In 'Ultralight,' Suté Iwar drops the weight & allows himself to float at a higher altitude [Pulse Review]

In ‘Ultralight,’ Suté Iwar drops the weight & allows himself to float at a higher altitude [Pulse Review]


Haven established himself as a sensational songwriter and composer, Suté Iwar has carved out a sizeable followership that appreciates the elements that come together to form his art.

Across the album, he gives listeners a peek into his life, journey, and state of mind while retaining their attention through a serenading blend of Pop, R&B, and Rap.

The tracks are carefully curated to maintain a steady flow that progresses delicately while being punctuated by little stories that add up to the moment.

While ‘Ultralight’ very much qualifies as an Alte album within the Nigerian soundscape, it still retains in large parts popular sonic elements of R&B, Soul, Pop, and Pap to create an enjoyable fusion.

As is common in his art, Suté’s Western influences far surpass his Nigerian cadences hence the “Afro” part of the fusion is very much silent to the average Nigerian Afrobeats consumer. However, these elements resonate with listeners drawn to Nigerian alternative music and those in the diaspora who enjoy a balance of sonic where the Western influences tip the scale.

Thematically, ‘Ultralight’ explores some personable topics including love, desire and, growth, gratitude. Across the album, Suté displays his quintessential capacity to float from singing to rap while displaying impressive vocal command and penmanship.

The R&B elements come together for sensuality like in ‘Sign’ and ‘Shuga Peach’ where he professes his love and confesses his desires. The delicate chords that drive Soul music are channeled in ‘Meditate’ where he explores conflicting emotions and pressure. Suté taps into Raggae on ‘Ice Dub’ where he explores what constitutes happiness. And in between the tracks, there are punctuations that tell the story of his journey and his connection with the people who shared his early experiences.

He turns to Hip Hop to talk about the Dog eat Dog world of the music industry. The synergy displayed with Ogranya and Tim Lyre over hard-hitting flows and a softer variant is a testament to not only his versatility but also a recurring element of the project. Rap constitutes a large part of the album as he explores his desires on the steamy record ‘The Pleasure Principle’ while giving a peek into his state of mind, driving force, and the pressure to find success in a foreign land in ‘Big World Baby’. He thumps his chest on ‘Star Player’ stating that others can’t do it like does.

And it’s with a rap track that Suté closes out the album as he engages in some introspection to rediscover the light that shines on the elements that drive his purpose.

For Suté, he does it for himself. For his day one folks who have shared in the highs and lows. For every listener that constitutes a shining light in his cosmos.

The writing, delivery, melody, and production come together for a project that’s tagged Afro-fusion but nevertheless carries a notable absence of African or Afrobeats elements.

There was almost no use of indigenous language, Afrobeats flow schemes, or drum patterns. Hence while ‘Ultralight’ is a smooth fusion of genres, this writer very much would like to differ on it being an Afro-fusion.

The production excels in its creative choice of altering popular genres to achieve an avant-garde and non-conformist fusion. Thematically, ‘Ultralight’ explores relatable subjects that bring listeners closer to the curator while still not being too invasive.

The mid-tempo production and technique deployed throughout the album allow for sonic coherence that drives enjoyability and progression.

And while between the Westernized elements and genre-blending, ‘Ultralight’ doesn’t seem sonically appealing to the average Afrobeats or Afrofusion consumer, the artistic identity will be appealing and easily recognizable to niche consumers and Suté fans.

Songwriting, Themes, and Delivery: 1.6/2

Enjoyability and Satisfaction: 1.5/2

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