On producer/DJ/songwriter Spinall’s sixth studio album, ‘Top Boy’, he reminds us, once again, that he’s the Nigerian king of curating masterpiece Afrobeats and Afropop crossover playlists. Born Oluseye Desmond Sodamola, the Lagos native has shown since his break out in the 2010s that he will walk the extra mile, if required, to give us quality music.
On his debut album ‘My Story: The Album’, which was released in 2015, Spinall had artists from all around Africa contributing to the music, each bringing a unique characteristic that eventually gave the album its eccentric feel. M.I. Abaga, 2Baba, Wande Coal, Tekno, Olamide, Ice Prince, Timaya, Yemi Alade, and Mafikizolo are some of the heavyweights on the project.
However, five albums later and although Spinall seems to have tweaked the template a little by featuring artists who are not as popular as the ensemble from his maiden project, he delivers on his mantra of delivering a wide musical range, thanks to the talents of his collaborators and the sheer wizardry with which he harmonizes the sounds. It is exactly what we’ve come to expect and appreciate about his craft.
As a modern Afrobeats album, ‘Top Boy’ stands out for its masterful, inventive, and progressive production. Singles ‘Palazzo’ with Asake and ‘Sere’ with Fireboy DML and 6Lack had earlier set the tone for the kind of music synthesis to expect on the project, demonstrating it’s an album that was made with one eye fixed on Afrobeat’s home-based fans, and another one on the genre’s diasporan following.
While songs like ‘Cruise’, ‘Palazzo’, ‘Cloud 9’, ‘Give Me Love’, ‘Everyday’, and ‘Bow Down’ furnish the album with near-typical Afrobeat anthems, ‘Honest’, ‘Just to Be’, ‘Power’ and ‘Outside’ show the album’s depth in exoticness.
Spinall has been known to push the creative boundaries of the artists he collaborates with; It’s a hallmark of his projects that makes them rich and full of life. Bringing the likes of Tay Iwar, one-half of the Nigerian-American singing duo Jess of VanJess, Summer Walker, 6Lack, London-based R&B singer Tamera, etc., on ‘Top Boy’ are difficult feats to achieve; it requires money, patience, and commitment. However, over the years, Spinall has shown that he has the resources and the drive needed to pull it off.
Overall, ‘Top Boy’ has sounds for all occasions. It’s yet another well-crafted masterpiece from one of the world’s best music curators. Perhaps, he is Africa and Nigeria’s DJ Khaled.
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