On the night of November 12, 2019, Universal Music Nigeria took journalists, A&Rs and other music workers to ATV Lagos, Oniru.
Amidst bonfires, welcome plates of small chops and alcohol, Bolly Lomo sought to lighten the mood. We were there for the unveiling of Universal Music Nigeria’s new act, Alpha’P. He is the talented and dreaded teenager with the confidence of a 30-year-old. His real name is Emmanuel Princewill.
A few moments before he arrives, a bonfire at the entrance to the secluded area where the event took place spilled onto dried grass. An attendee who was gently rolling up near the fire improvised to take the fire out with sand. In a little way, that set the tone for events of the day. We will get to that soon…
A few moments later, dressed in a biege overcoat and a pair of dark shades, Alpha P rolled up on a dunebuggy with pumped tires. The event soon commenced and we got treated to the five songs on the now released, King of Wolves EP – the EP dropped at 11 am today, November 15, 2019. While chatting with BollyLomo, Alpha’P who is a church boy described his music as “Spiritual.”
Standing confidently and addressing an initially unresponsive crowd that seemingly wondered where he’s from, he said that he was unique and different. He also said he hoped the audience has a good time. Well, if members of the audience was initially cynical, they left ATV with lots of thoughts.
The first song on the EP is ‘Fayah.’ It opens up with a canister of melodies filled with piano chords and a woozy cloud string. You might be forgiven for almost getting bored before the percussion drops. The kick and the bongo drums perform magic and Alpha P ushers in verses filled with the adulation of a faceless woman named Amaka.
‘Fayah’ merges the beats per minute and essence of 2016 dancehall music with afrobeats. The song’s climax fittingly lands amidst a collision of mumbles, adlibs and expletives. Depending on how you look at it or your enjoyment of the song, you might criticize the bland – or lack of – lyiricism.
‘Paloma’ makes no sense lyrically, but the afrobeats sounds and the adlibed chants we first got on 0:09 turn the song on its head. Produced by London, the song would ordinarily be destined to be a fan-favourite. Those underlying guitar chords on 1:29 are bliss. London is the real winner on this song. Whatever anybody had done on this song, it would have made sense.
London returns on the very afrobeat ‘Radar.’ The percussion of the song heavily borrows from Native American Neo-Folk of Arlo Guthrie on ‘Waimanolo Blues’ or native LatinX sounds of a mariachi band. Even the very attractive sound that forms the hook on ‘Radar’ is very Native American. This is original gbef music.