Sarz and Obongjayar ‘Sweetness’ is a boldly produced EP with a lot of repeat value.
Collaborative projects are frequently the result of public demand, with fans believing that two artists have the ability to share airspace and integrate over a unified body of work.
Other times, they are born of mutual intrigue, a sense of connection forged through the speculative and creative process of making music, and largely unaffected by external pressures of expectations.
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Sarz has taken the latter path in recent years, releasing joint projects with musicians he finds intriguing rather than the usual suspects he’s worked with during his long career as a music producer.
Steven Umoh was born and reared in Calabar, Nigeria, and moved to London at the age of 17 to convert his musical identity from American rap fanatic to avant-garde Soul singer.
His gravelly voice is continuously compelling when combined with a sonic pallet that liberally draws from Electro-Soul, Jazz, and Afrobeat.
The arrival of ‘Sweetness’ opens up new possibilities for both artists, giving them the opportunity to push each other in new directions, Let’s get started with the music.
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All replies are in real-time while the song is playing, as is customary for a one-listen evaluation. There are no pauses, rewinds, fast-forwards, or skips in this video.
Wistful opening, very gentle build-up but it’s bursting with life. Obongjayar’s singing is as tender as the moment you lean in for your first kiss with your crush.
This Disco-influenced bounce is bulbous enough to fit into a house party playlist, but it’s very sensual at its core—basically, it’s for two lovers on the dancefloor.
Electronic sounds, glittering keys, and a delectable Afropop knock. Obongjayar’s singing has far less heft than I associate him with and it fits perfectly, he sounds aptly wounded by this woman who jilted him.
“If You Say”
The build-ups on these songs will have you itching to hear what’s about to happen next. These drum patterns, next to these keys, are simply wonderful.
“Don’t tell me the things I want to hear/it’s the things that you do when I’m not there” is an interesting way to frame romantic reciprocity.
The last song on the project and I’m a bit mad that this is ending in a few minutes.
I think that image should show how terrible of a dancer I am, but more importantly how bewitchingly groovy this is.
On paper, Sarz and Obongjayar operate on two different musical planes, but that’s the thrill of these types of collaborative projects where distinct styles collide with purpose and yield great dividends for both artists and listeners.
At only four songs, ‘Sweetness’ makes a definitive statement in its brief and compact run-time.
Sweetness is a short project—perhaps too short—and the payoff will be in its replay value. Daringly crafted and airtight in its execution, it’s the sort of EP that will compel you to hit the repeat all button.
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Excellent = 2.5
Mp3bullet gives the project an 80% (Excellent) general rating