Essentials: NATIVE Sound System’s NATIVEWORLD Is A Release From The Mundane

NATIVEWORLD is an invitation to escape from the mundane nature of our everyday life, awakening our senses through music that caters to our moods and feelings all year round.


The birth of The NATIVE is an undeniably significant part of Nigeria’s pop culture evolutionary line. Six years after the publication’s conception, it houses a community hell-bent on keeping custody of the inner child that fuels their spirit of curiosity and ingenuity. Unsurprisingly, the alté scene’s rise ties directly with The NATIVE’s coverage of its baby steps and subsequent growth. Whether through close-knit concerts, editorial exposés, or captivating content, The NATIVE — at its core — represents a breath of fresh air and a break from the norm.


A closer look at the NATIVEWORLD artwork highlights their leaning towards new, almost-escapist experiences. The album is officially stated to have been created against the backdrop of a weather-based arc that imitates Nigeria’s rainy, dry, harmattan, and Christmas seasons. That would be a valid point of view to explain the odd combination of a 3-foot Christmas tree and a Narnia-esque entrance to another dimension. NATIVEWORLD is an invitation to escape from the mundane nature of our everyday life, awakening our senses through music that caters to our moods and feelings all year round.


Deducing what songs manifest each season could prove difficult, your closest guide is the direction in which the music takes you. That sense of community stitched into the fabric of The NATIVE’s essence serves as the backdrop for a welcoming serenade to the village square that is NATIVEWORLD. “Tortoise” merges The Cavemen’s ancient vocals with its earthy Afrohouse sounds, putting a modern twist to a post-colonial highlife feel. Bloody Civilian immediately transports us to a different time on “Cold”, mumbling through a blend of 90s and early 2000s electro sounds with controlled abandon.


Gabzy’s effort on “TGIF” ties with the project’s central theme as he sings, ”Its been a long week/tryna forget about worries”. Placed smack in the middle of the album, the 64-second interlude is a microcosm of everything NATIVEWORLD represents. The feelings evoked upon listening make you want to experience the album, not just listen to it. You’d want to hear “Good Good” after a couple of shots. “BitterMoonCake” would incite a mosh-pit or two.


To have different songs like these co-exist on a project is a testament to the quality of its curation. The influence of Lagos and London on the project is evident in the blurred lines and dynamic nature of its music. NATIVE Sound System created an environment that encouraged synergy between a carefully selected catalog of artists. We leave NATIVEWORLD with a different impression of some of its guests, as they tap into senses that tie together their past lives and future iterations of their sound.


As Lady Donli finds new life on the Amapiano cut “Pressure”, Show Dem Camp’s Tec reads out his high scores through deft penmanship on “Honest”. New World Ray, Maison2500, and DETO BLACK show SL around town on “RaRa”, and Obonjayar’s performance on “Ima” is a raw expression of sensual emotions sang through a gentle, raspy voice. Together with a production cast that features SHOLZ, P.Priime, Trill Xoe, Genio and Adey, to name a few, NATIVEWORLD turned out to be an alchemic mix of familiar sounds that create something new and different. Each song feels like a place we’ve been before, but a place we’re willing to go again.

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