We are at a time when new Nigerian artists are getting a lot of recognition. The digital world is very interesting and allows creatives endless opportunities to showcase their talent. It is even better when a new act is signed to a big label that is capable of investing in his or her ability. After Rema’s unexpected success, Mavin (and Blowtime) announced the signing of a young act Crayon. What kind of picture are they trying to paint with Crayon?
I like that the name (Crayon) is catchy. Reading about him, I learned that Crayon got his name from a pack of colors. It’s necessary for an artist to choose a name that can get people’s attention. His first debut as a signed artist was in Mavin’s All Is In Order. In the music video, he looked like someone who was well-prepared for the contemporary Nigerian music industry. He is young and full of vibes. That’s exactly the kind of energy that we need.
Crayon is the first artist to break out of Iba. I can tell that I’m not the only one surprised by this. He was discovered by Baby Fresh in the studio when he (Crayon) was working with producer Ozedikus. The Mavin in-house producer would later sign him to his imprint Blowtime Entertainment. For a fledgling artist like Crayon, it’s a great deal for him. Not only will the platform (quickly) bring him to the notice of music lovers but he’ll get the full package that Mavin offers its artists. Solid artist branding, quality music production, maximum promotion of his songs. Everything is on the table for taking.
One can conveniently say Don Jazzy is one of the most strategic people in the Nigerian music industry. Since the days of Mo’Hits to Mavin days (unleashing superstars like Tiwa Savage, Reekado Banks, and others) to forming alliances with sub-labels, the veteran producer has always found a way to get the attention of the audience. Rema’s introduction was seamless, regardless of his kind of sound. The same formula was used for Crayon and it worked perfectly. Release an EP that shows the artist's versatility and dexterity, winning the listener in succession. It's a smart approach.
Crayon’s sound is easy to sell to an audience. He is heavily influenced by Wizkid, Davido, Justin Bieber, Fela. His versatility cannot be missed when you slip into bed and decide to vibe to his new EP all night. Or maybe you’re listening to it while working out in the morning, you can feel his tuneful voice take you on a ride to different destinations. It’s this versatility that gave his EP Cray Cray the special touch it needed. And his songwriting ability? It’s one of a kind. Crayon definitely has all it takes to make an impression.
I thoroughly enjoyed the Cray Cray EP. I’m guessing this is because I held no expectations before listening. I like how the young singer doesn’t seem to force anything. The music supposedly comes easy to him and he knows just what to do to give an instrumental life. The EP was produced by the two Mavin in-house producers, Baby Fresh, and Ozedikus. There’s a lot of recycling of sounds but Crayon’s approach makes it difficult to discern. The EP is solid and there are already some songs doing numbers including So Fine, Bamiloke, Gock Am.
As Afrobeats is making itself noticeable in the global market, we surely need enough emerging artists whose sounds have evolved and are doing things completely different from their predecessors. Crayon’s first body of work Cray Cray whets my appetite and I’m looking forward to seeing more of him on personal projects and collaborations. The future is exciting and it’s amazing that we can watch artists break out and grow to become superstars.