All over the world, music has become one the most diverse form of performance art and the fullness of this diversity is often enjoyed when musicians with different musical identities combine forces in a bid to create perhaps an unprecedented experience for their fans.
We have over the years enjoyed the beauty of collaboration on varying degrees. Some fell flat, while others have yielded totally unforeseen results (sonically and commercially). Wizkid and Tiwa Savage sit gracefully on this table as well as the rapper, Falz the Bahd Guy and singer Simi, who took Nigerian musical collaborations to another level. The synergy between these two was so unparalleled that they had to release the Chemistry EP.
Singers, Seyi Shay and Runtown, have also now made a case as a musical pair deserving of our full attention. The two have just collaborated on a new single, ‘Gimme Love’ – a mid-tempo Sarz produced pop ballad that found them displaying a laudable degree of synergy.
It may be because it’s easy to identify with; maybe because it’s instantly catchy, it could even be because the lyrics don’t try to be more than they are – but there is something about a great pop song that makes the listener feel like they too could have written it. It is this ease and simplicity that is the true stamp of genius of any great pop record. Do not be deceived, however, there’s more to this stamp of genius than the ear can know.
While many believe that churning out pop anthems and radio charting tunes is a gift, the simple truth is that there is a formula for the pudding. Understanding and mastering that formula is the key to staying relevant in the fickle streaming music sphere which we find ourselves in 2018. Nigerian musicians, Seyi Shay and Runtown, definitely have knowledge of this formula and have proven it to us time and time again. Whether it’s Runtown dominating airwaves for months with ‘Mad Over You’ or Ms. Shay turning clubs upside down with ‘Right Now’, both artistes have got the sauce and there’s no doubt about it. This must be the reason why they wanted to remind us about their outstanding songwriting prowess before 2018 runs out.
With the release of their new song ‘Gimme Love’, Seyi and Run basically hosted a masterclass on pop music songwriting and we are here to break it down all the elements. The first ingredient of the winning sound is a winning theme: ‘Love’. People will never get tired of hearing and listening to love songs. Knowing this fact is not alone, the best way to play upon the aforementioned is by making it a duet. As most of Seyi’s contemporaries have proven this year, the only thing better than one singer pinning for love is two.
Once the theme is all set, it is important to pay attention to the structure of the song. A love theme will get people to search for the song but it is a familiar song structure that will keep them listening. ‘Gimme Love’ does a good job of sounding like something you know already while still owning its own space. One familiar element in the song definitely takes place in the chorus, which is reminiscent of the pre-chorus of Reekado’s party jam ‘Ladies and Gentlemen’. Musicians sample music for a reason and it is because a sample warms up the ears of the listeners to the new song.
After ticking off the familiarity box, the next thing to talk about is production. Easy, slick, vibes manufactured and earworm ready. Taking a cue from Burna Boy, number one singles no longer need to ‘scatter the floor’. The vibe aspect of music is quite an essential ingredient in creating top charting records today and that’s where Runtown came through. He opened the track with what has now become his sonic signature in recent times – a sample of vocals to create a catchy hook; “Your love is a drug, and I’m addicted. Pull up, show up and handle business.”
The blend of Seyi’s vocal presence and Run’s sonic malleability turned out to be a formula which in the words of Runtown, is addictive and produces a very rich sultry sound which practices all the laws of pop music composition but carrying them out in its own way.
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