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The Pick: Preyé Insists on Living Outside of Self-imposed Lines and Limitations on "Crayons"

Our song of the week!

In November 2021, Joyce Olong hosted a show along with some friends that I was fortunate to attend. CCX Lagos was the home of wonderful music and an intimate atmosphere that night. Between her repertoire of guests which included SGaWD, Tomi Owo and even Tim Lyre, we were treated to a few unreleased records, as is customary in intimate shows such as this. Another guest, Preyé adhered to this custom in what was one of the more memorable sets of the night.

She previewed the single “Crayons”, stating the song as an expression of her desire to stay in touch with her inner child. As we voyage farther across the seas of adulthood, we find the flames of our child-like curiosity drowned out by life’s tides and the pressure to make something of ourselves. “Crayons” sees Preyé speak of her desire to keep that fire burning within, as it provides the light and warmth needed to navigate a cold world.

“Crayons” toes the line of neo-soul laced with head-bumping kicks. This gives the listener a nostalgic feeling upon pressing play, evoking memories that take you back to simpler times. Its cover consists of an old photo of two, young female relatives in a warm, playful embrace and it ties the song’s entire concept together.

In a probable allusion to Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist, Preyé sings, “Just asked the Alchemist/We travelled far/Fourteen hour trip/With a sun and a guitar/I’ll do anything for you to dream big”. It would seem Preyé appeals to her younger self not to give up on the real aspirations that put a fire in her belly. Life’s challenges could scare one into conforming to societal standards, or to color within the lines that you set for yourself. The troubles of life wash away its color and leave us with something “black and white and grey”.

Preyé rejects this by singing, “In my world there is wonder/Here there’s colour/I’m lost in a box of crayons”. She decides what she wants her world to look like. It would seem that she seeks the full-circle moment where she regains, through fulfilling work, all that life has made her trade in order to get to this point. Preyé has decided to focus on painting a wonderful picture instead of self-imposed lines and limitations.

“Crayons” resonates with me because I am a firm believer of staying in touch with your inner child. A child’s mind only knows wonder, it is life’s challenges that constrain us.

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