By Adigun Temitope Idealism
As a follow-up to his last album, “Awele” and his 2019 joint Extended Play (EP) “40 Yrs (Everlasting)” with Nigerian Singer, Chidinma, award-winning musician, Flavour N’abania, widely known as Flavour, has released his highly anticipated Seventh (7th) studio album, “Flavour of Africa.”
Flavour’s fusion of African rhythm, highlife, contemporary Jazz and dancehall, has evolved enormously and earned him the title of King of Highlife, which is evident in this body of work.
The released album under OnePRM and Flavour’s 2Nite Entertainment is the transformation and evolution of Flavour’s sound and the harness responsibility of marketing this sound beyond Nigeria.
In order not to sway away from the concept of the album, Flavour became intentional with the selection of the featured artists – Tekno, Phyno, Larry Gaaga, Fally Ipupa, Odumeje, Waga Gee, Beenie Man, and Biggie Igba.
The quality of sounds in the project is an eye-opener to the fact that Flavour is the undisputed king of Highlife and the credits go to producers like Masterkraft; Rotimi Keys, Selebobo, Spax, Stadic, Jonny Blaze, Marvio, and DJ Tunez.
Track by Track Review
There is no perfect intro to this body of work other than this first track “Flavour of Africa.” Flavour choral voice and the call and response style with the back-up singers would lure the listeners to stay on top of the project and listen more to other tracks. The track reflects the theme of the album, it gives the flavours of what African music entails.
A loyal follower of Flavour’s music would not be surprised after listening to “Good Women.” He is fond of giving credits to women and in this track, Flavour prays for a virtuous woman who manages his assets well, rather than being a liability to him. This track would make waves in Nigerian parties, especially weddings.
Flavour teamed up with Congolese singer, and songwriter, Fally Ipupa and Nigerian singer, Tekno on this dancehall track “Berna,” produced by hitmaker, Masterkraft. This track was created to infiltrate the Nigerian clubs and artists gave their best vocals to it.
A good Flavour’s fan would be aware that this track “Looking Nyash” is a remake of his popular song “Ashawo.” The track produced by Spax is a fusion of dancehall nightlife and dancehall tune and the released visual gives a better explanation to the track.
“Omo T’emi” is arguably a remake of his R&B hit “Ololufe” with Nigerian singer, Chidinma. The track is evidence of Flavour’s talent as a meticulous lyrical singer and the instrumentation of this track is well coordinated. He always finds a way to make an evergreen love song.
After showing his versatility with the fusion of R&B, Dancehall, Flavour once again takes us back to the East with his Highlife melody “Egwu Ndi Oma, ” which was performed in Igbo, a language in the Eastern part of Nigeria.
In continuation of his Highlife tune, Flavour teamed up with Odumeje in a praise-singing tune, “Skit.” Though this should have been incorporated into “Egwu Ndi Oma,” but we can’t neglect the vibe in the song.
In “Doings” featuring Nigerian rapper, Phyno, they came up with a high tempo Highlife sound that addresses self-contentment.
Flavour’s infiltration into gospel music once in a while has been on for some time now, so his album without a gospel type of track would keep listeners wondering. However, “Product of Grace” is to prove them right. Just like the name, “Product of Grace” has a gospel feeling and it was backed by electrifying choral. The song is an appreciation track for his blessings.
While celebrating the Igbo tribe and charging them to be united, Flavour in “Umuigbo” teamed up with Biggie Igba in a Highlife tempo sound to narrate how Igbos can exist anywhere in the world no matter the challenges.
Seems Flavour can’t still fathom how his “Ashawo” hit song went global, as he teamed up with Jamaican Disc Jockey and singer, Beenie Man to remake the song through “Sawa Sawa.”
In an African society, Beer Parlours are places where men gather in the evening to drink and share amidst themselves the different experiences they face with women. This is exactly what Flavour was trying to recreate in the track “Beer Parlour Discussions” featuring Waga Gee. Flavour recounts different experiences men encountered with women and how they drink beers to relieve themselves from these experiences. The melody and the instrumentation are well balanced.
Flavour came up with an Afrobeats track “Odeyewu” to celebrate love. The effect of his vocals laced on the funky tune gave this track a brilliant feeling.
In the solo-perforformed track “Ebube,” Flavour came up with a soothing Highlife with a gospel tune. The instrumentation and the vocals blended and are well mixed.
In “Omeiheoma, ” Flavour came back to declare God as a good God. He has never stopped appreciating God in his life and this is evidence in some of the tracks. This track should have been a round-up track for this project.
Flavour teamed up with Larry Gaaga in “Bestie” to round up this body of work. They came up with some life lessons and experiences that would help the listeners – “…be humble.,” “..no be everybody go like you…,” and many others.
“Flavour of Africa” is a solidification of Flavour’s royalty as the King of Highlife music, which is popular in the Eastern part of Nigeria. It is a path to market this popular Eastern sound, “Highlife” to not only other parts of the country, Nigeria, but to Africa in general.
Lyrics – 4.5/5
Production – 4.5/5
Performance – 4/5
Average Rating – 4/5
About the author: Adigun Temitope Idealism is a freelance journalist, music reviewer, and events and talent manager. He holds a degree in Mass Communication from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), and dabbles in street photography in his spare time.