But since 2019, he’s grown in leaps and bounds – not least, due to his 2020 efforts which ended in a smash hit. As portrayed by his latest single, ‘Sere’ featuring Tanzanian star, Zuchu, he is in that element where confidence meets creative direction and delivery. He has also grasped the strengths of his Folksy vocals.
On May 14, 2021, he released his sophomore EP, 4 Play. As projected by its title, the EP has strong sexual themes which crests back and forth on topics of love. Stylistically, Olakira sounds like a love child of Mayorkun and Kizz Daniel for his mannerisms.
Poignantly, the EP also marks Olakira’s desire for some African recognition as he features African songstresses, Zuchu, Sho Madjozi and Moonchild Sanelly.
‘Sere’ is an AfroR&B record on which Olakira plays a man in need of some love and a good time. On the other hand, Zuchu plays Olakira’s love interest as the record peaks at 3:24, with TrapSoul effects and resonant bass. ‘Hot Night’ continues on a similar trend, but this time on a beautiful Amapiano beat.
Olakira dreams of spending a ‘Hot Night’ with a faceless but presumably beautiful woman. ‘Gotchu’ sounds P Square-esque with heavy guitar melodies as Olakira once again plays suitor to a woman with strong wash. He then proceeds to flex his reliability on the Gqom-esque ‘Call On Me’ featuring Sho Madjozi.
Like ‘Sere’ and ‘Hot Night,’ Olakira’s EP is a bed of beautiful Afro&B music on ‘For Life,’ a beautiful collision of guitar on mid-tempo percussion. It creates the perfect atmosphere for Olakira’s vocals, which cut deep like a hot knife through butter.
While he still stuck on the same tentative lyrics, filled with promises and sweet wash, ‘For Life’ seems like a solid record for Nigerian weddings. It has elements of a Wizkid record, while hitting strides that Wizkid usually struggles with. ‘Summer Time’ follows a similar trend on AfroR&B and sweet wash with East African leaning.
Olakira’s EP suffers from questionable album sequencing. With the appropriate sequence, ‘4 Play EP’ could have told a story that starts from the encounter to the sex. The required sequence is something like this;
Thanks to his producers; SterryO, Drumatik, Simba Tagz, Mr Kamera, Qasebeatz, TBoy Daflame and Olakira himself, 4 Play is a bed of beautiful production, with high-level melodies, instrumentation and chord progression. Whether it’s the horns of ‘Summer Time’ or the guitars of ‘Gotchu’ and ‘For Life,’ Olakira’s tape is sonically rich.
For the most part, Olakira’s romance stories are tentative and filled with communicated intentions without actually reaching any destination. It would have been nice to see the result of all this sweet wash. The boy sabi promise sha o.
Nonetheless, Olakira covers up his regurgitated thematic and topical lapses with the quality of his music and resonant delivery as well as beautifully written songs with high calibre replay value.
At this time, Olakira’s label needs to market music as much as they market the artist.
The time that passed between ‘Maserati‘ the new single was too much and that ‘Maserati’ remix with Davido was totally unnecessary. That feature should have been on a different song, ‘Maserati’ had already peaked when that remix happened. There’s a reason why that remix with Davido didn’t do anything for that record.
You cannot be interested in a hit song more than a hit artist. There’s no problem with wanting a hit record, but as you’re marketing a hit single also market your artist. Olakira and his label missed a golden chance to position him as a brand. He needed blog presence, to be in the news and internet video interviews.
Instead, they chose radio interviews and song marketing over a dope artist. Now they must be careful so Olakira doesn’t go into full ‘one-hit wonder’ mode.
Standout tracks: Sere, Hot Night and For Life
Songwriting and Themes: 1.5/2
Enjoyability and Satisfaction: 1.5/2