Now we are already familiar with the likes of British-Ghanaian, Georgina Baker.
More commonly referred to as ‘ginius’, and I can not think of a better moniker. I spoke to the producer, singer-songwriter about production, the ‘Afroblend’ genre and the release of her sophomore EP, ‘Her Notions Since ’97’
A sonic exploration into the human experience would be the best description I can give of this project. Never confined to the constraints of one genre, the tape’s core foundation lies with the afro-realm. Delving into numerous emotions, from the storytelling alone you can tell this is a project that has been in the works for some time.
‘I initially did not start out as wanting to make a tape – I was just making songs to listen to (LOL!). “Melody” was the first beat I had from Joker in July 2021 and I remember sending him a voice note of what I was going to sing on it. He instructed me to go record expeditiously but guess what: I fell asleep and didn’t record it. I then made “Hooked”. It was the first song made on this tape (producing and singing). So I basically had these two even before the “how it feels” EP dropped. So technically this tape has been over a year now in the making.’
Not noticing until I personally highlighted the length of the tracks, I noted how they all felt short and sweet. Ginius remarks on how this was not in fact intentional.
‘Maybe my subconscious is in the TikTok era where everything is short and sweet. However, when you listen to the tape as a whole, some have said it feels long as an EP. But I had so many songs to put out, I just had to settle for more songs than my previous EP. I’m happy people are enjoying it!’
Following on from the success of her debut tape “how it feels” last year. The soundscape on this EP feels much slower, and much more subdued. Ginius speaks on growth and what’s different for her this time around.
‘I guess it’s just life and growing up – you know, just experiencing it and living it. Again it must have been a subconscious decision as things been slowed down were not an intentional decision’
We traverse an entire spectrum of emotions on this project. So many reflect the good energy of sounds we would expect for the summer months but we also get more sensual afro R&B tracks as we gear up for those cosier winter nights. ‘This new project is the ultimate playlist for enjoyment’, says ginius. Her latest offering has been carefully curated to represent everything we crave as humans.
‘I have a theory that humans crave 3 things – success, good vibes & love. That is simply what the tape is based on lyrically. Usually, if you’ve had ample amounts of these 3 things, people would say in the words of Future: “Life is good”. So I wanted to make a positive energy type tape that would resonate with people. There’s enough misery in the world!’
I wanted to make a positive energy type tape that would resonate with people. There’s enough misery in the world!
When asked about the amount of self-production we see across ginius’ projects’, she is always true to herself. ‘Often when I’m producing, I hum the melody of the lyrics to it and eventually put words to the melody. I enjoy producing and it’s definitely not a process I like rushing and usually when it feels right it comes out right.’
With only three out of the eight tracks on this project with instrumentation not put together by genius herself (Consistency, Melody, and Real Ones), when selecting the right producers to collab with, it is easy to tell from the onset whether she is feeling the vibe and if not: ‘I will tell the producer too as I am not a fan of saying I’m going to do something and not do it – I would rather the producer sends it out to someone else that understands the vibe and is on it. There is no reason to harbour someone else’s work and never get it done.’
Referring to her sound as ‘Afro Blend’, her unique concoction of amapiano, alte, highlife and R&B is her own iteration of Afro-fusion. Citing the likes of Burna Boy, who so effortlessly fuses both his Nigerian and UK influences with a sprinkling of Caribbean sounds.
‘I would say I’m a melting pot of the musical genres out there as I listen to a lot of different things (don’t be surprised if you catch me listening to an orchestra ensemble LOL) but currently I have been focused on a lot more Afro and RnB so maybe that’s why this tape felt a bit slowed down compared to the previous.’
Taking a deep dive into one of my favourite tracks: ‘Consistency’, the standout feature on the instrumentation is of course the sax. Attributing the creative IP to Joker Nharnah, ‘a bad boy producer and talent who is taking over the world one song at a time’ we have the faraway sax as a perfect accompaniment to genius wistful lyrics. The track also features U.K Afro Swing singer, Kvngs who ‘also has mad talent and has a thing for the sax instrument just like me.’
‘Consistency is actually made for that partner you love who is having self-doubt about their dreams and what they can achieve and you remind them to believe in themselves. As long as it is you and them against the world everything is possible as you are on their team and to stay focused and keep pushing.’
It is evident genius’ musical germination does not end here. Already a proficient producer, we can only expect a continuation of new and evolving sounds. With the promise of visuals for these tracks, there is a song on this tape to map onto everyone’s summer mood. Noting what message she wants listeners to extract most from this project, ginius remarks: ‘Love, Joy and keep chasing that success story – your dreams are valid.‘