It’s a cliche that artists produce better work when they’ve been through emotions, especially during the dark days. For 21-year-old Nigerian singer Victony, it has been a hell of a ride. Involved in a ghastly car accident that claimed his friend’s life but left him severely injured and in need of surgery, the singer has seen it all, but the creative world just wasn’t done with him.
Inspiration comes to some people in the strangest places. Left to move around in a wheelchair, Victony still worked in his lowest days and produced some of the best works ever, delivering impressive features on Mayorkun’s smash hit “Holy Father” and Savage’s “Rosemary”. Two records topped the charts, introducing us to a newly refined Victony, with the same voice but more bone-deep grief and despondence that characterizes his sounds.
“Outlaw” is like a musical document of Victony’s quest, but with more depth and quality, he treats it like a debut album, sounding as mature as ever. The seven-song Ep starts with the intro “Outlaw”, a song that infuses his artful Afro-fusion sounds of vintage gospel, heartbreaks and a toxic lover, and pure victory as a whole. The intro doesn’t miss. It’s the same with “Chop & slide”, a seductive bedroom Afro-soul tune with all the modernized afrobeat elements.
The lead single “Apollo”, is an Amapiano-inspired tune that shows his unique style. It’s crazy when you rewind things to when Victony was a rapper, serving up punchlines with Ladipoe for his Revival Sunday series. He sounds different now. It’s like he was destined for the Afro-parts of the industry. “All power” marks the third collaboration between Victony and Ktizo, with the latter producing three songs, showing Victony’s faith in the production house. The song is an appreciative one that gives “all power” to an African lady, but the production takes all the spotlight here. Every instrument sounds explicitly tailored for the singer, allowing his vocals to flow smoothly.
The duo link up again on “Jolene”, a love song with soothing vocals that slip seamlessly between Nigerian Pidgin and English, and a love-filled pen, accompanied by Nigeria’s Deep Music choir. It’s one of the best production sets on the EP. “Soweto” is a show-off by Victony and Afrobeats producer Tempoe.
It’s a well-balanced song, with a bit of Victony’s falsetto that creates a sharp contrast to the rest of the song. Allowing Tempoe to fill the rest of the record with a flute-inspired production, accompanied by the singer’s backing vocals, creating a very experimental song in the process it’s what this project is about, a wide range of sounds that have been altered to fit Victony’s diversity.
The EP holds heavy replay value. You can never get tired of Victony’s dulcet crooning. The qualities the production holds sum up how calculated this project was birthed, “Kolmental” which was released as a single, still sounds refreshing anytime it comes on. The song’s groove shimmers with colour and joy yet still channels pain and loss from his journey, and his vocals add extra emotions to his words, summing up one of the most real songs on his project. It’s up there as the top songs of this EP.
Victony is mentally good, not just his craft. You have to admire his “comeback”, especially on an EP filled with bedroom pop and experimental sounds, all spearheaded by the Nigerian singer-songwriter’s seductive falsetto. Backed by a clever production from producers who understand his craft as an artist whose inspiration knocks on the door of interstellar sounds.
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