Like most artists afflicted by the novelty of a pandemic during its early stages, Ghana-based Sierra Leonean Afro-fusion artist, Skillz 8Figure recorded a music draught with the onset of the global plague. Fresh off his Tiffany Calver-stamped debut EP, Gangster Luv, he had to put things on pause but as with many others, it was during this time he saw a new side of himself and his artistry in which his latest EP, After Dark is rooted. Among other notable features, the eight-tracker largely spotlights 8Figure’s versatility, rooted in his cross-continental heritage resulting in the Afrobeat and Highlife hybrid he describes as coastal music that’s the plane over which his laudable penmanship comes to life.
A sometimes sappy and stirring sonic swirl of experiences, After Dark completely revolves around Skillz 8Figure’s hedonism. The romantic and rhythmic sensibilities that made him into a rising star are on display on the EP with songs like Sempe highlighting his equal part vulnerable and fun loving side. The dreamer in him is also giving a chance to shine. The introductory track, Julie, opens up with messages of inspiration and hope, giving a look into his mindset even in the midst of burn-out characterized pandemic. Self Love is another ode to keeping the hope alive accompanied by a show stealing verse from Enam.
Sidelining his messages of hope and love, 8Figure switches things up on the likes of PsychoYP-assisted Like That, a jazzy take on their come-up.
Despite it’s difference in sound and story, the cohesiveness of After Dark is a testament to Skillz 8Figure’s dedication towards finding the right sound to accompany a story. On Type of Way, he waxes poetic over a dreamy afro-fusion beat as he gives listeners the uncut him with all pretense stripped away. Songs flow into one another effortlessly and listeners are taken on an uninterrupted journey from the first note.
With Julie and Make Sense, both focused on Skillz 8Figure as a lover, After Dark becomes a full circle experience that listeners will want to keep on replay. Even though the year has just begun, Skillz 8Figure is prepared to take 2021 by storm.