People always say the best things in life comes in small packages, I beg to differ in Gospel singer Ada’s case. As a matter of fact, the best things come in 2 packages! In November 2013, Ada dropped her double-CD album “So Fly” and “Lifted” and in 2 weeks it was sold out! Listening to the album, it came as no surprise why the album should sell out that fast. Ada had put out the best of both worlds. A western urban album and an indigenous album. To put this in simple terms, an Alternative or Soft Rock album and an Afro-Pop album.
Ada’s sound is a unique blend of pop and Alternative with some, Afro pop and hip hop. She is known for her sweet melodies, powerful inspiring lyrics and very unique sound, her arrival into the professional scene of Gospel music has been heralded as pure, fresh, original, and lifting with an amazing global impact which has earned her some serious acknowledgement and recognition.
While “Lifted” contained materials of Alternative or Soft Rock, hardcore Rock and Pop, “So Fly” took us to familiar territories with Afro-fusions and elements of Igbo traditional medley music to produce an indigenous material. This album has been some few years in the making, some of the song already filtered into our eardrums but when it was ready to go, Ada added new materials and made one of the best albums yet in the Gospel music scene.
I used to listen to a lot of Rock, hardcore and soft such as Avril Lavigne, Creed, Green Day, Nickelback, 3 Doors Down, just to name a few so naturally, “Lifted” appealed to me, however my first encounter with the album was a build-up till it got to a climax. As with most Nigerian Rock music, there was that subconscious identity crisis moments till the track 4; “Victory Song” placed it. Haven gone from ‘oh that sounded like Shania Twain to I hear some Avril Lavigne there,’ “Victory Song” was the encore moment. Victory Song was Ada! If for nothing, I heard Ada’s Spirit on that song!
Don’t get me wrong, of course, “I’m Free,” “Ope” and “Carry Me” – the songs before “Victory Song” – are all great songs and I bet if it had not been an album review, there would have been no grounds for comparison and the critic would have been flawless but it is an album and one tends to look from that perspective during a critical analysis.
Once Ada hopped on her ‘high horse,’ there was no getting down again. “Lifted” actually took a lift from then on. Amongst the songs to note include “Miracle Day” and “Win Again.” The originality, the interpretation and the instrumentation could have passed for the soundtracks to a teen movie, only this time, the lyrics are edifying… Wouldn’t be a bad idea to see a colourful fun video for one of these songs. Like Ada rightly said during an interview, “Parents would prefer their children to listen to edifying contents rather than secular music.” With songs like this, I don’t think the teenager would have a problem abiding to that rule. Ada showed that Gospel music can be “Sunny-beach-day-fun” and it is not boring as the stereotype has made us believe.
She flipped the game on us when she switched to singing in French. I can only pick a few of what she was saying but boy! Do I love that song or what! “Halla” and “One Way (Ahead Ahead)” brought the album to a blaze of glory crescendo. The two tracks can be classified as Hardcore Rock and it’s only right she wraps up the “Lifted” album with the remix of the victory song.
Constant reference to fish in the album on several occasion makes me think the diva must love having it in her meal… hehehe!!!
Ada’s Afro-Pop fusion flavour is fresh. As far as the album- “So Fly” – has revealed, it’s sometimes a mix of urban dance track (what is being referred to as “Commercial Music” in Alaba. This is fast becoming a genre of Nigerian music) and at other times, traditional Igbo Medley.
Songs such as “Sugar,” “I’m Rich,” “Kele Nuya,” ” “Dede” amongst others have prominent features of Commercial Music (as a genre of Nigerian music) in them while “Nara Kele,” “Jehovah,” “Onyenwem,” “Praize Jam,” have features of the latter.
At other times, Ada infuses both genres as we find in “Bobo Me” and “Praize Jam.” She experimented with “Ogo” featuring Mike Abdul and it worked. It’s only right that these two artistes feature on a track because they are both independently evolving a new sound within the scope of Gospel Afro Fusion music.
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Written by Alex Amos
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