It’s nearly impossible for any new artist to evade comparison.
Whether to understand by finding something usual or just fear of the unknown, listeners tend to place the new next to the familiar.
An artist sitting firmly on a background in R&B with subtle influences of Nigerian pop would be eager to escape such quick attempts at judgement.
Instead, within the context of a duet from her debut body of work released on her birthday, Dami Oniru chooses to let her sound and subtle nods to a few contemporary influences do the talking.
Three years after her first single “Iyawo”, Dami Oniru is a long way off from the musician who once shyly described her music as alternative.
There’s little sign of that uncertainty on “See”, a deeply ambient invitation to intimacy featuring Remy Baggins.
Fresh from her newly-released “Bri’s Lounge” EP, “See” is a confident take on the lover’s duet that merges all her influences.
Led by deep synths, Dami Oniru asks an admirer to put his words where his eyes are.
“See” offers a more pop-leaning sound than most of Dami’s older work but she makes it her’s nonetheless.
The basics are there – emotive melodies, honest writing and a staggered build-up to the hook.
It’s familiar stuff – firmly in the lane of peers like a pre-2017 Seyi Shay even. But it is as confident as anyone with decades on Dami as ever sounded.
The lyrics urge obedience to the extent of being outright commands. Just as Dami boldly lets loose with an oddly pleasing “Give it to them” adlib.
Remy Baggins, who also produced the song, is a willing accomplice and lover who meets Dami Oniru halfway in tone and messaging.
Dami Oniru’s new self-assuredness is most evident at the song’s end where she cheekily interpolates iconic lines from Nigerian urban hits from the 2000s.
Jazzman Olofin’s “Raise The Roof” and Adewale Ayuba’s “Ijo Fuji” help her bring the curtains down on this instant love story.
“See” is a statement of intent from one of Nigerian music’s most exciting music talents.
Listen to Dami Oniru’s new EP “Bri’s Lounge” here.