As his first studio project since 2020’s King of Love, Kizz Daniel’s 2021 EP Barnabas allows him to explore the full scope of his diverse sonic palette. “Barnabas means songs of encouragement”, he tells Apple Music. “Everybody needs some sort of encouragement. And I'm able to experiment with sounds. It doesn't necessarily have to sound like my other projects—just sound good. I have the urban fusion of the Afrobeat and Afro-pop; I’ve got highlife; I’ve got island sounds.” Against that backdrop, Kizz Daniel (Oluwatobiloba Daniel Anidugbe) paints raw, honest pictures of life, love, and vulnerability. Here, he breaks down the EP, track by track.
Pour Me Water ‘Pour Me Water’ depicts a guy's reaction after a heartbreak—the things he would indulge in, like drinking, just to take his mind off the heartbreak. It’s talking about how we all deal with heartbreak, in our own different ways. I'm encouraging you to tell that partner of yours, ‘I'll find someone new, I promise you.’ So I'm better. ‘Don't pour me water’ simply means, ‘Don't insult me. Don't embarrass me; I'll leave. Don't talk too much. Don't insult me. Don't push me; I'll go. It's fine. I can see you don't love me much, so I'll leave.’”
Addict “This is one of my favourite songs of the EP. I’m talking about the life of an addict; how they procrastinate about changing their ways until it's too late. ‘Let's try it one more time. Let me do this. Just let me do this for the last time.’ I know what it feels like to want to stop something so bad, and then sucked right back into it. So I specifically did a song for addicts, encouraging them to try and change their ways, even though I know it's not easy; but just—just try. We all have [something] we are addicted to. Some people are addicted to women, some drugs; some this; some that. It’s never a good place to be. You just need to move ahead.”
Eh God (Barnabas) “I made that song to encourage myself to find my way back to God. That’s where I came up with the name for the EP, Barnabas. It's a personal song. I'm just trying to encourage myself and make it known that yes, I'm lost, and I need to find my way back to God; I need some time with him.”
Oshe (feat. The Cavemen.) “‘Oshe’ is life. ‘Oshe’ is a blend of the Western and the Eastern culture. It's a song talking about you showing off your loved ones on social media, and not feeling guilty about it, and not thinking that you are going to make other people uncomfortable. No. You can do all that PDA, and it's good.”
Burn “‘Burn’ is a very emotional song. It's a love song, but it's talking about love in its truest form. It has the line, ‘When I'm 50-something, something I still want to call you my baby girl. When I'm old and wrinkled, I still want to call you honey-pie.’ Most people love, but some people love wrongly. Some, you need to fall in love with someone that you can be yourself around. You need to fall in love, truly. When you can be yourself around that person; you can fart when you're sleeping and not get scared—‘Oh sh*t, I just farted and she's right beside me!’ Nah. You can go for an early morning kiss and not worry about your mouth. That is the truest form of love.”
Lie “‘Lie’ is to promote body positivity. I don't really care about your body type—what really matters is your vibe. I use that record to give the women confidence in our society right now. If he doesn't want you, doesn't necessarily mean because of your body type—maybe it's your vibe. So just focus and put the energy where it's right, which is your attitude, your character. We all have different body types. Learn to embrace it and love it. That's you, and it's beautiful. It’s real.”
Skin [Kizz Daniel & Kelvyn Colt] “I was in the US for a tour; I think I was in Chicago. Before the show, I told the promoter that I needed to get a haircut. We went to like a plaza, and we met a barber—he’s buff; he's big; he's [also] black. I sat down ready to have my hair. And then while he was cutting my hair, I was talking to the promoter, asking questions like ‘How far are the ticket sales; how's everything going?’ And the barber said I should not talk while he's cutting my hair; I should keep quiet; I’m distracting him. I thought he was joking, so I just continued talking. And the guy just said, ‘That's it’—and he left my hair half done, took off the apron and told me to leave. I was shocked and confused. And I said, ‘I can't leave your shop with my hair like this.’ And the guy said I should leave. He chased me out of the store. Fortunately, some Jamaican girls witnessed the whole thing—and they actually had tickets for my show. They took me to another barbershop and then they paid for my haircut. And that was it. So ‘Skin’ is a song talking about your skin colour, and about your accent. To let the world know that, when they see you, let them see you for you and not the colour of your skin or your accent or your tongue. That when you leave where you are, you’ll leave your comfort zone; you’ll meet new people—but just pray to God that they see you for you, and not the colour of your skin or your tongue. Your looks don't matter—it’s what you do that counts.”