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“Emotions” Review: Khaid’s Growth is Evident on Sophomore EP

“Emotions” Review: Khaid’s Growth is Evident on Sophomore EP

Emotions EP by Khaid review on Afrocritik

Emotions is a resounding proof of Khaid’s ability to delve into diverse themes with finesse, with the vigour of youth at his disposal. His meticulous approach shines through each seamlessly sequenced track, unravelling himself bit by bit… 

By Emmanuel Okoro

Since the COVID-19 global pandemic, the Nigerian music ecosystem has witnessed a fresh wave of diverse talents that are making their mark one release at a time. And if there’s one person who is intentional about leaving an indelible mark, it is the Lagos-born Sulaimon Shekoni Solomon, better known as Khaid, who recently released his sophomore extended play, Emotions.

Khaid’s ascent to the limelight has been nothing short of a modern-day fairytale. The 18-year-old was working as a roadside mechanic – a world away from the glitz and glamour of the music industry – while consistently posting music freestyles on his Instagram page. In a fortunate turn of events, one of his freestyles piqued the interest of Nigerian skit-maker and social media influencer, Sydney Talker, who promptly signed him to Neville Records – the label’s first signing – in January 2022.

Shortly after, Khaid released his debut single, “With You”, which peaked at Turnable’s Official Nigeria Top 100 chart, positioning him as a talent to watch out for. Its accompanying music video has garnered over 5 million views since then. Following the single’s success, Khaid released “Ski” and quickly followed it with his debut EP, DIVERSITY, to critical acclaim. He wrapped 2022 with the street-hop record “Amala“, with assistance from producer, Rexxie and Afrobeats star, Zlatan, demonstrating his ability to enchant audiences with captivating music across different soundscapes.

This year, he released “Jolie”, which became a viral sensation on TikTok and Instagram, sparking numerous online challenges and shooting him into the spotlight once again. He would go on to collaborate with Mavin Records signee, Boy Spyce on the record “Carry Me Go.”

Khaid’s musical talent has also not gone unnoticed as he has received a slew of well-deserved recognitions, such as Apple Music’s Up Next Artist for Nigeria, a spot on TurnTable’s NXT Emerging Top Artistes, and a Rookie of the Year nomination at the just concluded 16th Headies Awards.

(Read more: The More The Better Review: Tekno Takes His Craft a Step Further on Sophomore LP)

It was only natural for audiences to quiz what was next for the artiste. The answer has come with the release of his sophomore EP, Emotions, after whetting sonic appetites with the single “Anabella”. The EP, mixed and mastered by producer Timi Jay, houses 6 tracks and sees Khaid delve into the intricacies of human emotions and feelings, over thoughtful lyricism, Nigerian street lingua, and a soulful vocal delivery to boot.

Emotions, devoid of features, kicks off with “Jara”, set against ethereal chords, mid-tempo beats, and sparse basslines. The song is a heartfelt letter to a love interest, expressing his tumultuous past, including stark experiences of unrequited affection. Through his lyrics, he appeals to his potential lover to not take advantage of his vulnerability. He sings over the chorus, “Jara, no use me gara, nor use me show me your power”, which serves as a poignant expression of his plea and encapsulates the song’s emotional core. Steverawd’s production harmoniously complements Khaid’s introspective lyrics.

Emotions tracklist by Khaid Afrocritik
Emotions tracklist

“Hold Me”, an Afrobeats number, comes next. This song introduces hints of violins that pierce the air, setting a vibrant tone. The underlying beats carry echoes of Wizkid’s classic hit, “Don’t Dull”. Here, Khaid offers an apology as a ballad to a lover who contemplates ending a love affair due to the pain the relationship causes her. The constant pleas, ‘hold me,’ underscores the depth of his desire to make amends.

Emotions take a sonic shift with the arrival of the Finito-produced song “No Time”. Khaid is in familiar sonic territory, as he explores the realms of Afro-Pop, adorned with uppity kicks, electro chords, and the occasional appearance of log drums. These sonic elements come together to create an earworm that ironically betrays Khaid’s introspective lyricism. On “No Time”, Khaid grapples with the harsh reality that his relationship may have turned sour. And while he offers a way out to his lover, he subtly appeals to her to stick around. This track’s emotional and sonic complexity makes it one of the EP’s finest offerings.

(Read also: Na My Shoe I Buckle Review: Former YBNL Star, Davolee, Makes a Fine Return)

“Jolie”, the EP’s lead single, charges in, bringing an Afro-Pop vibe to the forefront. In this song, Khaid adopts charming and flirtatious lyricism to woo a potential love interest, Jolie. His lyrics, “Baby tell me say no vacancy, I don notice/Say you wan dey do me wait and see but God forbid”, reveal her hesitation, but Khaid remains resolute in his quest to win her over. He confidently assures her, emphasising that there is no competition. While the chorus may be lacking in wordplay, it is crafted to be catchy and easy to sing along to. The accompanying visuals for this song, directed by Sydney Talker, fit snugly into the theme, as he tries to woo a high-school sweetheart.

Khaid
Nigerian artiste, Khaid

Emotions take a distinctive turn with “People (Evil)”, a fusion of Reggae and Dancehall produced by Sound Engine and Signal. Here, Khaid opens up about his humble beginnings and troubled past, providing insights into the challenges he has encountered. He also briefly addresses his inability to find comfort in love. All of these experiences hint at a sense of disillusionment and, by extension, disappointment with the world and the people in it.

The EP ends on a high note with the Afrobeats record, “Anabella”. The song is characterised by buoyant and infectious instrumentation, laced with floaty guitar strings, frenetic kicks, and basslines that drive the rhythm forward. Khaid wears a charming persona as he delivers his lyrics with a hint of cheesiness. Here, he confesses his feelings to a lover, Anabella, and implores her to stay and not be swayed by someone else. “Anabella” marks a feel-good ending to an enjoyable project.

(Read also: I Told Them Review: Burna Boy Says a Lot but Reveals Very Little on This Enjoyable LP)

Emotions is a resounding proof of Khaid’s ability to delve into diverse themes with finesse, with the vigour of youth at his disposal. His meticulous approach shines through each seamlessly sequenced track, unravelling himself bit by bit. While there are noticeable lapses in the EP’s lyrical content, Khaid compensates for this with his unique vocal delivery and melodies, making the project an engaging sonic experience.

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Khaid’s modern fairytale is far from over, as Emotions establish a marker for more chapters in his musical journey to unfold.

Lyricism – 1.2

Tracklisting – 1.5

Sound Engineering – 1.4

Vocalisation – 1.4

Listening Experience – 1.5

Rating – 7/10

Emmanuel Okoro is a content writer and journo with an insatiable knack for music and pop culture. When he’s not writing, you will find him arguing why Arsenal FC is the best football club in the multiverse. Connect with him on Twitter, Instagram, and Threads: @BughiLorde

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