Afro-Jazz singer and songwriter, Nissi Ogulu, simply known as Nissi, releases her anticipated seven-track EP, ‘Ignite’.
When Nissi, who is Spaceship Records’ first signing, released her singles, ‘Trouble’ and ‘Tornado’ last year, it was clear that she knew her sound. Her musical submissions in songs like Judi, Notice, Babalawo, Ignite, Holiday amongst others, establish her signature fusion sound – a blend of Highlife, Afro-punk, and Afro-jazz along with her own twist.
For this ‘Ignite’ EP, Nissi worked with different music producers. From Kwame Yeboah, SlickMo, Chopstix to Stadic, and Kizz Ernie, they created infectious, drum-led genre-bending songs woven together by Nissi’s velvety vocals, arresting delivery and vibrant flow.
In the track ‘Notice’, Nissi goes back to her Port Harcourt roots with its guitar-led instrumental which has a slower intro but still serves a hundred percent on the groove. Here, there is more of the ‘Naija’ flavour spilled in Pidgin and embalmed with the highlife feel. “It’s a story that represents everybody that goes through trials and tribulations when it comes to them chasing their dreams or their goals,” Nissi says of ‘Notice’.
Further proving that colourful instrumentals are very much her forte, Nissi shines on ‘Tornado’, a spontaneous track speaking to her raw love of music.
This love of music carries and is wonderfully apparent in toe-tapper, ‘Judi’, literally meaning ‘shake your bum’ in Yoruba. Pointing to her ever-impressive work ethic and non-stop schedule, it’s a perfect reminder of the dangers of burning out and the importance of taking that time to breathe, let go and just dance. ‘Judi’ stays true to the easiest language of communication in Nigeria: Pidgin. Soothing and groovy, the smoky hook for ‘Judi’ stays with you as this is a reinvention of sounds in the new Nigerian music landscape.
Nissi sonically transports us in ‘Holiday’; a simple happy song with a few french lines thrown in the mix. “It’s a state of mind, it helps take your mind to a place of vacation,” she says. ‘Holiday’ is that song that picks you up after a tough day.
Closing out the EP is the clearest homage to her Yoruba heritage, ‘Babalawo’, the term for a priest in the language. Babalawo’ is essentially a Yoruba track that brings you back home. ‘Babalawo mo wa bere’ is how the hook is introduced and from hereon, it is indeed a journey into sound.
Nissi’s penchant for storytelling in the African context perfectly encapsulates her journey so far with her debut EP ‘Ignite’. That being said, brace yourselves, for Nissi is bound to take you on a musical journey in her 7-track EP titled ‘Ignite’, which is now available for download on all music platforms.