobeats, Afro-RnB, Gospel and Highlife for a well-rounded experience. Melodies, storytelling and witty lines also define the EP.

Hours before Brkfst’s release, Shoday released a 56-second promotional video to prepare listeners for his formal debut. The video features Shoday as a butler and an unnamed lady draped in black. While at the lady’s service, Shoday is transported to a different location – indicative of the wholesome effect he intends his project to have. The title itself hearkens to the Igbo proverb that states that whenever a man wakes up is his morning.

“Breakfast is one of the most important meals in man’s life. It prepares you for the day. This is a special delicacy made with love, from me to you. This is my story, my truth, my struggle and my win.”

Shoday, in the promotional video for the Brkfst EP.

Brkfst’s cover art is reminiscent of the cover of Olamide’s 2020 album, Carpe Diem. Shoday appears four times in different looks. A version of him is seated and draped in a green-and-white motorcycle jacket. Two other versions of himself sport a navy blue cardigan and a silver jacket. Most notably, he also cosplays as Joaquin Phoenix’s version of The Joker. Before the EP’s tracks tell the full story of a well-rounded celebratory experience, the cover assures listeners that the breakfast envisaged is literal, upbeat and has nothing to do with heartbreak.

Brkfst EP Tracklist.
Brkfst EP Tracklist.

The first track, ‘Halleluyah’ is a gospel-infused number that begins with a clip presumably from a gospel record. Shoday largely recounts his journey to becoming an artiste, touching on his hurdles and expressing gratitude. Percussions do not join the piano riffs until the final third of the song, after Shoday’s delivery of his message. The track also features a voice recording at the end, advocating for candid artistry. While the recording holds merit standing alone, its exclusion would have served the track better.

So there is no music for enjoyment. There is nothing like love. There is something that’s a struggle for people’s existence. So, as an artiste, politically, artistically, the whole idea about your environment must be represented in the music, in the arts.

Shoday continues his expose with ‘Silver Spoon’, where he emphatically states his commitment to the grind. He opens the track with humorous earnesty (‘I was not born with a silver spoon’/’But if I see, I go thief am too’), before calling on concerned parties to keep the cheques coming. The lyrics tie into Shoday’s Billion Boy moniker, while the instrumentals call on users to hit the dance floor. Asides a few creative lines, the song does not do much to be memorable. However, Shoday musters some redemption on the catchy love number, ‘Girls Hostel’. It paints the picture of young love, characterized by surging emotions and secluded meet-ups. He sings, ‘Do not call me later’/‘I want to speak to you now’/‘Because you’re crossing my mind’.

Bella Shmurda is the sole guest feature of the project, making the most of the up-tempo ‘Billion Boy’. It picks up from ‘Silver Spoon’, executing the sole objective of getting legs on the dance floor. Nonetheless, it ends with a poignant tribute to the late Mohbad. ‘Wuru Wuru’ the follow-up track with Eastern Nigerian influences, appears to infuse the project with some much needed nuance at the start. Sadly, the record does not quite deliver on its promise and winds up being forgettable.

Shoday closes out his debut EP with ‘You’, another Gospel-infused number that brings the album full circle. He sings in gratitude to God, Where I for dey/If e no be for you/I for dey for trenches make I no see money.

While the creativity on Brkfst is commendable, coupled with the wit and sonic appeal, the project leaves a lot to be desired. There is the nagging feeling of much being left unsaid, such that listeners may not fully connect with the artiste. The songwriting also lacked enough nuance. Notwithstanding, the project offers a foundation for better and more dynamic offerings from the artiste.

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