Boy Spyce, Mavin Records and Don Jazzy’s latest recruit released his debut EP on April 15- a self titled 5-track project entirely mixed and mastered by Nigerian alte music sensation and fellow label mate Johnny Drille.
Straight from the Mavin Records mentorship program, Boy Spyce presents Don Jazzy and his lieutenants with another opportunity of turning another Edo born singer/songwriter into an international hit-maker.
Born Ugbekile David Osemeke to Edo parents, Boy Spyce started gaining popularity after his cover of Wizkid’s Grammy nominated hit song “Essence” went viral.
Apparently, in addition to other performances, that cover of “Essence” was enough to convince the execs at Mavin that perhaps they had found another diamond in the rough, and with the right guidance it will only be a matter of time before Boy Spyce starts to shine. After all, they’ve done it with Rema, they’re doing it with Ayra Starr.
The “Boy Spyce,” EP will always be regarded as an audition by critics and less critical fans. Although it makes the lukewarm pass, there’s nothing special or spectacular about the project.
All the songs, from “Dreams” to “Bad Things” to “Wayo” to “Nobody” and Boy Spyce’s tribute to his descent Edo state titled “Destiny” are enjoyable, but none manages to standout.
His lush vocals is something we’d all been aware of from his viral freestyles, and rather than a suggestion of well written, well penned songs, the EP has freestyle written all over it.
Artist are often be caught in the gift and curse of being able to freestyle. A typical example is Afropop sensation Wizkid, whose lyricism doesn’t particularly come off as one of his strengths.
Jumping on tracks seems so simple, but in truth, the artist struggles to imply any deep or meaningful connections with their words.
“Bad Things” and “Dreams” are perhaps the best picks of the bunch, with the latter suggestive of Boy Spyce’s hit-maker credentials. However, the project yaws right after those first two tracks.
None of its 5 records will particularly echo through time, and it makes you wonder, what’s the point of releasing such a debut project? Of course, that answer is “commercial opportunity.”
But sacrificing critical acclaim for commercial gains is never the best route for a newcomer.
However, if any music exec knows what it takes to be a successful musician in Nigeria and in Africa at large, it’s Don Jazzy.
The Mavin Records’ boss has overseen the evolution of two musical dynasties; first with Mo Hits Records, then the first generation of Mavin acts including Tiwa Savage and Reekado Banks.
He continues to dominate talent nurturing in Nigeria, masterminding the rise of Ayra Starr and Rema to the pinnacle of Afrobeats.
Although Jazzy’s abandoned some acts in the past for not quite cutting it, Boy Spyce will be hoping to avoid that trajectory by going back to the drawing board before he makes his full album debut.