Chocolate City’s newest signee, Major AJ, has created a whole new sound that sets him apart from his contemporaries. His new project, “Retroverse” is a collection of funk and rare African disco-inspired moments in five tracks. It gives an insight into his mind as he easily conveys his emotions in a very relatable way with strong penmanship.
‘Retrobaby’ as he is fondly known, Major AJ takes us back in time to the 70’s when funk and disco soul made way for a sophisticated luxury, but does it without losing its Afrobeats elements.
Kicking off the EP is “Afrodisco” a feel good, catchy song which talks about a toxic relationship with a woman he deeply cares for. In this song, the producer, Dunnie includes the warm gentle keys and passionate drums to compliment AJ’s clean, sonic vocals.
“Mr Lover” follows with a hard funk-disco themed vibe that throws you back to Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop Til’ You Get Enough”, and moves you to an early 90’s bounce and back. It tells the story of the reckless abandonment that comes with new love.
The highlight of the project is the third track, “Taboo”. Inspired by the storyline in the classic “Thriller”, Major AJ talks about a dark, mysterious girl that is intoxicating yet irresistible. He borrows from local folklore about the beautiful “Emere”, though still attracted to her and leans into her seduction.
In “Ominirascal”, the only record produced by Steph, Major AJ leans heavily into the original Afrobeat sound with the shakers, konga, and the undiluted soprano female vocals, that is common in most Fela Kuti songs. He takes us through his efforts to woo the typical strong Yoruba woman.
Closing the EP is “Superstar”, an emotional and reflective offering touching on Major’s journey from Kainji town in Niger State, Northern Nigeria. He speaks on the prophecy of rising to superstardom and how he has navigated various disappointments including the death of his father. He uses his experience to inspire others in similar situations.
The “Retroverse” EP is a transverse display of a distinct sound created by Major AJ and interpreted perfectly by Dunnie, the producer. The musical direction is unique, intentional and authentic.
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