Fiokee is different. There are probably thousands of guitar players in the country, maybe millions. Yet, he has been able to make a mainstream career out of his art and the structure he has put to it is super admirable. However, this piece is not directly about Fiokee, but a review of his Man album; the latest of his sonic projects.
Of recent, it has become a culture for hypemen, DJs, A&Rs, dancers, producers, and guitarists to get directly involved in the mainstream music space. Toby Sheng, for instance, is on a couple of records with his hype and arguably the biggest street song of the most recent #DettyDecember period, Zazoo Zeh is by Poco Lee; a pop dancer and A&R. It has almost become a norm and it definitely takes extra effort and probably a lot of stars to make a project by one of these creators to be perceived as really outstanding.
Understanding the current music climate, Fiokee taps some of the brightest young African music artists on Man including Oxlade, Simi, Chike, Bella Shmurda, The Cavemen, Ric Hassani, Yemi Alade, Masterkraft, Peruzzi, Layydoe, Umu Obiligbo, Vector, Ada Ehi and Nosa. With this broad selection, he covers a good number of subgenres of Afrobeats with almost every sound from the African pop scene properly represented.
The 14-track album begins with the entire concept of the project — the promise of a Good Time with T-classic. With a good record of past successes in his Afropop songs, the Nobody Fine Pass You crooner is a sure ingredient needed to make any Afrobeats lover feel at home as they nod their head and move their body to the rhythm of the record.
Smooth Operator and Personal have the upbeat Amapiano feel to them while Follow You, Number One and Be A Man will get you in the mood to fall in love or think about the good times you used to have with a lover before things got sour. The increasingly popular palm wine music sound is not absent in Fiokee’s album with Peruzzi, Oxlade, The Cavemen, and Umu Obiligbo serving gems on You Bad, Koni Koni, Nne and Kelewa respectively.
The project rounds up with Goodness & Mercy, just like The Grace is said at the end of many religious gatherings and Nosa’s rather calm vocals compliments Ada Eh’s resplendently as they express Fiokee’s gratitude to God through the song. Overall, Fiokee was able to put his best into the delivery of each track on this album which has secured his spot on the A list of top guitarists and instrumentalists alive on the continent. On a scale of zero to ten, Fiokee’s Man is a comfortable 7.5.