All Around The World And Back Home

All Around The World And Back Home

Nigeria is home to fertile ground when it comes to unearthing great musical talent in Africa. It is also renowned for its exports in that regard - global sensations Burna Boy, Wizkid, Olamide, Tems et al come to mind. So when virtuoso artist Green Baker starts making noise from those shores, the rest of the world has little choice but to listen.

Born in the city of Ibadan, in South Western Nigeria, Green Baker is the newest sensation to come out of Nigeria riding the amapiano and afrobeats wave with commendable skill and panache.

Green Baker’s new journey with electronic music label High Light Music sees him aiming to tap into the South African market with the release of his upcoming EP, Mr Right. “I have worked with a few European artists in the past, as a producer, singer and songwriter. I did a lot of featured work contributing vocals. But Mr Right is my first real foray since starting this breakout journey that I am on.” he says. His international collaborations include We Are Pop’s “Bounce Along”, Dxt3r’s “Back To You”, as well as The Aerodynamics’ “I’ll Be Here to Stay”, among others.

Slated for a 4 November release, Mr Right is a concise 8-track EP that will serve as an apt introduction of Green Baker. On the project, the talented songwriter, producer and hitmaker worked predominantly with producer and High Light Music label head, Ivory I. Speaking of their working relationship, Ivory I says; “Baker and I have been working together for over two years now. We actually have a completed full length project that will hopefully come out after this current EP we are planning on releasing. That is where our focus is at the moment.”

As a record label, High Light Music has a rich international connection, boasting presence in Nigeria predominantly, as well as the United Kingdom and Luxembourg. Despite this, Ivory I and Green Baker stress that at the moment, it’s important that they cultivate a following in Africa, particularly Southern Africa. As the marquee artist for High Light Music, Green Baker has the chops to set ablaze the trail already carved by fellow Nigerian afrobeats artist Asake, with his recent release, Mr Money With The Vibe.

To this end, Ivory I says, “For me, making African music has a lot to do with passion. That’s why we concentrate on Africa, with a focus on Nigeria and South Africa. I am quite passionate about amapiano and South Africa is the hub of amapiano. I accept that what I do may not be 100% amapiano like the South Africans do, but I do it my own way, carrying on tradition, while still respecting the originators.”

Green Baker continues, “On our label, we do different kinds of genres of music but we predominantly focus on dance music. This can then fall into genres and subgenres of afrobeats, amapiano, disco, as well as variations of R&B, hip hop and trap. So, even though we do these different genres, our focus right now is on amapiano and afrobeats. And the best continent to promote this genre of music is Africa and more specifically, Southern Africa.”

Mr Right is led by the Ivory I produced hit single, “Jo Be”, released on March 22. The song is an electrifying dance track sung in both English and Yoruba. The lyrics of the chorus, “Jo Be!” translate to “Just dance!” and the song lives up to its order and proclamation. It is a hybrid of amapiano, disco and afrobeat, with discernible Indian and Arabic instruments weaved in its sonic tapestry. Its accompanying music video manages to translate the vibe of the song into a palpable spectacle, underscored by merriment and celebratory dances. Speaking of the music video, Baker said, “We shot the video on one of the islands in Lagos, as well as the city of Ibadan.”

One of the striking things about the music video is that some of the locations are similar to South African townships and slums - owing to the makeshift shack dwellings. This prompted Green Baker’s publicist to profoundly comment, “I think people forget that poverty is a joint aesthetic across Africa, so when we shoot in our slums, our townships - people from across the continent tend to think it’s where they’re from. As opposed to when we shoot at affluent places like Sandton. I personally like the idea of shooting in places that even though it’s in a specific country, it’s universally connected, and those are the places in Africa that we are connected through - areas of struggle rather than areas of privilege.”

To illustrate their alliance with the Southern Africa region, Baker enlisted South African singer Rethabile Khumalo, daughter of famed South African singer Winnie Khumalo, on the mesmerising “Beautiful People”, appearing on Mr Right. Furthermore, both Baker and Ivory I have a handful of South African artists whom they are fans of and would like to work with in the future. Established amapiano artists such as DJ Maphorisa, Kabza Da Small and Sir Trill, as well as Cassper Nyovest, Maglera Doe Boy and Nasty C, to mention a few.

Regarding language on the EP, Baker speaks on what his thinking was when it comes to the possibility of alienating certain consumers, considering the ambition he has for his music to reach a wide and eclectic audience. He says, “We use English, Yoruba and Pidgin on the Mr Right EP. When it comes to language and whether people understand mine, that’s something I unfortunately have no control over. However, I rely on the fact that music itself is a universal language so once people are interested in the music, it doesn’t really matter the language the lyrics are written in. So I just try to make melodies that people will relate with and feel.”

With Mr Right, Green Baker and his team have managed to put together an impressive body of work that will serve as an emphatic introduction to a broader audience. It shows his ambition to assimilate into the amapiano fold, while still maintaining his unique creativity. He champions content that is specific to who he is and where he comes from. Thematically, the project tackles varying subjects such as love (“Bamidele”), image (“Beautiful People”) and societal issues (“Mr Right” - which sports a discernable Fela Kuti influence), amongst others. It is a measured enterprise of fun and bubbly music that is well-written, which also functions as a form of activism to bring awareness to issues such as the #EndSars campaign - seen on the project’s Black Panther-esque cover. Green Baker is a musician with lots to offer, not only for Nigeria and the rest of Africa, but for the whole world as well. The first stop is South Africa, with the next single “Mr Right” releasing on the 21st of October.

Further Information:

Further Information:

1) Album pre-save: https://bfan.link/mr-right 2) Artist Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/greenbakermusic/ 3) Label instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wemakeithigh/ 4) JO BE Music video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOOZpJzGLFI

Your Review



Share To

Sekese Rasephei

Sekese Rasephei

All Around The World And Back Home

All Around The World And Back Home

To this end, Ivory I says, “For me, making African music has a lot to do with passion. That’s why we concentrate on Africa, with a focus on Nigeria and South Africa. I am quite passionate about amapiano and South Africa is the hub of amapiano.

Go to TOP