Fave Makes Music for the Lover Girls Who Are Down Bad

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Fave makes music for the down-bad lover girls. Chidozie Godsfavour Ugochinyere or Fave as she is better known, is one of the female voices redefining Afro-beat music.  She entered the music scene in 2020 with songs like DAL, and  M.O.M.M.S which kept her at the top of everyone’s minds.  However, a freestyle video to a Jinmi Abduls beat went viral during the pandemic and eventually culminated in N.B.U., the song that shot her to the stars. 

In 2021, her hit song Beautifully became an anthem for hopeless romantics. The song was everywhere: a TikTok and radio sensation, a dance hall favorite, a wedding special. When she released Baby Riddim, it was clear she was here to stay. The lyrics from Beautifully drew a strong reaction from first-time listeners. It was melodic, and romantic. The line “if you like play me kpo kpo ti kpo, long as say nobody knows” is curious and makes one wonder if she’s condoning abuse, but it’s easy to forget all about it and get lost in the music.

It’s 2024, Belong to You has been released, and the rhythm takes listeners right back to 2021, with a distinct sense of knowing the subtle but overarching theme in Fave’s songs. She’s found her niche, alright, and the lover girls have found their leader.

So, let’s start with N.B.U. The lyrics, “There’s no shame in loving you. It’s no mistake I fell for you. Tell me what else that I could do. To prove that I’m the one for you.” Agreed, there is no shame in being utterly smitten. And, a lot of what loving is, is wanting to be better for the person you’re with; it’s universal, and your heartthrob should always get the best of you. However, it becomes problematic when a lover begins to vie and pine for their partner’s approval, subtly indicating inherent inadequacies. It’s draining. The girls that get it, get it. 

The hit song Beautifully begins with an exposition of how her love with her partner feels beautiful; blissful and so safe, she’s willing to go to great heights with her love. But when the lyrics come to “if you like play me gbogbo ti gbo gbo ti gbo, long as say nobody knows” Fave explores the reality of many relationships which look good on the outside, but behind closed doors, one is being ill-treated by the other. And not only is she/he willing to stay, but he/she also participates in putting up the facade, because of how recklessly in love he/she has fallen, and of course public perception.

It’s interesting how many of Fave’s songs put her in the position of the one doing the wooing, and not the one being wooed. In typical Nigeria, that’s the stark opposite of how things generally are. In her song S.M.K, having wooed her lover for what seems to be the longest time, perhaps subtly, perhaps not, Fave brazenly asks “Tell me are you waiting for writings on the wall before you believe me? Tell me, are you waiting for mountains to fall before you believe me.” Any person would tell her to just stand up, but it isn’t always that easy. One has to admit that it is refreshing to see this kind of representation via music in a conservative culture that, although quaint, tells the woman to wait to be wooed and only to give subtle signs if she is indeed pining hard for the man. 

Her recent hit Belong to You,  is a heart-wrenching song of staying in a love that is bad for you, but you just want to stay, because the heart wants what it wants. The lyrics open with her having made up her mind to leave, after what seems to have been a series of disrespect, disregard, and perhaps infidelity, her significant other keeps calling, gaslighting, and telling her lies, which she believes even while knowing they are lies! Later in the song, she says “fucking liar, I hate that I’d always love you,” indicating a sense of helplessness and lack of control over her own will due to this intoxicating love. That is heavy. 

In this manner of curating lyrics, Fave seems to tell stories for representation, for the hopeless romantics that have been victims of unrequited love, toxic love, unhealthy burning passion, and romance. It is a powerful thing to be seen through art, stories, and even music. And for the lover girls, crying into a pillow at 2 am, pouring their hearts out into paragraphs that would get a dismissive “what do you mean?”, Fave holds space for them in her music. That is heavy. That is beautiful.


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