Following his first album Aphrodite in 2019, Balance EP the next year and a handful of singles including the BNXN-assisted Body On Fire, Jess ETA returns with his second full-length project titled Playing With Fire. Stuck indoors during the pandemic, the Abuja-based artist started amassing a medley of sounds with various Afro R&B styles. Instead of wallowing in his gloomy thoughts, he turned to his creativity and vibrant imagination as he probed his present self and future self. His latest offering is the result of all of his hard work and a window into Jess ETA’s world.
The songwriter shows off his sultry vocals and stellar lyricism on the 11-track project. He taps artists like BNXN aka Buju, Gemini Major, Azanti, Frya and PsychoYP for guest verses on the album produced by Benjamz who worked on Burna Boy’s African Giant and Christer (produced Blxckie’s top-charting album B4 Now). While the album is crammed with high energy, tracks like Neon featuring Frya flow into a calm ambience as the duo display their vocal skills.
Playing With Fire also features his previously single Paralysed with Psycho YP which discusses quivering relationships. Dangerous follows in the same romantic vein. Jess ETA’s overall production is brilliant and this album shows the time he has taken time to fine-tune his sound as he delves into the journey of love, loss and redemption. The project’s cover mirrors our consciousness as we attempt to discover ourselves while navigating through life, Jess ETA is in pursuit of vindication while reflecting on himself.