5 EPs From 2020 You Should Revisit

Here are some EPs from Ginius, Obongjayar, Odeal and more you should revisit this year.

Ginius – Happy to Be Outside

This short and sweet, three-track EP was delivered to us summer of last year. Based in both the UK and Ghana, Georgina Baker, commonly known as Ginius, blessed us with a self-produced project heavily influenced by the amapiano sound. The rhythmic elements of the production make it impossible not to enjoy all three tracks. In a time of global lockdowns, the track “Happy to Be Outside” in particular transports you to a balcony in South Africa, awash with just good vibes and great energy.

Stream here: Apple Music | Spotify | Audiomack 

 

Obongjayar – Which Way is Forward

Nigerian-born, London based artist, Obongjayar released a seven-track EP with a total runtime just shy of 25 minutes. The project is difficult to place into one box, a mix of afrobeats and neo-soul over electronic beats. The main themes explore a sense of being, regarding both a spiritual connection and self-identity. Sonically, strong storytelling occurs across this EP: songs like “God’s Own Children” resemble chant-like anthems further expressed by the raw emotion in the vocals and defiant lyrics. This feeling is further expressed by the background sounds and tempo of tracks like “Soldier Ant.” Which Way is Forward takes its listeners on a journey. Possibly one thing that would have tied the project into a more immersive listening experience  would have been a longer run time.

Stream here: Apple MusicSpotify 

 

Odeal – OVMBR: Roses 

The British-born Nigerian artist released 8 tracks, three of them self-produced, in November of last year: during ‘OVMBR’ season of course. Throughout this project, Odeal utilises a rich blend of Afro-fusion with added influences of dancehall and R&B. For me the two standout tracks were “What You Need” which includes a Gabzy feature and the lead single “24/48” featuring mesmerising vocals over a sweet, soulful beat accompanied by a harmonious choir. The rollout of the EP was truly masterful with cinematic visuals to match the tracks, conveying the same level of intimacy and sincerity of a heartfelt message, one that “embodies the idea of broken love; exemplifying a love that has clearly had its time.”

Stream here: Apple Music | Spotify 

 

PsychoYP and Azanti – YP & Azanti Vol 1

In November last year, newly signed Azanti emerged onto the Nigerian music scene with his debut EP in collaboration with labelmate and mentor PsychoYP. The pair teamed up to bring a range of different influences which can be heard across the genre-bending eight tracks. We see more alternative R&B sounds on songs like “Posted Up” juxtaposed with classic YP rapping on “New Bag” with more clear-cut afropop tunes like “Caro.” “Ji Masun,” a personal favourite is a standout track featuring the perfect balance of Afrofusion and mellow vibes. The duo’s ability to switch and swap flows and melodies showcases the versatility throughout this project, giving Azanti a powerful and concise introduction into Apex Village Collective.

Stream here: Apple Music | Spotify | Audiomack 

 

Sjava – Umsebenzi

Initially released as a surprise to fans, Sjava dropped the four-track EP towards the tail-end of last year. The South-African vocalist sings almost entirely in Zulu, but the vocals on these tracks transcend language barriers beautifully. These richly textured songs dip into the genres of Afropop and R&B but it is the soulful lyrics that are most notable. Normally covering themes of relationships and family in his music, the intro track “Umcebo” in translation is a beautiful prayer detailing ideas of accumulating love, wealth and treasure.

Stream here: Apple Music | Spotify | Audiomack 

 

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