With a mix of R&B, pop, and African folk, Nigerian singer-songwriter Brymo has balanced love songs and social commentary on a string of albums popular in his home country.
• Born Olawale Ashimi, Brymo began writing and playing music while in secondary school. He joined friends in a short-lived band called The Aliens before going his own way in 2005.
• Influenced by R. Kelly and Backstreet Boys, Brymo honed a smooth R&B sound on his first album, 2007’s Brymstone.
• His second album, 2012’s The Son of a Kapenta (a reference to his father’s work in carpentry), was a blend of fuji music, electronica, and pop. Nigerian Entertainment Today extended the woodworking metaphor, praising the LP as “a well-polished, solid piece of auditory furniture.”
• Brymo’s third album, 2013’s Merchants, Dealers & Slaves, has been read as an allegory for the political and culture climate in Nigeria. The online publication YNaija called the album “a narrative tour de force, an instant classic,” in a 2014 review.
• After releasing his fourth album, Tabula Rasa, in 2014, Brymo took a racy turn on his fifth LP, 2016’s Klĭtôrĭs, an album rooted in the sounds of Yoruba music, Afrobeat, and soul.
• Brymo’s 2018 release Oṣó mostly comprised ballads influenced by Apala and Yoruba music, while his 2020 LP Yellow was a more electronic album with elements of trap and shoegaze.
• Amid his solo outings, Brymo joined the alternative rock band A.A.A., which released a self-titled five-song EP in 2019.