ADOMAA- AFRABA EP REVIEW

Afraba_Cover_Art

Her entry onto the music scene was unexpected. Like a thief in the night, she broke on the scene and managed to become part of the musical conversation.

The accolades she won following her ‘breaking the internet’ per the Ghanaian music scene with her avant-garde, nostalgia pumping and beautiful visually captured collage-esque renditions ‘Evolution of Music’ tune was deserving.

It didn’t take long for Ghanaians to accept her and the world music media to notice her music and talent. The Guardian UK Newspaper called her ‘A Voice of the Future’, a huge accolade for a young up-coming artiste with just a mash-up song.

Adomaa and her Vision Inspired (VI) music team, following the success of her mash-up, put out more mash-ups of some of the hit songs in Ghana which people loved. Soon, Adomaa was performing at big social and private functions. Like the butterfly, her beautiful wings were fully stretched, allowing people to enjoy the sight of her beauty.

Ever since, the conversation around Adomaa has been whether she could switch doing covers and put out her very own music. She addressed that by putting out her first original single ‘Traffic Jam’, a tune with different shades of influences-the lead single off her upcoming EP Afraba.

Afraba, which translates as ‘Child’ is a 6 track EP-with 2 skits- that was inspired by Adomaa’s musical growth. Drawing an analogy between her journey thus far and the life cycle of the butterfly, Adomaa has crafted an album that is purposely to sell herself, showcase her depth of musical styles and tell her story.

On Tempo, Adomaa takes the listener back into the 70s with its pop-rock rhythm and danceable groove. Aside the electrifying rhythms of Tempo, the lyrics are very heavy. Tempo carries a daring political and social lyrics capturing the current state of affairs in the country-from the lavish lifestyle of politicians, unfulfilled promises, dumsor to corruption: ‘police checkpoint/like check check point/bring your money then you go/when the venture to extort coins’. If there is a song to get a cross-over effect, it is Tempo.

Musicians have a knack for creating ‘accidental’ music- songs that come up without much thought or when they are messing around. Shii The Song falls in that category. ‘Shii’ is a Twi word which translates loosely as ‘burn/mess it up’. Adomaa and Robin-Huws, created this song during a playful session.

Afraba_Track_List

Despite this guitar driven song springing from a playful session, lyrics like sometimes it’s all  overrated/ Bad time should not keep you deflated reminds the listener about embracing their flaws and imperfections. Adomaa and Huws’ voices formed a good blend.

Unlike “Shii The Song”, Born Again was a deliberate creation by Adomaa to address those who have judged her career choice. According to her, people have questioned her on why a daughter of a pastor must choose to perform secular music than gospel/Christian music.

For her, Born Again is as she described it, a ‘personal’ song and one quickly realizes her frustrations at these criticisms when she sings ‘them say I no fi use my voice/ sake of my background/them dey complain/But me I no dey hear/I no dey biz’

The accompanying instrumentation, a blend of highlife and pop is brilliant. The rap Adomaa threw in there showcased another shade of her talent. Hearing her dad, Bishop George Adjeman assuring her of his total support is nothing short of amazing.

If Afraba which featured Grace Omaboe and poet Nana Asaase told the story of the transformation of a cocoon into a full butterfly in a ‘By The Fireside’ fashion-which was nostalgically beautiful and placed the album in context over those colorful Kyekyeku string works, Hollow Places completed the story.

Hollow Places is a song about triumph; about surviving a terrible experience. The beginning of the song is flawlessly arresting. Adomaa’s jazz/classic music influence oozed over this opera like (Broadway) feel. Adomaa’s springy voice is intense yet childish. The song could pass as a movie soundtrack. The ending is perfect.

The lead single of the album, Traffic Jam sang in both Ghanaian pidgen with a touch of Nigerian accent carries a matching afrobeat, highlife and pop influence, undoubtedly something from Fela Kuti’s music book. It’s groovy and catchy tune with a ‘life is short so take it easy’ notice. It’s no surprise that the song has captivated a lot of people.

The palpable flaw with the album is the arrangement of the first two tracks. That almost monologue State of Mind (Intro) with Akosua Hanson and Afraba were too much talk. A talk session right before another a talk dragged Adomaa’s introduction to the listener. Despite this, the sequencing of the music overrides this minor flaw. It fits the story of her evolution and that of the butterfly.

Afraba is an attestation to how young minds-the Vision Muisc Team- could conceive and put out an almost excellent body of work. If there’s anything Afraba has revealed, it is the different shades of Adomaa’s talent. Afraba is not unnecessary a heavy and deep album. It’s fun, playful yet tasteful. This EP has rendered the ‘girl who does cover songs’ tag by critics obsolete.

Rating: 3.7/5

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