Fast rising Afropop diva, Imanse, who has been away in the United States for over a decade, is back with a bang. Indeed, one would expect Western influence to form the crux of her art delivery, bearing vague African texture to it; but on the contrary, the songstress last Saturday reminded all those present at Oriental Hotels, Lekki, Lagos, venue of the unveiling of her new EP, Hard Earned Feelings, of the African soul she possessed through her energetic performance.
A red carpet session heralded the EP launch with guests gracing the stand and posing for the paparazzi while others took time to sample treats in the hallway. Donning a knee-high slit gown and gold adornments, Imanse made her way to the red carpet to cheers and claps from members of the audience. A showcase for Imanse, the event doubled as a platform for upcoming singers, comedians and fashion designers to exhibit artsy offerings.
Taking to the stage, Imanse emerged from the low-lit portion of the elevated platform with four backup dancers to perform her debut single, Gbona. Stripped to minimal instrumentals, efflorescent background lighting, and live vocals, she mellowed the guests into the ambience of the chandelier decorated hall with her well articulated hums before bursting into an eruptive, near-perfect synchronized choreography, flanked by her backup dancers.
“I honestly always had the passion for music,” Imanse stated while expressing her passion and drive for singing. “I think after doing it for as much as I did it, music was always pulling me and eventually I gave in. I was at work one day… in fact, a lot of times at work I wrote songs; it’s like this heavy burden or heavy passion to write. I am always writing. Distracted a little bit from where I was actually working, so I was like, let me go for this full-time.”
Hard Earned Feelings is a fusion of Afropop, R&B and soul genres. Boasting of six tracks and one bonus track, Gbona remix, the EP explores themes of love and female empowerment. Gbona was released in 2014 as her first single but was later revisited for a remix in 2016 with collaborative efforts from Falz.
Asides Gbona, another track, Sarewale features another Nigerian act, Dipo. The EP has the likes of Cobhams Asuquo, DJ Coublon, Ikon, Spax, JCHEF and Licious Crackitt on the production aspect of the project.
With much work put into her artistry and onstage persona, Imanse dreams of one day becoming a revered act in the music industry.
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Author: Uche Atuma