Authentik is a fine attempt at cementing Bailly’s legacy. While Bailly had made her mark through singles, the place of a body of work was still left unfilled. This album finally closes that void…
By Emmanuel Daraloye
The art cover of Authentik shows an upside-down headshot of Blanche Bailly. It invites you to turn the photograph over to have a better grasp of what she looks like. She is beautiful, as expected. The image is neat. It finds her in a meditative mood.
Bailly, the Afro-pop singer and songwriter spent the first two decades of her life between three countries. Born in Cameroon, Baillly did a part of her early schooling in the Central Africa country. At the age of twelve, she relocated, alongside her parents, to France. This move afforded her an opportunity to experience music through a new lens. The new form of music she learned was quite soulful, methodical and distinct from what she encountered in Cameroon. These migrations have helped in toning her sonic articulation, boosted her career range and network, and shaped her dynamism with music genres.
Bailly’s quest to explore music while in France failed to yield significant results due to the many rejections from record labels. Unfazed by these hurdles, Bailly relocated to Britain. This change of environment opened the way for her, as she connected with music-inclined fellows from Cameroon. Her debut single, “Kam We Stay,” was released while in the UK. She later moved back to Cameroon to properly explore her singing talent. On the sixth of February, 2023, Blanche Bailly released her debut album, Authentik, under Hit Zone records. Authentik comes seven years after the release of her debut single. The titles of the songs on the album flit between French and English language.
No doubt, Bailly has experienced life, courting controversies with her videos and fashion choices. But beyond this, it is difficult to excuse her impeccable talent.
On Authentik, Blanche Bailly features two Nigerian singers and four Cameroonian artistes. The producers and sound engineers on the project are also cut between Cameroon and Nigeria. Expectedly, the songs have elements from both countries. No doubt, Bailly attempts to serve the sonic interests of both the Francophone and Anglophone African countries.
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Authentik starts with “Dancia.” The lightly-produced track sees Blanche Bailly impressing on the listeners the need to dance and make money while savouring the beauty of love. It could also be a pointer to what she plans to achieve with this project—dance. The lyrics are simple, and the hook does the magic of drawing the listeners in. “Valide” means “able” or “fit” in French. On this song, Sidiki Diabate and Bailly gush about each other. This is a typical sound from Cameroon. The BPM is fast, thumping at some point. The song ends with memorable rolling drums.
In “Dou Dou” an R&B track, Fanicko, the featured artiste, maintains the same energy with Bailly. It’s mild yet memorable. Both artistes gush about their partners while promising to be faithful.
With close to five hundred thousand streams on Spotify, “Mine,” the sultry collaboration between Joeyboy and Bailly currently ranks as her most-streamed song on the platform. The song, produced by Tempoe (“Love Nwantinti”), is powered by a lush guitar. The lyrics explore the volatility of relationships. Still, Joeyboy and Bailly sing of their decision to make the relationship work. “Quand tu n’es pas la” sounds like a potential wedding track. It’s a waggish and noteworthy tune.
“Mercy” is a throbbing, sensual track. Blanche Bailly could not hide her infatuation with her lover as she showered encomiums on him. “You came into my life and showed me mercy, so I pray to God make e shower blessing,” she sings.
“Kayamata” dwells on love. Bailly profusely expresses her adoration and respect for her man while at the same time keeping up with the refrain, “don’t make me fall for you.”
The alluring “OMG” which features BNXN also shares some sensual traits. This time around, the production hinges on Jazz. BNXN takes over the song from Bailly.
The Cameroon singer, PhillBill, lends some hand to Bailly on “Banga.” The track draws inspiration from Reggae with some Afrobeats tweaks. The bopping track leverages on uncomplicated lyrics to pass off its message. “Banga” is one of the previously-released singles off this album. At the end of the track, you understand why Bailly put this song forward. “Banga” captivates the soul, and swiftly, too.
The groovy track, “Aimer,” features Ko-C. It’s a message-filled track to naysayers. The Napji- (“Fem”) produced tune, “Jamais,” explores the Gospel genre. Bailly Prays for God’s protection as she navigates life’s journey. It’s a filler track. Authentik ends with the inspirational “E No Go Pay.” The track is hustle-driven, a pristine way to end Authentik.
More than half a decade into the music industry, finally, we have a full length project to attach Bailly’s name to. It has been an arduous, fun and successful progress so far for the artiste. With Bailly being only 27 years old, there is no doubt that she will release more albums going forward. Authentik as an album is a bridge between dance and love. Bailly’s versatility with these topics have never been in doubt; and if there was ever any, in a way, this album put an end to such thought.
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The collaborations sometimes find Bailly in a tight corner as she tries to level up to some of the featured artistes. On some tracks, she does well, and on others, typically “OMG,” the feature artistes takes the shine off her. Authentik is a fine attempt at cementing Bailly’s legacy. While Bailly had made her mark through singles, the place of a body of work was still left unfilled. This album finally closes that void, and Bailly does this in amazing ways. Now, the fans have something worthwhile to hold on to, until the next release.
Lyricism – 2
Tracklisting – 1
Sound Engineering – 1
Vocalisation – 1
Listening Experience – 1
Emmanuel Daraloye is Africa’s Most Prolific Freelance Music Critic. He has over 500 album reviews in his archive.