May 29, 2014

Editorial Review - #Noir by @Olawumiii

There's really only one way to listen to new music. Sit in your room, turn off your lights, TV, Laptop, and Cell Phone. Turn on your speakers or headphones, and just listen. That is the only way to ensure a complete new musical experience.

You have to attack Olawumi's Noir the same way. For a debut project this is ahead of it's time. As an artist, the Jersey songstress sounds like she's been here before, that's why there is so much potential waiting to be developed. I've heard way too many bloggers and music listeners say the same thing about Olawumi. I'm here to set the record straight for the bloggosphere (yeah I just created that word). They say "She is a cross between Jhene Aiko & SZA." The styles and genres are similar but that's about it. R&B as a whole is changing with the times (this is an entire article waiting to be written). As time goes on R&B has changed into Pop, Hip-Hop, and back into Jazz, then as of recently has just gotten eerie. Producers are taking a different uncanny feeling into their compositions with lots of reverb use. Singers are adding lyrics of love, or sex, or desperation to it. If I had to compare Olawumi to a mainstream artist, I'd say she's Frank Ocean meets The Weeknd and far from Jhene and SZA (maybe it's because she is female).

Anyways, I have an EP to review. I think this is the anthem to my 16 year old self. Noir is a story of Girl meets Boy. Girl loves Boy. Boy disappears. It's Over? It's Over. Oh Well. Time to move on. Anyone who has ever loved and been hurt, and could relate that's word to 500 Days of Summer.

Track One: He Said (Prod. by Cloud Atrium)

Boy meets girl. I imagine this is what women feel like when they first meet a guy they like. When they realize they like him they cling to his word.  He has an aura, a glow even. He said let's go, and she followed. She's telling her friends about him. What I love most about this track is it takes on two parts kinda like how Timbaland likes to do in tracks like in "What Goes Around Comes Around" if you catch my drift.

5, Olawumi shot by Kalani (photo edited by Jonathan Ramsey)
Track two, Dear Boys (Prod by Cloud Atrium)

Acoustic guitars usually signify love of some sort, I think? Well it does in this song. It's short but the message is clear. She is in love. Everything she told her friends in track one is confirmed. She's in love.

Track three, 5 (Prod by Cloud Atrium)

This track released about a month ago. The video for it can be found here. Like I said then, it's repetitive. That's not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes you have to be clear to get your point across. 5 in the morning, she's looking for him. Where is he?

Track four, Soul (Prod by Ambl)

Time has passed. Feelings of love and desperation are gone. She looks down at her phone and he's still in her contacts. She reflects on what happened, "He said he loved, but he really don't. I can't complain." Oh well right? But why did she call him and reach a disconnected number? Perhaps there are feelings still there that contradict what she said. Good ole story of Heart vs. Brain huh? Regardless it's time to move on as she continues to reflect on what he said on a plane it seems. He said "she's the one" but it seems futile now. He just said it "To try to get you some" Then she calls again. No answer.

Track Five, Speeding (Prod by Cloud Atrium)

This one wasn't easily deciphered. I'm not sure if it's an ode to another man or if he came back to love her. She raps more things he said to her on his track, she takes them seriously but she has learned. "You can't speed for love."

You can tell Olawumi was in a dark place in her life when you listen to Noir. I mean Noir is the french word for black if you didn't already know. There's hope though, this was only one story in her life. I love Noir. I would make love to a woman to this EP (which is kinda awkward to say aloud). It portrays a beautiful story I think we all could relate to or have at a point in our lives unless your name is Summer Finn and have a gaping hole where your heart is supposed to be (god I hate her character, and Zooey Deschanel for that matter) and leads straight to your genitals (sorry about that (and all the other parenthesis too, it's just my writing style)). Olawumi has a far way to grow and I cannot wait to watch it take fold. This is an amazing debut EP from start to finish. Production was perfect for her voice. I would like to hear her with more producers in the future. A track produced by Sango or Jeremy Rose would be an awesome match for her. Noir gets 4.15 of 5 Stars on the Ramsey Rating Scale. You can stream it via her soundcloud. Hope you listen and enjoy like I have.
Jonathan C. Ramsey
Jonathan C. Ramsey

Multimedia Journalist, Founder and Chief Editor of WTM Host of A-Side B-Side Podcast and more. I like to talk about stuff and write it down. Sometimes to a microphone. Either way, I need you to feel this.

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