A good portion of what radio heads feed on these days, isn’t cuisine for the soul. It is something bland; unimpressive piecing together of burned-out frothy notes repackaged as music for your dancing feet.
There are the oft-whipped, conflicted narratives that speak to nothing in particular except bellies in need of sensory healing and nerves in search of anxiety pills.
The rejigging of Trigmatic’s 8 year-old My Life, is music through and through. After eight years, the original gets a fresh life thanks to the assembling of three other gods: A.I, Worlasi and M.anifest. The choice of these acts triggers affection – one more time – for a product with so much life.
The song offers a creative appreciation of a host who has improved years on – and guests whose hold on music is enough hydrant to douse flames of babied clones – the kind that live on rented YouTube views.
All three invitees take turns to sing to the song’s dominant theme of grind and pacing right, in a manner that gives it beautiful warmth.
A.I enters My Life with his trademark unruffled intense singing. He creates a bedrock that positions him to travel as far as he is allowed to. While in flight, he whispers swirls of different departures in carefully knotted lines. They glimmer, they glow; they are gushy suds from a man who knows how to strike his notes – to make them appear fleshy – only to break them into cohesive bones of delightful chops. The singing exudes soothing sighs of Ayisi strands with deep-rooted connections to Anger Management and Tiwaa. A.I is made of more, which is why he’s on this song.
The justification for his inclusion is everything he has done in the last three years, that he gets little acknowledgment for. For the most part that he has been putting out music, A.I hikes his way through compositions with control and deliberate flair. It is what has earned him a constituency.
Ayisi’s kind are better handlers of their singing. Throughout his 51 seconds on My Life – enough prettiness is shipped across layers of listening ear – there is little difference between where mutters, lay and where roars go marching in.
Into the fray one more time
Armed with the wisdom of a warrior
Still trudging on the distance
As hope abounds I smile rest assured
I will not faint I will not worry
Still cherish the path won’t let it bore me.
And voices will know what must be told
So as the future still unfolds
Oh may we glimmer may we glow
Persecuted but not forgotten
Mama said this sh** is a battlefield
So don’t you quit don’t you bend no knee
Keep the faith always love is the remedy
So won’t you just try for me
Try to make it through the day and never you say you’re not enough
Heads up! Na sɛ ne papa mu na sɛ ne bone mu ooo
My Life touches on many things. In the process, the song becomes many things: putting in work, a dosage for lethargy and the pursuit of bliss. Penned with such clarity and intimacy, the composition secretes tributaries of a tree with enough charm to spare. It offers soft-soaps. It pours its soul into the waiting arms of twenty somethings and thirty somethings – who had gone past running their first pickup lines – when the original docked on the high seas of mainstream music eight years ago.
Beyond the nostalgia it carries today, the allied theme and speaking notes stay same: pain and joy, extending help, conquering fear.
Worlasi, the other branch of the three, settles for an immediate communion with the song and takes it on a stable pitch. He wears a badge of vocal correctness. Throughout. In doing so, he maintains the song’s original calm, feeding into an obligation to make it seem not too much of a deviation. It made sense by the time he was done. Worlasi has always been tormentor-in-chief and on My Life, there goes an artiste so definite with his music, he ends up being King Waaska.
My Life comes from a place where stories bind, and in Worlasi it found a carrier ready to bring it home without delay. Without a sermon. Just as he’s without a plea. Yet, the singing grants tinkering with the mind’s eye in such gorgeous fashion.
Trigmatic blends in perfectly; he complements the good work his guests offer. His role was to recreate the song’s soul; he has been this good for years. There are traces of this claim on Mi Sunsum and Where We Dey Go. On those two, the singing was propelled by a style that rests its shoulders on depth. On a remake that he engineers, he brings so much aptitude to a convocation of talents he is familiar with; A.I, Motoromodwo, 2016.
M.anifest takes My Life on a road trip of everything it seeks to teach. There are references to the ruses of life: the unknown, nightmares, dreams, get-rich-or-die, minorities, majorities, longevity. And death. He sculpts them into eternal renderings that breathe so much life into My Life.