Nigerian artist Brymo Olawale is one musician who knows how to make good melodious songs that are rich with content as well as rhythm. The singer, composer, songwriter and recording artist formerly signed to the Chocolate City music label released his third studio album, “Merchants, Dealers & Slaves” in 2013 but the album was not allowed to circulate as a result of a court injunction gotten by his former label.
The album was however on iTunes for a while and die-hard Brymo fans like us got it early. The injunction has since been lifted and you can cop the album on the streets. In a bid to celebrate this victory with Brymo, we are doing a review of his third studio album.
One thing that is impressive about Brymo and his art of music is his fusion of Yoruba adages, current Nigerian situations and passion. A few of the songs touch on love, a few touch on society and more. It is an album that has the right mix of all elements, and most importantly it is not noise.
Brymo is quoted as saying, about the album, “MDS was written and recorded at a time when my aspirations were at cross roads in a battle against societal limitations and prejudice. My journey into self-realization.” All 11 songs of the album are a much appreciated breath of fresh air from a Nigerian artist.
1. Brymo – Truthfully
The album starts off with a slow tempo with Truthfully. It is a love song and Brymo seems to be pinning for a lost love. His voice is amazing on this track as he bares his soul, truthfully, on how he can’t bear to go on.
2. Brymo ft David – Money
Money is a faster paced song falls more in line with the title of the album “Merchants, Dealers & Slaves”. We hear how Money can be a slave driver and controller. He shares that with money comes good things and you can afford to push your problems away and “…we’ll worry in the money”. The beat of this song had me hooked, and the Saxophone played by a man simply referred to as David.
3. Brymo – Dear Titilope
This is a short snippet of a song dedicated to Titilope, a girl we hear about fully in Eko. We can only assume that Titilope is the girl Brymo sings for through the album.
4. Brymo – Eko
This song is portrayed as a chronicle of Brymo’s arrival in Lagos. The hustle, the challenges and the need to survive in a hard city that one cannot help but love. He fuses his love for Eko (Lagos) with his love for Titilope.
5. Brymo – Grand Pa
Grand Pa is a reflection of Brymo’s background. From his second album we already know that he is the Son of a Kapenta, but this song introduces us to another important part of Brymo’s life – his grand father.
6. Brymo – Down
Down was on of the first released songs off this album and immediately met positive response. Down is a song for Nigeria, intertwined in a fable. It touches on the lack of transparency in the system and reflects corruption and a lack of morals.
7. Brymo – Cheap Wine
Another personal favourite from this album. Brymo talks of drowning pain with “Cheap Wine“, something common to everybody. This is a song that any one can relate to and again, Brymo’s vocals on this track is amazing.
8. Brymo – Purple Jar
This is my personal best song off this album. The song is too poetic and speaks of hurt. I think the title is a play on “Purple Heart”, referring to wounded or fallen soldiers. With his heart in a Purple Jar, Brymo is a soldier of love.
9. Brymo – Everyone Gets To Die
This is one of the darkest songs of the MDS album, but it rings true. Brymo sends a clear message across that the world and life is generally fickle.
10. Brymo – Se bo’timo
Se Bo’ Timo is a purely Yoruba song but anyone who understands the language will love this song. It simply states that even when you know who your friends are (and their family), you can get deceived so cut your coat accordingly.
11. Brymo – M, D & S
He later released a longer version of this track but the original that came with the album is a snippet. The message of this song is clear and seems to be aimed at his former record label. The music industry is filled with Merchants, Dealers and Slaves.