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Is Krizbeatz the King of the New Wave in Nigeria? [Review]

With no proper definition, the industry named the sound, pon pon pon. However the one who knows the origin of the sound decided to give his ‘new wave’ sound a proper introduction in the form of an album titled, Afro Dance Music (ADM)

It has been ages since the last shock wave hit the field of music production in Nigeria, the last one I remember happened during the Don Jazzy-led revolution of the early 2000s. But in 2016; Krizbeatz stunned the industry with a new and trendy sound which processed some of the top songs in the second half of the year. He produced songs like Pana and Temper and his sound became the rave.

 Other producers tapped into the Krizbeatz masterstroke and it yielded hit songs like Mad Over You (Runtown), If (Davido),  Fall (Davido), Mama (Tekno); as the trendy sound swept further across the industry to become the dominant sound. With no proper definition, the industry named the sound, pon pon pon. However the one who knows the origin of the sound decided to give his ‘new wave’ sound a proper introduction in the form of an album titled, Afro Dance Music (ADM).

You’d find a hyper DJ Timmy at the entry point to the album, appearing to have witnessed something so beautiful and his excitement to share would leave you psyched up about the experience that lies ahead. Then polygamous arrangement of Lil Kesh & two singing divas on the konto-dance track is the next thing you’d notice.

In what seems to be a calculated line up of tracks, Kriz steers the direction of his signature sound to find grounds to explore in different music genres, collecting his team of featured artistes like Guardiola does in summer transfer markets. Kriz made some impressive signings; Kriz’s sublime beats created an atmosphere for even the average players to look like superstars.

The track, Poker has two big name signings. It embodies Reminisce’s indigenous rap and Mayorkun’s native pop touch while Rumble had the brilliant combination of Seyi Shay & Sean Tizzle on a reggae love song, but Kriz does a bit of show off with his background instrumentation. More of the showing off is done on the model ADM tune; King of the New wave but that’s the point of the album anyway – to showcase the beauty of his invention, ADM and its limitless potential.

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The biggest surprise of the album appears on Best Rapper, where the unsung CeeBoi does what you’d expect a Kendrick Lamar to do on a customised Hip-Hop beat – delivering boastful rap lines, aim at other rappers & go for the kill. His catch line, ‘who is your best rapper? You should be calling my name when I ask this’, suggests that his intention is to make a resounding statement with the track.

The best of Yemi Alade was brought to life by Krizbeatz’s charged up 911 beat and Tanzanian singer, Harmonize gave the track a beautiful eastern African vibe. Krizbeatz’s shows off more of the magic in his fingers with the material he gave to the duo of YungL & Marvellous Benji to slay it the dancehall way, on More, though I feel an inspired Patoranking would have added more beauty to this track.

Even in the thick of the hype around the album, I was never looking out for brilliance in Krizbeatz’s lyricism or in his ability to find a great theme for the project. My expectation from him is in the quality of his sounds and on this album, Krizbeatz showcased his mastery of a range of sounds; creating a refined version of different music genres using elements of his invention, ADM.

Kriz’s album portrays Afro Dance Music as a new product made from old materials. After several rounds of listening to the album and having a closer examination of the ADM sound, I’d say Krizbeatz’s signature sound is a blend of familiar African instrumentation with electronic musical elements and at varying degrees, Kriz wields these different musical elements to make dance stimulating music of almost all kinds; Konto, Raggae, AfroPop and more.

Ibironke Oluwatobi was a shortlisted participant in The Critic Challenge 2017. He is a writer and a reader, whose interest lie in entertainment and socio-politics. He holds a bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering, which he earned from Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Ogbomoso, in 2015. He has written for publications including PulseNG, Tush Magazine, Tooxclusive, Daily Sun Newspaper, YNaija. He is mostly inspired by the Hip-Hop community. He hopes to publish books in the future. He shares his perspective on selected topics from his home in Lagos State, Nigeria.

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