At the end of the twenty-two-minute spin, we have a body of work that further boosts Majeeed’s artistry, introducing him to newer heights, and revealing that he is a talented songwriter and an exceptional singer.
By Emmanuel Daraloye
Majeeed is an unlikely poster boy for a party animal or one who manifests a carouse lifestyle. Two years ago, the Nigerian songwriter-turned-singer was in a toxic space, with an ugly experience serving as the inspiration for his Bitter Sweet EP. According to recent interviews, he reveals that Bitter Sweet was a “phase type” project, with him exiting a toxic relationship. But the Dream Empire Music-signed artiste makes a dashing new return with his new EP, Cheer to Life, which finds Majeeed in a new space with a cheerful and bright perspective on life. Love, money, and self-worth form the basis of this eight-track extended play, as a reflection of a new era. Joined by Dr. Amir, Masterkraft, Mabz and other superb music producers, Majeed replicates his signature excellence and magical dexterity on Cheer to Life.
Majeeed, who is better known as a songwriter in the Nigerian music industry, – musician, Seyi Shay once revealed he wrote for her – has always loved music, with gospel singer Tope Alabi, Highlife legends Oliver De Coque and Chief Osita Osadebe serving as inspiration. He released his first single “Gee For Life” in 2020, and in 2021, had inked a deal with Dream Empire Record, with his BitterSweet EP released in 2022 to positive reception and success. The EP was a good listen, with ear-pleasing songs such as the up-tempo “Smile For Me” and the heart-wrenching “No Room For Love”. This year finds Majeeed shooting into the stratosphere, with the release of the Tiwa Savage-assisted “Gbese” in February, which serves as the lead single for Cheers to Life.
The title track, “Cheers to Life”, opens this EP. The production here is punctuated by a sunny guitar string that is quickly followed by thundering drums. “Hope I am not talking too much, I know somewhere we can spend the night”, Majeeed begins the track. His baneful relationship experience has not dampened his demeanour, as the song finds him still receptive to love and life. One is bound to smile when Majeeed sings lines such as “If life na Danfo, life na train”. The lyric may not be poetic but it invokes a relatable. “Cheers to Life” is a mid-tempo track that meets Majeeed welcoming listeners, as he eases them into his jolly good life.
Money, as a connecting dot between living and loving, is a basic necessity. On the second track, “Girl Deserve More Money”, Majeeed examines affluence as he harps on the necessity of money. The Dancehall-stroke EDM-type track revolves around frivolous spending on women, especially pretty ones. In the first verse, Majeeed meets a girl for the first time and sweeps her off her feet, and like the typical rich lover, promises her a vacation in Ibiza and a shopping spree. In the hook, he further highlights his light-hearted generosity, repeating the line, “Girls deserve more money, trips and vacation, love and attention”. But the extravagance segues into sensual pleasures in the second verse, suggesting that things get kinky after all the squandering.
Majeeed and Nigerian singer, Bnxn, weave words around in the song “Waka Jeje” with a witty dance step to follow. Waka Jeje is a euphemism for threading carefully in Nigerian pop culture, and on this track, both artistes are grateful for their exploits. While at it, they also appreciate God for the protection, and take jabs at their adversaries — as is a typical Bnxn’s antic.
“Gbese”, the Amapiano-drenched standout song finds Majeeed in his most comfortable zone. His smooth vocal gets the needed impetus from Tiwa Savage. A near-classic song is made here as they both leverage each other’s strength to create this ear-pleasing track. Gbese is a Yoruba word for debt and Majeeed vows to be in debt for the sake of his lover. The first verse already puts the song in the right frame, with Tiwa Savage delivering a stellar verse with her input.
In urban and street lingo, to slip and slide means to have casual relationships, as in the Urban Dictionary, “hooking up for one night of sex with no strings attached”. Majeeed and American singer, Rotimi, explore this on the P-Prime-produced “Slide & Slide”. The song traverses intimate moments, with suggestive lines encoded for the attentive listener to draw out. The songwriting may not be exceptional, however, Rotimi and Majeeed optimally flex their vocals on the track.
The Highlife-inflected “Shayo” features Lojay. They both sing from the perspective of heartbroken lovers. “Sometimes, I dey check my phone to see if you don unblock me”, Majeeed confesses. The backup singers and background vocals all tether to give the song a Highlife feel. Lojay elevates the song’s tempo, creating a party-like ambience for the track.
While the term “money stops nonsense” may be ascribed to music star, Oritsefemi, Majeeed expounds this on the penultimate track “Stop Nonsense”. It is an Amapiano track with influences from Afrobeat (the backup singing and chorus give off a Fela Kuti-like creation). The song could have been better if it was properly mixed, but as a typical party track, Majeeed delivers. The EP closes with an EDM version of “Gbese.”
There is an adage that says after the rain comes the sunshine, and Cheers To Life EP is the silver lining that Majeeed, and perhaps his fans, have been waiting for. It is a stark departure from the gloom and heart-wrench on Bitter Sweet, with the artiste in a comforting better place.
With five features, it is obvious that this is a collaborative project, with Majeeed leveraging on each collaborator’s strength to craft each track. At the end of the twenty-two-minute spin, we have a body of work that further boosts Majeeed’s artistry, introducing him to newer heights, and revealing that he is a talented songwriter and an exceptional singer.
Lyricism – 1
Tracklisting – 1
Sound Engineering –1
Vocalisation – 1
Listening Experience – 2
Rating – 6/10
Emmanuel Daraloye is Africa’s music prolific freelance music critic. He has over 600 album reviews in his archive.