Emelia Brobbey cannot catch a break.
When she debuted “Fa Me Ko,” her maiden single, she was clobbered by GH Twitter the same way an adulterer caught in the humiliating act would.
Her crime? She had departed her designated province of acting to have a crack at singing. She was — without adequate prior notice nor full regard for social media’s trolling power — daring to fulfil her innate desire to express herself in a medium other than had been assigned her. She was channelling her inner Daddy Lumba without permission; issuing her own verbal photograph of romantic love sans the internet’s approval (even if it was transmitted within flattering saxophone-led highlife melody that sits right next to Diana Hamilton’s “Mo Ne Yo“).
She braved the storm, with both an astonishing poise and extraordinary comprehension of social media’s inclination to heckle at the least chance. A month later, unfazed, she comes bearing another song, complete with a florid visual treatment by McWillies.
If her critics reproved her vocal pitch the last time, she has toned it down. If they were after her for being overambitious in her highlife invocations, she’s taken a more pop-centric course; enlisting RuffTown’s Wendy Shay (herself a survivor of constant cyberbullying), and hitman, MOG Beatz.
Of course, her subject matter has remained the same. She’s fairy-tale adherent, if you haven’t noticed. But unlike its predecessor, “Odo Electric” comes free of the customary highlife add-ons. At 2:45 minutes, the number arrives purposely trimmed to modern palates. In a four-line bar-to-chorus approach, “Ms E.B” (as she introduces herself at the top of this record) relates of an unnamed man who came from nowhere to cure here of tears and lonely nights; proceeding to “knock me off my feet.” Brobbey even indulges in a bit of Caribbean verbiage in the second line.
By the second verse, she’s swooning powerlessly: “I’m falling for you, my baby/ so come and hold me tightly.” To prove that she has covered all bases regarding present-day penmanship, she closes out the stanza by appropriating Blackstone’s hiplife classic, “Befi Mano.”
Wendy Shay, who has flourished under label boss and songwriter, Bullet’s guidance, has a confident, seamless run when she appears for Verse 3. In typical Wendy Shay fashion, she signs out by way of a salacious line about her lover shooting her at night; once again proving that sexual innuendos are a given when she sets a writing implement down to conjure a song.
“Odo Electric” will likely meet more favourable feedback. Sure, a section of her knockers will remain unrepentant and continue to subject her vocal gifts to unsavoury comparisons. Still, as the title suggests, Brobbey has enclosed in the joint is sufficient shock value for even the least open-minded.
The lesson is this: Emelia Brobbey will not be gagged. She wants to sing — and sing she will. “Odo Electric” is well on its way to becoming a hit. What’s more: it’s a brilliant way to return the trolling of her cynics.