When R&B singer, songwriter and record producer Jasën Blu tweeted recently that he wants his genre back in the mainstream doing big numbers on the charts and getting duly acknowledged at the award shows again, we didn't know how serious he was. The singer, who had put up an impressive show with his last official single “Already” and some other minor releases in recent years, is back customarily smoother with his new record "Brown Shuga", which he had announced on social media weeks prior.
Heavily inspired by the song "Brown Sugar" by Neo-Soul legend D'Angelo from his 1995 debut album of the same name, and again produced by Blu himself for his production outfit SoundQraft LLC, Blu continues to defy the normal sonic atmosphere of the day by crafting a laidback bounce with drum patterns very reminiscent of Burna Boy's "Like To Party", laid out on soul-funky soft guitar riffs and licks, chiming folk gongs and vintage heavy bass.
Noticeably for fans of the beloved Neo-Soul genre, Blu also learnt lyrically into the 24 year old classic to create an altogether warm feel that probably makes you want to fall in love with the next beautiful, chocolate-skinned woman you come across.
"It's a celebration of the beauty of black and brown women around the world," Blu told seasoned OAP Onome Oyaide in a radio interview on Saturday morning's live premiere of the record on Oyaide's Hangover's Leftovers show on Rhythm FM Lagos 93.7 Nigeria, "as well as the continuation of my journey to see R&B become people's favorite genre in Naija again. D'Angelo is my teacher. Musically, you know that's the big bro right there. His album 'Brown Sugar' is 24 years old and 'Voodoo' is 19 years old this year, and I still study those albums till date. It's way too much soul in the music and that's the kind of energy I love to represent. I had to be the one to remake that record; I just couldn't let it go."
Blu further shared more information about his upcoming debut album, "Soulwave", which he had announced as wrapped up earlier in the year. "It's ready to go," he said in the radio interview with Oyaide. "But you know it is hard being an indie artiste in Nigeria, so I'm just looking for the right deal to help me release the album at the highest level possible because it really requires that. Before then, I'll just keep rolling out the singles and promoting them towards the album release as best as I can."
Listen to "Brown Shuga" and share your thoughts.