The Chocolate City Group have a gem in Ashimi Olawale. Not since Bryan (Everything I Do) I Do It For You Adams have I been bespelled by a voice so rich in its own distinct expressiveness that it quite literally makes you want to do something, anything it says. A voice that flirts with you, traces the stress lines across your heart, tickles it a little as it makes its own path across your body leaving whispers in its wake saying: feel, listen, do, be. I don’t know what it does for his male fans but as member of the female population, Brymo's voice definitely made a submissive out of me.
For many of us (or perhaps I speak for myself), 2010 was the first time we got to hear Brymo. His unequivocal hook in Oleku is what (to some) made the song such a banger. Now, I’m not a rap head and for the most part, any rap song I know, I know just a few lines of the chorus and that’s about it. The wit, depth and lyrical foreplay of people from Rakim to Kendrik Lemar is almost entirely lost on me but Oleku did something quite clever. Everything from the opener, the beat (Jesse Jagz you, beast you!), the pre hook- hook hooked me (I couldn't resist the corn); to this version of Iceprince I didn't know he (Iceprince) had in him -and thankfully he brought it again on Superstar proving in his own way that fancy suit does not a man make. The man clearly makes the suit but I digress. Oleku was a selfish set up. Quite clever was this song that introduced Brymo to us latecomers to the game and set us up for love without warning that it mocked us even as it did so. It was a cock-tease of a song that had me searching around for anything I could find on this 'unknown' character that did the hook. Questions like who, what, where, why now...Brymo? I didn't get a lot of satisfactory answers but I knew that I wanted to hear more of that voice. A lot more.
When Ara came along, oh, be still my beating heart, I was sold! I really liked the way it started, the beat, his voice, what he was saying…I wasn’t keen on the main body of the song but that’s besides the current point. I was in over my head and my crush on this one voice was made worse by Classic 97.3FM’s Buki Sawyerr Izeogu who (rather unhelpfully) was just a few feet away from me at the time I worked at The Beat 99.9FM. Anyway, Buki would let me listen to snippets of Brymo’s tracks some of them only a few seconds long. Oh, the torture!
By the time I'd heard Ara, Good Morning and a few others that I hope will make the cut on the album -though I listened to the snippets so long ago, I probably will not recognise the final cut of them now!- my one sided relationship with his voice had come full circle from curious to obsessed and finally, an unhealthy full blown stan. So much so, when I knew he was confirmed to perform at The Headies 2012, I made sure I had the seat closest to the stage so I could see if it was really his voice. Sadly though, I was a bit disappointed - not by the voice. It really is his but- by his performance. It's the first time I'd had the chance to see him perform live and a huge part of me believes he didn't make a commitment to deliver himself to his audience on that stage that night. I also believe that his is a talent that needs its own band. And by band, I mean an orchestra but lets move on to more important matters.
Nervous like a little girl on Christmas eve crossing everything and hoping Santa delivers. I hope The Son of a Kapenta is mind blowing. I hope it is well received, I hope he isn’t releasing the album too soon, I hope my crush will not wane after hearing a few songs, I hope the album is every bit as eargasmic as I have imagined it will be because I really can not take another fantasy crush that doesn’t live up to my ideal reality.
P.S - is there a word that can sum up the following: his voice is active, laid back, peaceful, seductive, smokey, raw? That would be the word I would use to describe Brymo's voice to the deaf.
Peace, Love & Delectable Carpentry