Nigerian record producers have in the past two decades, been the heart and soul of the Nigerian music industry. They have defined the African sound and have created the playing field on which Nigerian singers thrive today. Unlike in the 80s and 90s when singers had to learn to be instrumentalists—or sometimes—multi-instrumentalists, now all that is required of them is to form symbiotic relationships with their producers. However, this method has placed the singers in the limelight, leaving the equally hardworking producers in the shadows.
Nevertheless, in recent times, producers have been demanding a slice of the pie. Sarz Is Not Your Mate (SINYM) by Sarz in 2019, Hear Me Out by Pheelz, and Too Late Too Lit by Kiddominant in 2021, all stand out as quality bodies of work from the record producing community… indicating that they are capable of putting out a complete project.
Sarz is a household name in the Nigerian music industry. Having mixed and mastered classics like “Kondo” by Dagrin, “Jaiye Jaiye” by WizKid ft Femi Kuti, and internationally acclaimed “Come Closer” by WizKid ft Drake, he can boast of his place in the Nigerian music hall of fame. However, it took this talented record producer twelve years to release a body of work in his name.
And when it finally dropped, it dropped hard!
With SINYM released in 2019, Sarz was already making a subtle diss at his colleagues in the industry. A six-track electrifying Afro fusion project with mostly instrumentals, SINYM left every producer wondering what they have been doing wrong. But to an average listener, it leaves an overall feeling of want. As much as the tracks left listeners with a strong desire to put on their dancing shoes, they were quickly forgotten by the masses due to the lack of lyrics on the EP. The track Good Morning Riddim, however, stands out from the pack.
Sarz made up for his failings with SINYM by collaborating with Wurld on his next project: I LOVE GIRLS WITH TROBUL. Sarz dished out the beats, and Wurld delivered the matching vocals, leading to a dual effort of sonic capabilities that created a masterful symphony. Sarz, therefore, had one job on LV N ATTN (pronounced: Love and Attention); to find another crooner like Wurld and make another amazing LP. He met with Lojay, making an EP instead.
Lojay is rising and he is rising fast. A singer/songwriter from Lagos, Lojay is a proof of the numerous musical talents lying embedded and undiscovered within Nigerian youths. It is important to note that Sarz ditched his usual red coloured approach for his album covers for Lojay’s preferred blue. A subtle statement that announced Lojay’s entry into the Nigerian mainstream.
For a debut EP, Lojay did incredibly well in LV N ATTN. Having released “ARIEL” (produced by Telz) as far back as 2019, he has been slowly digging his way to mainstream entertainment. During the LV N ATTN EP roll out, Sarz described his sound as “Afrobeats with a twist” and rightly so. There is something immensely melodic and satisfying about Lojay’s lyricism and tone; a strength he made sure to showcase on his debut EP.
LV N ATTN is a 5—track EP, and as the name suggests, an album about love and attention. In “Panty!” Lojay described a lover’s body with romantic poetry as he craves her attention by saying:
/Girl don’t leave run go/
However, telling a girl: /follow my command like zombie/ leaves very little to be desired lyrically. The WizKid’s feature on the 3rd track “LV N ATTN” was carefully placed at the centre of the EP’s track listing. An attempt to force in the Wizkid-Sarz nostalgia. Although WizKid’s verse was sweet to the ears, it disrupted the overall Lojay-Sarz experience, leading to the conclusion that the EP would have been fine without it.
“Monalisa” is probably the best track on the EP, the music leaving a vibrant imprint on any listener. It was a smooth reminder of what Sarz alongside a melodic crooner did to our bodies in the past with songs like “Get Up” ft DJ Tunez and Flash. “Tonongo”, which was previously released as a single off the EP, is a song about a stripper and what she can do with her alluring endowment. Lojay could be heard saying:
/you win the ass cheek ballon d’or/ /Put all your soul into it/
Sarz has a knack for naming his album (LPs and EPs) in clauses, like “Sarz Is Not Your Mate” and “I LOVE GIRLS WITH TROBUL”. But in this one, not only did he reduce the title to a simple phrase, he went ahead to reduce the alphabetical spelling from Love and Attention, to simply LV N ATTN.
Album score: 8.0 / 10