From being the love-struck youth in “Together,” to wanting to be a prisoner of love on “Prisoner,” to fighting against abuse in “Freak,” and finally accepting her flaws as a human being on “Human,” Moliy creates a world for these different personalities…
By Hope Ibiale
In 2020, just as the world was closing its doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Moliy was featured on Amaarae’s” Sad Girlz Luv Money,” a stand-out tune from Amaarae’s debut album, The Angel You Don’t Know. Now, Moliy is here with an 8-track project titled Honey Doom.
Featuring on Amaarae’s song catapulted Moliy’s career, and everyone’s eyes were trained on the voice behind the hit song’s infectious lyrics. Moliy’s lush voice and the creativity of her vocal execution endeared her to many in a short time. With her level of consistency, too, Moliy is destined for greatness. Since her feature on Amaarae’s album, Moliy has not slowed down. Earlier this year, Moliy released a 3-track EP, Mahogany St, and she also gave a dazzling performance on BOJ’s album, Gbagada Express.
Molly Ama Montgomery was born in Accra, Ghana, but was raised in Florida, America. While growing up, Moliy was exposed to music from Whitney Houston, Daddy Lumba, Michael Jackson, Celine Dion, and many other artistes who influenced her sound and sparked Moliy’s interest in music. This interest influenced her decision to leave college and return to Ghana to pursue a musical career. Her debut EP, Wondergirl, stamped Moliy’s presence in the Ghanaian music scenes and also displayed her vocal dexterity and her ability to tell relatable stories about love and youthful exuberance.
On Honey Doom, Moliy features her younger sister, Melissa; South African singer, Moonchild Sanelly, who is known for her contributions to Beyonce’s film Black is King; Nigerian producer, P.Priime, and Ghanaian-British producer, Juls. Without straying far from Moliy’s signature style, Honey Doom is well executed.
The newly-released 8-track project chronicles a relationship and the way it transcends from the honeymoon phase to a sour love story. The project starts with Moliy singing about her desire to be loved unconditionally on “Together.” She sings, “Together, together, together is a must. If together is a must, love me whatever the cost,” letting her desires flow freely over the Juls-produced track. On this song, she wears her feelings on her sleeves as she unashamedly asks her love interest to make her his wife even if it means becoming a trophy one. “I can be your trophy, you can show me off,” she sings.
However, Moliy’s love might be a little frightening because of her insistence to be with her lover. However, the things we do for love often questions human reasoning. The production doesn’t stress Moliy’s voice, and she is able to flow seamlessly over Juls’ signature percussive patterns. “Together” shows her state of mind and gives listeners a glimpse of what’s to come.
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On the next track, Moliy doesn’t descend from her love fever. This time, she offers her freedom in exchange for love. She continues to confess her feelings to her lover and places him above her freedom on “Prisoner.” Here, she boldly declares her attraction to her love interest and asks him to take her as his prisoner “Take me as a prisoner,” she sings. Since it’s the early stages of the relationship, it is normal to feel the need to be near your lover all the time, but Moliy’s attraction is beyond explanation and when she says, “This be more than physical,” I completely agree with her because her feelings for here love interest is obviously intense and spiritual. Her lyrics encapsulate the rawness of her emotions and show the vulnerability of a woman in love.
“Body on Fire” is Moliy wielding the power in her body. Here, she takes control of her lover and embraces her sexuality. Her voice drips with her newfound power, and she sounds different from the love-consumed lady. She seems to be enjoying the dominance her body gives her. Aside from discovering her power as a woman, Moliy encourages women to embrace their sensuality and be one with their bodies.
Even when she has moved on from her ex-lover, Moliy still reminisces on her past relationship. “Used to bring me joy when I had a bad day. Now, it’s bittersweet like a glass of lemonade/but you kept me going when I had nobody,” she sings, recounting the good old days. She is still in love with her ex-lover and taunts him with everything she once offered to him “Them other girls no go hold you down like I did.”
