Album – L.I.F.E (Living In Fortunate Environment)
Artist – Oritsefemi
Record Label – MSN Gang (2017)
Duration – 63 minutes
These days Oritsefemi is a happy man. He is getting married to the love of his life, a woman who he never proposed to, but simply gave the reassurance of a marriage with the simple words: “I will marry you.”
The Ajegunle champion is in love. He is far from the prime of his career, but happiness dogs his footsteps and flows into his creative process. That’s why his latest album is titled “L.I.F.E (Living In Fortunate Environment).” Living is a breeze for Oritsefemi right now. He is a bonafide elder from the glory days of Ajegunle music. He’s seen it all, done a lot of it, and the lessons have been learned and dispensed at various points through his music.
Now in the twilight of his career, Oritsefemi isn’t chasing pop success and the bright lights of the Lagos music hub. Music for him is back to the basics; those days in the hood, where the sound obeys a Caribbean formation, and the sounds lean towards a niche market.
Opening track ‘Life’ sets the tone with reflection and introspection introducing the project on a sombre note. Retro keys open the record as he declares “I love the life I’m living now, my life is very lit.” It’s a statement of personal fact. The rest of you can go figure. Oritsefemi sticks to his story. On ‘Kiss a bride’, he worships his wife to a Makossa rhythm. ‘My baby’ borrows instrumentals and thematic romance from Gyptian’s ‘Let me love you’. It‘s a eulogy to his wife, which continues rather sensually on ‘Slow slow’.
Although Oritsefemi has found love, and it dominates this project, he’s still the people’s champion. The vibration of passion does not overshadow his bleeding heart. “Our government I beg’ is a plea to Nigerian leaders, to improve the lives of its citizens. “We get oil, no be say them say we get oil. Plenty mineral resources e bokwu for here. Electricity no suppose be our problem…oh no this one na wickedness,” he laments.
Oritsefemi is far from the 2014 version of himself that penetrated Nigeria’s mainstream consciousness with ‘Double wahala.’ The changing soundscape of the industry has effectively ensured that pop culture conversations have left him behind. To his credit, he has found a way to count his blessings, and make niche music to generate value. Going back to his roots in Ajegunle won’t commandeer public attention for his music. But it puts him in a great personal space, where he is reliving his prime, with the initial core fanbase that elevated him in the first place. Being fortunate is personal after all, and if Oritsefemi says his stars are aligning, who are we to argue with that?
3-Worth Checking Out