I guess, at this stage of Junior Boy‘s career, we could say it all worked out for him. Except that would probably be a lie, cause the guy has got his low-low’s too. But it’s not really that important if he just wants to make music, is it?
The guy blew up with a smash featuring 9ice, actually a remixed version of “Irapada”, which quickly captivated everyone, especially due to the fact that his Yoruba lyrics were a bit deep.
Since then, he’s had collaborations, done a few big singles, but it’s not like he’s got an album or a huge award anywhere, so for now, he’s still that promising guy we think would explode and it’s only a matter of time.
His hits, or most of them, anyway, have been some motivational or hustler’s prayer stuff. In this economy, nothing sells better, you know. That wasn’t it, though. Junior Boy really had a knack for those vibes and he did make the most out of it.
But man has to eat and do some commercially viable stuff sometimes. Maybe a club banger, or a love song, or something. At least, he’s been trying to prove that he’s not just stuck, that he’s a versatile and talented singer. So, once in a while, he comes through with some stuff we don’t expect. The last time he did that was “Anita Baker.”
Well, he’s doing it again with this new one, “Ngwa.” This has got some really fast tempo, that you can’t but wonder where this kind of vibe came from or where you’ve heard it from before.
Back when afro-pop didn’t have a “business plan” and our industry haven’t met Ghana’s mid-tempo highlife influenced tune, somehow the stuff that was hot then were fast (that’s Ngwa in Igbo, by the way.) Mostly because of the influence South African house had then.
You could say the Terry G‘s were the ones who kick-started the fast tempo thing, but it was through the help of the South African vibe that we were able to fuse it with what was called afro-pop then. And those times, it wasn’t hard to find DJ Maphorisa hovering around. Mafikizolo came around for a while too, you know.
And producers like Uhuru, who had that signature tune, made it real but down here. There were guys like Skales, Kcee, and Runtown, who Uhuru was hooking up with and cooking some vibes. Big shots like Wizkid and Davido did play their part in making those stuff big, too.
That was before the “pon pon pon” revolution started in 2015 or so. Before everything went so slow and sent some guys out of business.
Anyway, Junior Boy is bringing back our South African vibe and “Ngwa” is really reminiscent of those jams. It even had a Uhuru kind of interlude. Crisp, if you ask me. We can only hope this becomes Junior’s next hit. Even though the chances this is going to stick are slim.