With the song’s boppy nature, one might mistake it for a feel-good song, rather than the heartbreak song that it is. Even the first lines of the song, “The night is young and so am I. Are you ready to party tonight?” boxes it into a party song, and shows how Moliy deals with heartbreak. As if recognising the need to pin the blame for their relationship’s demise on her ex-lover, she sings, “Professional pretender, thought you say we go last till the end ah.”
The upbeat “Freak” tells the story of a young woman confronting her demons and setting herself free from toxicity. She sings, “I’m not your freak anymore got blood on the floor. You probably shoulda acted right, cold to the core,” indicating that she has left a toxic relationship. Because she constantly writes in first person, Moliy makes herself equal parts of both a narrator and protagonist, conveying events from her experience and fighting against her lover’s violent behaviour. Hopefully, from her story, women can draw strength and free themselves from toxic relationships. She takes your mind back to the previous songs where she sings about her blossoming love affair that was in its honeymoon stage. But now, her lover has changed on “Freak.”
“This is honey doom, tell me who are you. This is not the man I knew, what is up with you?”
“If you don’t pay my bills/Only sign I wan see is Dollar sign,” she tells her lover on “Banana,” letting him know what she wants him to bring to the table. Moliy might come off as a little materialistic, but who doesn’t want to live a good life? Love without money is considered distasteful, hence her admission on this song will be welcomed by listeners who want wealthy lovers. Over the Gafacci-produced track, Moliy glides effortlessly against the drums, violins and piano keys.
The way the instrumentals come in at specific parts on the song and introduce her to the second verse is well calculated and pulls the listener’s attention to what Moliy has to say. “Banana” is different from the “you must love me by force” theme on “Together;” this time, it’s either you have money to offer or you don’t get Moliy’s love.
On the Moonchild Sanelly-assisted track, Moliy is bolder with her sexual advances. She sings confidently, “How you gon leave so soon. Boy you better change your style, baby don’t be like that,” letting her lover how she wants to be pleased. Moliy isn’t ashamed of her sexuality, and Moonchild Sanelly who is also called the “president of female orgasm” is the perfect person to feature on this song because of her audacious attitude towards sex. “Hard” is an anthem to the sexually-liberated woman.
On the last song, “Human,” Moliy takes refuge in her humanity. Here, she sings about her humanness, the challenges she has faced as an artiste, and how she has overcome them. “Human” is Moliy’s way of pulling herself out of a dark hole. She chants repeatedly, “I am only human, I can only do so much.” When she says, “It was never about you all along. It was always me vs me,” it feels like she addresses her sour love affair, but as she continues to sing, it feels like she also addresses her fall out with Amaarae over the publishing rights of “Sad Girlz Luv Money.”
Regardless of whatever she addresses on this song, it is certain that she acknowledges her weaknesses as a human being and accepts that she is not perfect. She learns to embrace the journey for what it is. The violin instrumentation gives the song an ethereal feel.
On Honey Doom, Moliy is confidently telling stories that capture her experience with love, relationships, domestic violence and her journey as an artist. This project is bold. She holds nothing back and she takes on different personalities. From being the love-struck youth in “Together,” to wanting to be a prisoner of love on “Prisoner,” to fighting against abuse in “Freak,” and finally accepting her flaws as a human being on “Human,” Moliy creates a world for these different personalities, somewhere they can see themselves and be bold about who they are.
With Honey Doom, Moliy’s penmanship and lush vocals shine brighter to match the project’s production quality. Honey Doom shows Moliy as someone willing to grow and create an EP that is relatable to her listeners.
Lyricism – 1
Tracklisting – 1
Sound Engineering – 1.5
Vocalisation – 1
Listening Experience – 1.5
Rating – 6/10
Hope Ibiale is a writer and a book lover. She is currently a student of Communication and Language Arts at the University of Ibadan.