Before Nigerian weather analysts come to quickly remind me we don’t have summers in this part of the world, I want to mention that I am well aware of this fact myself. However, globally summers go beyond mere state of the skies. All over the world, the summer culture is tied to blockbuster movie releases, concerts, long school holidays and events aimed at marking the mid-point of a calendar year. The rains may be back in Lagos, Nigeria, but the summer state of mind will be shared with the rest of the world in more ways than we can count. As is the Music Blog’s role to discuss music, Wande Coal’s “Iskaba” is a sunny case-in-point of what the summer means.
“Nobody be like Wande, Nobody be like Wande Coal”, Wande Coal hums on the outro for Iskaba. This is both a statement of fact and affirmation of his place as of one Nigeria’s rarest breeds. In truth, there is no one quite like Wande Coal. Following the release of his sophomore album Wanted in 2015, eight years after his M2M debut, Wande Coal is doing what he knows how to do best: make single hits that coast the airwaves for months without a tie-in full-length project.
Though “Iskaba” didn’t begin to gain grounds until an accompanying video was released earlier this year, the DJ Tunez produced single itself was released at the tail-end of 2016. “Iskaba” is peak Wande Coal who runs through a series of romantic quips before returning to narcissistic self-acclamation like a rapper. The real magic of Iskaba, however, is in the Afro-house instrumentals produced by DJ Tunez. Despite Wande’s energetic vocals, “Iskaba” maintains a calm baseline that gently melts into soft African drums with a slight tint of jazz. The result is perhaps the brightest pop-fused party music you will hear this year.
By design, “Iskaba” doesn’t carry any weighty message within. But the reason for this is obvious with a looped reverbed bridge that sings “we just wanna party, we don’t wanna bother nobody”. Wande Coal may be downplaying his interest in the international music scene but he is teetering at the edge of a young hometown legend whose talent will always supercede the sound of the day, no matter how long he has been away. “Iskaba” is already destined to be Wande Coal’s biggest song of the year, but as the summer clubs get packed with people looking for body heat, this season, we all also carry within the solemn reminder that there is actually no one like Wande Coal.
See Wande Coal’s video for“Iskaba” below.