In recent years, Nigerian music has changed a lot thanks to a mixture of the diasporic visibility that the internet confers and the work of emerging inspired musicians. Now, the imagery of Afropop is richer, more diverse and inventive than it has been since the rise of new urban Nigerian music in 1999. Rising singer, Kaptain, is one of the leading proponents of this change, leading the charge with his distinctive spry vocals and chill delivery styles that meld message and style into a vibrant mosaic of Afrofusion that subsumes tonality and substance.
Born and bred in Benin City, the newcomer introduced a distilled brand of jazz-inflected delivery to the wider world with successful tapes like 2020’s Kapacity and Love Ship. He returns this year with his debut album named Beyond Any Reasonable Doubt. On the 12-track project, Kaptain reflects on his life as he luxuriates in his success, and shows off his artistic credentials.
He enlists Moonlight on Bard, the opener which combines a therapeutic candor and world-building skills to create an unsinkable record that big ups the artist’s abilities. The next track is another collaboration with Boy Xander titled On My Own; an innovative 3rd person perspective story of heartbreak and disloyalty that features some emotive songwriting from the singer.
With songs like Bae, Sure and Missing, you get a series of love ballads that are as heartfelt as they are soulful. The lower half of the album is packed with songs about being impervious from the Mikaba-produced Non Stop with Teni to Free which has the singer facing his fears and the shared fears of most of Nigeria’s young population. Through out the project which closes with Give Thanks, he relies on his flexible delivery pattern to carry him through tracks, drawing out words and teasing pockets of sounds within sentences.
Beyond Any Reasonable Doubt offers a panoramic view of Kaptain’s talent as he takes you to the core and tensions of his artistry without missing a beat, letting you know that the singer is highly tipped for success.