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The Pick: Sarz and Lojay Deliver An Afrobeats Masterclass With "Tonongo"

Our song ofthe week!

If you’ve always followed Lojay, then you would have had the opportunity to see his music mature in real-time. Born Lekan Osifeso Jnr, the 25-year-old singer released his debut EP Midnight Vibes in 2017, where he mostly delivers hedonistic, love-centric and juvenile lyrics over bubbly Afrobeats production. While his efforts on the project were commendable, the songs mostly sounded trite and pedestrian half of the time. Fast forward to 2019 and he released his Telz-produced single ‘Ariel’ where he combines his imaginative songwriting with catchy lingo to convey his amorous desires to his love interest. He paints vivid imagery on the intro singing: “Girlie e get how you push up your waist from under that sea with your mamiwater body” over gentle guitar strums, intermittent horns and syncopated drums. The following year he released Ogogoro, a slow-paced record where he sings smoothly over Telz’s soft drums. He also delivers a short, sweet rap verse mid-song, indicating his growth and willingness to expand his artistry.

‘Tonongo’ his latest single with veteran producer, Sarz, dropped last week and he sounds better than ever. On the moody, R&B-tinged record, he uses his velvety voice to good effect as he softly sings “Bumbum cover my oblongata jesu / You win the ass cheek Ballon D’or”. The slick production, built on mainly slow rhythmic drums and a guitar loop feels unhurried and exploratory. It also serves as an ethereal backdrop to Lojay’s vocals which by the way are the best they have ever been, once again showing how far he has come as an artist. His lyrics are also artfully plainspoken and sultry.

Speaking about the inspiration behind the song he says: “Tonongo is about expressing the depth of emotion that lies beyond the surface. The single was inspired by the atmosphere of a strip club ーmoody and dark ーa fitting ode to the dancer the song was written about. I enjoy the duality of the song. It ended up making itself and that’s the beauty of it, the beauty of music. It’s so spiritual. I’m just a vessel. I hope people relate to it and find beauty in it”

It is rumoured that ‘Tonongo’ is the lead single off an upcoming tape by Lojay and Sarz. If this is true, then we can’t wait to hear what they both have in store for us and once again see how Lojay has matured as an artist.

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