Chocolate Daddy might not bring Orezi back to the limelight, but the EP is a testament to the once-upon-a-time brilliance of an artiste who used to fantasise about Rihanna…
By Emmanuel Daraloye
A decade ago, a star emerged in the Nigerian music industry. Esegine Orezi Allen, who the world came to know simply as Orezi, spent years honing his craft and skills as a musician. One of his singles, “Rihanna”, became a smash hit in the Nigerian music space. “Rihanna” propelled the singer to the stratosphere of the entertainment industry, and like any focused artiste, he built on the success of the hit track to release other singles like “Shuperu” in 2014 and “Ogede” featuring Wizkid and Timaya in 2015. He solidified his success with his debut, The Gehn Gehn Album the same year.
In the last five years, Orezi has been on intermittent breaks, with sparse song releases from the artiste. And with the ephemeral nature of the music industry, his place appears to have been taken over by newer voices. But the artiste makes a comeback with his new EP, Chocolate Daddy. A nine-track project that features an array of stars across Nigeria, Uganda, and Cameroon.
He takes the Reggae music route on the opening track, “Freak You”. This track swaggers in after his introductory track, where he makes himself acquainted with listeners. “What’s my name?” he asks, to which a girl seductively replies, “Chocolate Daddy”.
“Freak You” is expertly rooted in Reggae, with the song’s production fully immersed in the genre. Skittering guitar collides with kicks to aid Orezi love centred message. “You got the body, body like a freaky goddess,” he confesses. The song moves from his confession to him fantasising about the girl’s heavenly carved physique. He ends the song with a supplication for a few steamy sessions with her.
On the remix of “My Queen” (originally released in 2019), it is difficult not to confuse Orezi’s vocals with Fireboy DML’s. It took me constant background checks before this stopped bothering me, as the vocal range of both artistes fell into the same frame. Cameroonian singer, Daphne, joins him as she offers a response to his heartfelt message of love. She admits money won’t be a hindrance to their relationship.
The term “Colombiana” within the song’s context, refers to a person from Columbia. He gushes about the beauty of his newfound attraction from Columbia. The chorus is sung in Spanish. The iconic Carlos Santana-like guitar strings and Amapiano log drums are also noticeable.
“One Call Away” optimally explores Amapiano, with Orezi still professing love and seeking his romantic interest’s attention. Here, the song is more vibey and nightclub-leaning, and like an experienced and suave person, he knows the right words to swoon the lady he fancies.
He takes an Amapiano route again on “I Swear”, but this time, we find a singer more vulnerable and spellbound by his lover-enchantress. The chorus attests to her charming beauty, with verses that are refined, expertly written, and delivered by Orezi. However, the production sounds muddled, and better mixing and mastering would have greatly enhanced the song.
The remix of the Dancehall track “Kiss Me”, which was originally released in 2022, features Nigerian singer, Tekno, and Ugandan star, Sheebah. Orezi has a better grasp of this song than Tekno. Just like the title states, “Kiss Me” finds the trio requesting kisses from their lovers. Orezi’s verse revolves around finding a level ground between an emotionally distanced lover, while Sheebah and Tekno explore intimacy.
Chocolate Daddy is a delicate mix of music genres. It moves from Reggae, Afrobeats, and Amapiano, and then later to Dancehall — which is also an offshoot of Reggae. “Start to Dance” is the last Dancehall song on the album, and is a track perfectly suited for shindigs. Afrobeats meet Dancehall here, and Orezi commendably delivers. The EP ends with “No Advice Me”, initially released in 2022. It reminds me of the mid-2010s Orezi, however, the mixing and mastering hardly uplift the track.
Chocolate Daddy might not bring Orezi back to the limelight, but the EP is a testament to the once-upon-a-time brilliance of an artiste who used to fantasise about Rihanna. On this EP, Orezi adorns a veteran status, as he takes a ride through a myriad of genres. While this shows the versatility of the artiste, it could also simply be a bluff. Either way, the project reveals to anyone who cares to listen that Orezi still possesses his talent and dexterity.
With just seven minutes short of half an hour, Chocolate Daddy is Orezi’s means of quenching the thirst of his fans, a way to put out some old songs from his hard drive, to get on shows coming in December, and more importantly, to restate his veteran status in the Nigerian music industry.
Lyricism – 2
Tracklisting – 1.2
Sound Engineering – 1.2
Vocalisation – 1.3
Listening Experience – 1.7
Rating – 7.4/10
Listed twice by “Black Pride Magazine” as one of the top 5 Music Journalists in Nigeria, Emmanuel Daraloye has over 600 album reviews in his archive.