Monday , November 29 2021
Zamorra is reflective and expressive on 'Storms and Rainbows [Pulse EP Review]

Zamorra is reflective and expressive on ‘Storms and Rainbows [Pulse EP Review]

Over the past four years, he’s been pushing to break out and he’s gained ground. His biggest blessing is his sultry vocals, which cuts through with the power of a tomahawk. His voice seems suited to traditional Yoruba cloth like Fuji or Apala, or Yoruba praise-singing like an Ijala or Rara singer.

In another life, Zamorra would have probably been an Apala singer. Vocally, he’s somewhere between Barry Jhay, Lil5ive, Oritse Femi, Bella Shmurda and Terry Apala. The emotive delivery of his socio-politically charged topics definitely shares ties with Victor AD.

On October 17, 2021, Zamorra released his long-awaited debut body of work, an EP titled, Storms and Rainbows. At the root of his EP are themes of gratitude, aspiration, love, romance, heartbreak and positive affirmations. Emotionally, Zamorra seems reflective of past events. He is also slightly tentative.

Sonically, Zamorra’s EP is rooted in Africanism. Even when he co-opts Afro-pop elements or Guitar-based Ballad on ‘Now That You’re Mine,’ the percussion and progression on both beats find roots in Nigerian Folk, rich in traditional drums, shakers and toms.

While Zamorra seems too tentative and too laid back on certain tracks, his reflective and relatable songwriting elevates his music, alongside production by Dunnie and Zaki Amujei, alongside vocal backups by Dunnie on a track like ‘Balance’ and ‘Now You’re Mine.’

On ‘Now That You’re Mine’ and ‘Deserve Better,’ Dunnie and Zaki Amujei did a madness with certain strings, and they elevate the respective tracks. The latter track was particularly elevated by Amujei around the 2:05 mark.

While Zamorra’s music can be easily pigeonholed into a ‘Yoruba description,’ his breaks out with layers of English deliveries.

Storms and Rainbows might seem like an abstract title, but on closer inspection, the thought behind that title is clear: It relates to the topics that Zamorra addresses on his debut EP. The opening two tracks are ‘Aiku’ and ‘Balance.’

Aiku’ interpolates a Yoruba classic recital about the days of the week, while Zamorra sings about a need for gratitude through all the trials of life. ‘Balance’ gets its title from Zamorra’s quip, “Life no balance,” which takes centerstage on the song.

These two tracks, the final track, ‘Timeless’ and a third-party account of heartbreak on ‘All Men Are Scum’ represent the ‘Storm’ in Zamorra’s EP title.

Sandwiched between those four tracks are three tracks, which focus on declaratory and aspirational love, and ‘Taboo,’ which is a Victor AD-esque aspirational track, filled with positive affirmations. They represent the ‘Rainbow.’

The biggest compliment to Zamorra is how he attempts grand love-based topics on tracks like ‘Now That You’re Mine’ and ‘All Men Are Scum.’ For one, the themes and sound on those tracks are very cliche, so it’s hard to impress a genuine music lover, who stumbles upon Zamorra’s music.

While his delivery on ‘All Men Are Scum’ needed an extra layer of intentionality to make Zamorra’s account more believable, he significantly excels on both tracks. In fact, ‘Now That You’re Mine’ deserves a music video and a remix featuring Oxlade or Chike. If marketed properly, that track – and all the love songs on this EP – could soundtrack weddings and garner Zamorra some much-needed revenue.

At the root of this EP is a sonic cohesion, which compliments and even elevates Zamorra’s overall reflective mood. However, Zamorra needs to incorporate more panache into his delivery. He seems too laidback at times.

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