NAHAMciaga - EP
There was scarcely a chance that Seyi Vibez wouldn’t make the last major statement in Afropop of 2023. Since the November 2022 release of Billion Dollar Baby, the singer born Balogun Afolabi Oluwaloseyi has moved with the creative restlessness of a 2000s-era hip-hop star, releasing music with a level of abundance and technical prowess that is stylistically and conceptually a throwback to the golden age of Yoruba oral genres like fújì and apala in the early 1990s. Appearances on the chart-topping Bnxn and Kizz Daniel collab “GWAGWALADA” and the Burna Boy collab “Giza”—in addition to the neo-soul leanings of his June 2023 double album Vibe Till Thy Kingdom Come and Thy Kingdom Come—have also shown him to be a star at ease with the modern age as he wraps explosive, chest-thumping verses around mellow hooks centered around his life. Closing out a remarkable 2023, the singer’s NAHAMciaga (a play on a line in “Hushpuppi” from Thy Kingdom Come) is a genre-meshing celebration of good times and the year-long winning streak Seyi has gone on. As with most of his best work, Seyi Vibez primarily serves as a collagist across the five songs of NAHAMciaga, assembling a variety of styles and memories to create a whole new experience with the help of trusted collaborators like Dibs and larrylanes. Project opener “Different Pattern” is a highlife-infused extravaganza that celebrates the singer’s opulent lifestyle while “Cana” is a timely status update on his desires and romantic impulses. NAHAMciaga takes a nostalgic turn on the aptly titled “Apala Interlude” where he interpolates Musiliu Haruna Ishola’s seminal “Opon Apala Ti Sun” to stunning effect before settling into a praise-singing stretch in line with traditional Yoruba music. He channels a pop star’s bombast on “Today” and “Shazam,” closing out NAHAMciaga with the same vigor with which he entered 2023.