Melody –that has always been the trick with Pop and Highlife. If it’s catchy, you’re sorted. And these days, it is precisely music from the Richie Mensah -led LYNX Entertainment we truly look forward to. After all, they have proven custodians of the modern wave; proponents of the new hit formula.
As was the case last year, the outfit is very much steering the charts this year too. Offerings from MzVee and Kuame Eugene have already kept the fort secure –an easy assignment due to the residual impact of their 2017 hits.
Adiepena, KiDi’s latest offering, sums up the first round of releases from the label, and properly sets their year in motion.
Produced by Dat Beat God, who is steadily drumming up acclaim for himself, especially for his contribution on dancehall singer Epixode’s latest album “3Nity”, the song immediately calls the great Kojo Antwi to mind, specifically because in 2009, the celebrated maestro released a soulful ballad with the same title. It follows a similar bpm as Odo, and indeed, most records that made the charts in the past 12 months. Floating on moving guitar melody which inspires the particular smile that precedes a passionate kiss, the joint also works as a fitting follow -up to the widespread Odo, which served as backdrop for many a love story upon release, and even attracted Afro pop titan, Davido’s attention.
On the tune, the singer/songwriter and producer also references the likes of Nana Acheampong, Paapa Yankson, as well as 4×4 member, Coded’s cheeky 2018 hit “Edey Pain Dem”. Therefore, Adiepena not only excels as homage to Highlife elders, but also serves as a well-constructed bridge that connects this generation and the ones prior.
Aside the rich dynamism of his approach to songwriting as evidenced by this new record, KiDi (alumnus of singing contest, MTN Hitmaker) brings a clean maturity and quintessential ‘lover boy” smoothness that constitutes an essential trait of masterpieces; and the reason he’s settled perfectly into the role of “gal dem sugar”.
KiDi’s stuff typically come with a fine finish. The works possess a powerful permanence. It is why, unlike many of his contemporaries, his submissions are typically spread over significant periods. Throughout last year, he released just two songs –and it was enough to sustain his brand, and a seat at the table. As one would notice by now, the man’s songs are to be savored. They cannot be consumed like your regular Afropop joint which, after a few weeks, tastes musty. These songs inspire inner conversation and soul searching, and so are only properly digested over years.
They may not be credited with fashioning solid love groove from a cocktail of nostalgic refrains, but the LYNX camp has definitely both popularised and brought a modern touch to that penmanship style. Every word you’re listening to has already been sung by a Ghanaian great at some point. Yet, your heart clings to the sound as a child would a new toy. What is happening? Here’s a theory: expertly arranged, the song is being delivered in a vocal texture that is exceptional and fresh. To fellow musicians, this approach appears simple. It is therefore no wonder a number of them have hastily experimented with the method, albeit with little efficiency. But there is a science to this; there are levels to it. We only see what the magician wants us to see. Everything else is carefully hidden behind his experience and sleight.
Adiepena feels straightforward. The tune spans just a little over 3 minutes. But as should be the outcome of all true classics, the replay button is automatic, as is the melody that plays on in one’s mind long after the song is over.
KiDi translates from Hausa as “rhythm”. All of a sudden, everything adds up.
Born Dennis Nana Dwamena, KiDi is up for 5 laurels at this year’s Vodafone -sponsored Ghana Music Awards slated for April 15, including Highlife Song of the Year, Best New Artist, Afro Pop Song of the Year, and Song of the Year.
Accompanying visuals for Adiepena were directed by Rex.