Lojay finally releases his highly anticipated EP, GANGSTER ROMANTIC (3rd March) via Koratari Recordings. Executively produced by Anthony Egwu, the eclectic EP is a valuable insight into the heart and mind of the rapidly rising Nigerian star, touching on a range of emotive subjects from romance to conflict through a breadth of sounds and influences.
On GANGSTER ROMANTIC, Lojay redefines himself on the 7– track follow-up to the well-received joint EP LV N ATTN with renowned producer Sarz. Disclosing his intentions with the new EP, Lojay shares, “I didn’t make this project because I wanted to have hits out. I made this project, because I wanted people to listen to something they can connect with and hold onto for a long time. Of course, you want to do numbers and be on the charts, but that isn’t the point. All I ask is that you listen to the project from beginning to end as one full body of work. There is a reason why I placed all of the songs where they are. I want you to have that experience in unison and just take it in and connect.”
Lojay is known for smooth, emotive vocals and sharp lyricism that dives deeper into his craft, mining the edges of his darker emotions and expressing personal vulnerability in several melodic confessions. The creative result is a moodier world, brimming with bouncy direction and effortless energy as he bares himself, leaving nothing behind.
The EP opens with the stripped back, heartfelt “YAHWEH”, a passionate ode to a love interest, describing the emotions she inspires in him. The simple yet hard-hitting rhythm combines with dark chords to create an ambient yet striking Afrobeats ballad. Next comes P.PRIME produced “LEADER”, the up-beat, confident track with memorable toplines and immensely catchy hooks. With airy vocal loops on top of modern, thumping drum patterns, the production provides the perfect musical bed for Lojay’s distinctive vocals.
This is followed by feel-good “MOTO”, the latest single he revealed from the project, produced by Lojay himself, with the production augmented by industry heavyweights Elementz and AOD. This track is a mellow, sober rhythm that showcases a softer side to the artist’s charismatic style, exploring heartbreak and unrequited love – themes that have resonated with Lojay’s fans, with the song accumulating over 3.5 million combined streams in just 3 weeks since release.
Track four is “CANADA”, an impressive Amapiano number produced by South African pioneers DJ Maphorisa & Kabza De Small, which Lojay revealed last year. The brisk, bouncy production is brought together by Lojay’s melodic vocal lines and group backing vocals, and results in a classy Amapiano club tune. Next up is “IYD”, a moving, soulful ballad that sees Lojay intimately reflect on his residing feelings for an ex partner, and his sincere need for closure. The simple yet fitting guitar melody provides the basis for the track as Lojay displays an impressive level of vulnerability in his lyrics and melodies.
The penultimate track “AVALABU” is another fast-paced, Amapiano-inspired hit, with catchy vocals and diverse drum programming; the perfect way to finish off what is a diverse and easy-to-listen EP. The final track on the EP is “OVA”, an upbeat tune packed with melodic synth lines and syncopated drum rhythms. Produced by Nigerian hit producer P.PRIME, this track Lojay laments the end of a previous relationship, singing from the heart whilst showcasing his astonishing vocal range.
GANGSTER ROMANTIC is the latest addition to an already impressive discography, with the body of work set to establish Lojay as one of the most compelling and unique artists within the Afrobeats scene right now. Stream GANGSTER ROMANTIC the EP here.