And the primary drivers of this amelioration are usually artists from outside the crucible of Africa’s main entertainment hub, Lagos; providing new impetus, verve, and imagery to our music to become more visible than ever before and leading to a widening of the pool of what the genre can look and sound like.
Rising singer, Kaptain, is one of the leading proponents of this change, leading the charge with his distinctive spry vocals and chill delivery styles that meld message and style into a vibrant mosaic of afrofusion that subsumes tonality and substance.
In the last two years, the singer who was born and bred in Benin City has introduced that distilled brand of jazz-inflected delivery to the wider world, sharing successful tapes like 2020’s Kapacity and Love Ship.
Last week, ahead of the release of his debut album, Beyond Any Reasonable Doubt, the singer returned with a new song titled ‘Non Stop’ featuring another popular afropop singer, Teni.
Over a groovy instrumental produced by Mikaba, Kaptain sings about moving ahead with his life regardless of any stumbling block because a divine figure orchestrates the direction of his life.
Between reflecting on his life, luxuriating in his success, and certifying his artistic credentials, Beyond Any Reasonable Doubt offers a panoramic view of Kaptain’s talent moving across 12 tracks to show why the singer is so highly tipped for success.
Beyond Any Reasonable Doubt starts with a titular track that big ups the artist’s ability with a splendid opener contributed by Moonlight—combining a therapeutic candor and world-building to create an unsinkable record.
The next track, another collaboration, this time with Boy Xander, titled ‘ON MY OWN’ is an innovative 3rd person perspective story of heartbreak and disloyalty that features some emotive songwriting from the singer.
Many times on Beyond Any Reasonable Doubt, Kaptain relies on his flexible delivery pattern to carry him through tracks, drawing out words and teasing pockets of sounds within sentences on songs like ‘KAPACHINO’ and ‘BAE.’
The middle of the album is memorialized by a series of love ballads that are as heartfelt as they are soulful: ‘SURE’ really is a tale of assurance and ‘MISSING’ talks about the effect a partner can have on their lover in tandem with Parpae.
Keen to return focus to his hustle and grind, the lower half of Beyond Any Reasonable Doubt is packed with songs about being impervious. The Mikaba-produced ‘NON STOP’ with Teni is a party starter and ‘FREE’ is as good an admiration of courage as the singer squares up to his fears and indeed the shared fears of most of Nigeria’s young population.
Many times in the last three years, bodies of work have been crafted with the intention of bringing the work of different cities to a different audience but on Beyond Any Reasonable Doubt, Kaptain brings the world to the core and tensions of his artistry without missing a beat.