Review: Niniola Apata’s ‘Colours and Sounds’ album bridged fans’ expectations

By Emma Tallest

Few weeks after her return from MTN sponsored Project Fame West Africa in 2013, Niniola did a search on Goggle, the search was about the top producers in Nigeria, Sarz name came up multiple times, she settled for him, they began working after she had deposited some money into his account with a plea for a hit from the serial hitmaker, the end product was a 2014 hit titled “Ibadi”, the single charted and earn her nomination at award shows.

Unknown to both Sarz and Niniola, that’s was not the hit, the hit came three years after with Maradona, the song was that big that Drake requested for it during a radio show, it got sampled by Beyonce in her ” The Gift Album”.

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Niniola was living her dream, she topped it with the release of her debut album in 2017, the project titled “This is Me” received a positive rating from music critics and adulations from fans, this led to her getting the Queen of Afro-House tag.

Last week, she released her sophomore project, titled “Colour and Sound”, a 13 tracks album with two bonus featuring the likes of Canadian based Nonso Amadi, Kenyan Sauti Sol, South Africa House music export Busiswa, Afro B, and the Fela Anikulapo scion ” Femi Kuti” with production credit going to Sarz
Kel P ,Shuffle Muzik , Nonso Amadi
Teflozincfence and Timbaland.

Niniola strength lies in house music, on this project, there was the incorporation of that sounds Kwaito, Gqom, Amapiano, Afro-House, Afro-pop, and Moomba. The first three roots can be traced to South Africa,syruped baseline, repetitive lines while the beat dance swor around the horn and sax.

The first four tracks heavily relied on Amapiano with horn, sarz, and drums jointly giving the track what it needed, on Fagbo, the artist pays homage to weed smokers while telling anybody who cares to listen she doesn’t smoke, she is innocent, innocent indeed!

Night and day was a ballad, featuring Nonso Amadi, a partner is in limbo, waiting for the other partner to do the needful, you have some Rihanna-esque lines from Niniola at a point on this joint, she was craving for assurance.

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On so serious, you notice two things, Victor Uwaifo’s Joromi Guitar strings followed by a Wizkid kinda of the beat, then, the beat gets slam with Amapiano, Sauti Sol came at the right time shalaying, even though, they were mandated to avoid shalaying. A love story going south, it seems both partners were ready to salvage their predicament.

Addicted is a bedmatic song, a craving for sex. Forget the discreet lines. We all know what Niniola really want, D would always do the magic.

Look like is a play on word…repetitive lines, long beat play, something for the club.

Boda Sodiq is a playful way of telling guys to seek consent. An advocate against rape, the message tends to get lost on the beat, the instrumental was that banging. The production was cool.

Busiswa was on Magun remix in 2018, she came through again on Oh Sharp, this is a Gqom sound, after losing her man to another girl, the next thing was to dance with a stranger.

Timberland was gushing about Niniola craft at the mid-point of the project, this leads to the next track with the legendary producer who got introduced to her music via “Designer”, Timberland was in the background, don’t expect lines, he came through on the production

Niniola would always say a lot of vulgar lines in a discreet way, you might not be able to decode, find a Yoruba interpreter for the language used in her first verse, seductively, she tells you to put it in her body, put word? The song would still be cool without a verse from Afro B.

Fantasy was the second coming of Boda Sodiq, both tracks were produced by Kel P, a combination of Afrobeats and House music, the hybrid was superb, Femi Kuti brought fire to this track. Niniola wanted a lavi da local life.

While most women crave for designers, Niniola is one of the few who doesn’t care about such, all she needs is love, playfully interpolating a line from Ma Logba Arami from K1 the ultimate. There were some Makossa sampling on this joint.

Omo Rapala hook interpolates lines from Abass Obesere’s Arapala Overthrow album. It was just about vibe, living life, having the best fun, shout out to Obesere for laying the foundation.

Don’t get carried away, Bana was about sex, a tale of some kiss and tell, this continued with addicted, I like the sequence.

Colour and Sound by Niniola lived up to expectations, the storytelling was sequentially arranged, judging from the arrays of producer on this project, excellence would be expected, they delivered.

The only minus would be the too much leaning on South African sounds, no doubt, it is the next big thing most especially Amapiano, Nigerians have not been that receptive to this aound, even the likes of Mayorkun, Rema and Shizzy have been careful with their Amapiano tapping. For Niniola to hinged her album on this sounds was a poor marketing move.

Her collaboration with Timberland would have been a good move for her, with a big-money PR, she could have leverage on this collaboration, get some buzz, we are talking about Timberland, one of the best and most respected producers in the world.

The songwriting on this project tilt between average and below average, it was just a vibe unlike her debut album.

Did Colour and Sound deliver? Yes. It was all colourfully made with input from African stars.

Grade: C4

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