With the incursion of UK’s crisply produced Afrobeats, much of what used to be Afropop RNB seems to be evolving into the fringe, incorporating more of Afro-Carribean rhythms and hip-hop’s pacing. Artists who do not follow this style of making music are doing even more experimentation, Tekno and Runtown have tapped from Ghana’s guitar-infused hiplife, Wizkid released a largely EDM based Sounds From The Other Side and Davido is doing a Afro-tinted fusion of everything hot. FYI, all of these are mainstream ‘jollof’ artists who are currently charting with global hit singles.
“Tangerine”, is the first single on Timi Saurse’s SoundCloud page and its safe to assume its also his first official release, since his name doesn’t turn up a lot of hits on the interwebs. Clarity is very important for RNB and “Tangerine” is built with enough room for Timi Saurse to explore melody, building along the interaction of a lone guitar baseline with classical synths and dissolving full bass drops. At the close of the song, the instrumentation is peaking and a saxophone solo layered under Timi Saurse’ voice slips into the afore mentioned set-piece, composition tweaks like so are “Tangerine”‘s best RNB moments, a sliver of an era forgone.
“Tangerine” is a shimmering reinvention of the Afropop you hear if the first things that sticks out to you are his alcohol-infused ramblings about his lover’s body and sipping on Hennessy. Nigerian Afropop is currently on a smooth sail into experimental oblivion. This focus on working through the most popular sound has not made songcrafting devoid of any actual feeling beyond sounding good, it also created a void of vocalists who can do the vocal work and are aware of the importance of building melody. It may be early to tell, but Timi Saurse may just be the perfect newcomer to come shake things up.
Stream “Tangerine” by Timi Saurse below: