Yesterday evening, Odunsi [The Engine] held a listening party for his debut album, rare. with his friends, family and fortunate fans. The evening was disco-themed, and if it wasn't obvious why from the project's latest single, "divine", it became abundantly clear once the album started playing.
The introductory track, "rare" immediately tips you off to the '80s and '90s vibes that are to come. The narrator instructs you to get your groove on "in this hard and funky town", Lagos, before the track seamlessly seeps into "falling", a hypnotic, funk-soaked love song.
Combining his eclectic taste with his universal sonic influences, which he revealed on his Instagram earlier this week, Odunsi has created a brilliant debut project that is incomparable and truly rare — an incredibly apt title.
Unlike most stars, Odunsi is conspicuously self-expressive. From his social media to his music, this rising star never fails to divulge his experiences and the emotions they bring him, and this openness makes him one of the most evocative Nigerian artists working today.
On the 13-track gem, rare., Odunsi remains a lover-boy, but he also goes deep, discussing his anxiety; his relationship with his mother; his turbulent past; and his mortality. Odunsi's vulnerability in his music is extremely refreshing, much like the songs themselves.
rare. — as he insists we stylise it — was definitely worth the wait.