Barry Jhay came into music limelight with his Antras produced song, Aiye and there was something unique about the track that made everyone of us know that this young man had come to make his mark in the industry and was certainly going to go far.
Perhaps, it was the fact that the song juxtaposed all the elements a good song was supposed to have; it was lacking in none. From the production, to the melody, to the vocal, the lyric, the song was way above the passmark.
And so, we waited eagerly for Barry Jhay to drop his first project, surprisingly, a 9-tracked EP which I must state here deserves more praise than it has been given in the media in the past few weeks.
In each track, the singer shows that he has the lyrical capability and is a true evolution of Afro Fuji Pop and fusion from his father, Alhaji (Dr.) Sikiru Ayinde Barrister. He tries to tell us that he has the ability to swim in the water of Fuji music but will rather pursue the Afro Fuji Pop genre he has chosen. The project is a bold statement and a strong affirmation of what the Aiye singer is capable of.
In the opening track, Barry Back, he has a message for his detractors as he says blessings are his inheritance and he will get them. He sings“Dem a say I no go make am o/they say I no go be somebody/ Oluwa dey my back o/sebi baba lo n so mi/tomo ba jo baba/e jowo ko kin se ese/mo jo baba mi lowo yi o…” His voice here is like refined gold.
In Ashe She, he makes a declarative statement that it is possible. The song infuses a lot of Christian vibe in it and one might get tempted to think he is a Christian artiste. One beautiful thing about Barry Jhay is that he knows how to pass his message with proverbs in his indigenous language, Yoruba and in this song, he doesn’t disappoint.
The third track, Daddy would at first make you think from its title that it is an ode to or appreciation of his father. Interestingly, it is a recreation of the Nigerian zaddy statement. The singer talks about how he wants to be with a woman who knows the good things of life.
The fourth track, Only You with Davido which is the only feature on the EP sounds like a copy of Michael Jackson’s Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough vibes and hits hard.
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Without going on to write about the other songs on the album, Under the Duvet, Pa Mi, Superstar, Money and Ma So Pe, one already has an inkling of what the album truly represents.
And while it is a good project, there are certain things Barry Jhay needs to watch out for. One, all the tracks sound too alike and similar. If he’s not careful, he might begin to sound like a cliche artiste who finds joy in singing to a singular beat.
Two, there is so much he can do with his talent than singing about God, the troubles of life and the assured success he knows. While, it might be credited to his style, there is so much that his talent can do for him and he needs to maximize it.
Three, he might want to take a break from staying under his father’s shadow. Although, he will be quick to deny this, he subtly enjoys the path his father has credited for him and he is milking it. Dedicating the EP to his father is good but a subtle play to gallery and he sounds too alike to his father in lyrical content, something he might want to work on.
All in all, the album is a beautiful work of art. It will leave the listener pleased and it truly deserves better recognition in the Nigerian media space. A personal favorite is the Ashe She track. I rate it a 6/10.
Photo Credit: Getty