In an unprecedented manner last week, Sauti Sol released ‘Girl Next Door’, their second track in the drum up to their upcoming ‘African Sauce’ LP scheduled for sometime later this year, and the single features Nigeria’s queen of pop, Tiwa Savage. The gravity of this latest collaboration goes to show the caliber we’re likely to witness in this new phase of the country’s biggest musicians.
‘Juu kelele za matha, landlord na madrama, na kichwani umejaza Mawazo. Niko tayari kusurrender na kusema na kutenda ila tu wewe unipe Mkono… Baby let’s roll out’ are the mellifluous lyrics that roll out of Bien Aime and Savara‘s tongues, thanks to some mesmerizing word play that can only be from the extremely talented and equally distinct songwriter Fena. Polycarp’s heavy string-line gives ‘Girl Next Door’ the character and pizazz it demands, with Chimano’s rich staccato baritone honing in on a complete killer 360 degree mellow.
This track is an apparent slow-down from the group’s previous hits, and a tone down from the controversy that the beautifully created ‘Melanin’ caused. But this is a band that’s mastered the art of crisis manipulation, and one really would not expect anything less.
The new single is produced by the sensational Maleek Berry, peppered with Polycarp’s renowned fancy guitar riffs and mixed and mastered by Supersonic Africa, who have been involved in a whole lot of the Coke Studio Africa production. Fena Gitu is listed as a co-writer, alongside Sauti Sol themselves, and of course, Tiwa Savage.
Tiwa. Isn’t it amazing when you can listen to a globally renowned, more so African songstress, sing in Kiswahili like its her second dialect? Even if it is just one word! ‘I see seh you de like to kick it on the low, I know you wanna get a taste of my flavour SANA, boy next door’ she sings sweetly, in a tone that can only be hers.
The music video was shot in Lagos, Nigeria, with a rustique and African-esque vibe which they are continuing from ‘Melanin’. It’s also directed by Unlimited LA, and I’m rather interested in their choice of West Africa as the setting for this new wavy Sauti Sol sound of 2018.
“It’s been such an honor to work with Sauti Sol as I have been a big fan of their work since their first album ‘MWANZO’ back in 2008,” says Tiwa Savage, adding that, “I am looking forward to us performing Girl Next Door live in Kenya in the near future.”
In 2018, Sauti Sol also plan to unveil a song each month off the AFRIKAN SAUCE LP.