Trench to Triumph

Trench to Triumph

Since stealing the show with an airy showing on Mavin Records’ 2019 posse cut, “All In Order,” Crayon has been earmarked as a potential Afropop virtuoso. So, it was quite fitting that a captivating performance on another Mavin Records posse, 2022’s “Overloading (OVERDOSE),” was the catalyst for a reset button on the career of the preternaturally talented singer whose subsequent release, the amapiano-inflected heat scorcher, “Ijo (Laba Laba),” was a reminder of the rhythmic tonality and crisp songwriting that made his pair of extended plays, Cray Cray and Twelve A.M, a study in channelling the pomp of 2000s-era Naija pop for a new generation. The re-emergence of a frontline talent like Crayon and the promise that other releases like “The One (Chop Life)” and “Modupe” bore have made the arrival of his debut album an eagerly anticipated occasion. On Trench to Triumph, Crayon (Charles Chibueze Chukwu) is in celebratory mode, bringing his listeners in on his joys. Still, merrymaking isn’t the only theme that defines Trench to Triumph. Instead, the singer turns to his past as a touchstone for appreciating his recent winning streak. Album opener “Calvary Kid” is a surreal, gospel-tinged re-immersion into the early struggles and strife that fuelled his musical ambitions, while “Trench Kid” with Oxlade offers more visible proof of the single-mindedness that lifted the pair out of the trenches. In a display of his artistic malleability, Crayon manages to shift the mood and vibe on occasion throughout the album to accommodate his reflections on love, romantic affiliation, and debauchery from a superstar’s perspective. On the Victony and KTIZO-assisted “Belle Full,” he’s a pining after a love interest, while “Super Woman” is an ode to another special woman. For all its jaunting between solipsistic slow burners and hyper-vivid club bangers, Trench to Triumph is a story of embracing the journey and that message shines through more than ever on “Wetin Go Be.”

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