It’s been almost three years since Nigerian singer and record producer, Augustine Miles Kelechukwu, FKA Tekno, tried to recapture the essence of “old romance” on his 2020 debut full-length release, Old Romance. The album came with a cover art that creatively alluded to Adam and Eve, but the music failed to express the classic love experience it was packaged to.

The audience he was romancing gave his first album a cold reception, so it seems Tekno went back to the drawing board, took some time to rediscover his essence, before forging ahead again to produce another body of work.

Tekno has kept a mostly low profile, releasing a slew of singles, features and his JINJA EP, but on September 1, 2023, he returned with his sophomore album, The More The Better. With production services from June Nawakii (Twice Shy and Flashing Lights), Taylor Ross and Tuzi (The More The Better, Regina and Can’t Chase. Fiokee produced King of Pop with DJ Coublon; the co-producer with Selebobo and Tekno on Lokation. Egar Boi made Peppermint, Permit and Borrow. Insane Chips is the guy who patterns Peace of Mind and Pocket beats. Ace producer Kriz Beats made Play

Album art (Spotify)

Once we clicked the play button, the unexpected sample of a classic song instantly grabbed our attention. On the opening track, Twice Shy, British singer-songwriter Dido’s vocals on Thank You spins on a piano chord, meshing into soft jagala drums and 808 bass with lyrics about triumphing over trials and tribulations. Famous for his love songs, has Tekno found a new direction to relaunch himself? After an unsuccessful debut that almost turned him into a has-been, Tekno preaches about staying positive and focused on all the hard work he puts into creating his art.

Tekno borrows a line from African China’s Mr. President, with “Food no dey, water no dey”, but unlike the socio-politically conscious song, Twice Shy is the song of reassurance Nigerians need today. Inspired by the saying, “Once bitten, twice shy”, Tekno subtly suggests that his listeners mindfully focus on self instead of calling on and waiting for the Mr. Presidents who’ve neglected the masses since African China spoke up in 2000.

Listen keenly and you’ll appreciate the effort that must’ve been put into scribing well-thought lines. Tekno has greatly improved himself. He gets into a feel-good groove on the titular track, The More The Better. Enjoyment is part and parcel of Nigerian culture. This is what Tekno melodiously articulates in simple rhymes on Tuzi’s mid-tempo afrobeats production with guitar chords that speak in highlife. Despite life’s challenges, man will still seek pleasure.

Tekno’s voice has changed a bit since he suffered acid reflux and had surgery in 2019, but he pushed through that to produce soothing vocals with a laid-back delivery that runs throughout the album. 

Cutting through, Flashing Lights, a slowed-down dancehall with resounding synths and harmonic background vocals, Tekno delivers one of the real jams on the album. It’s like an afrobeats version of singing-in-the-rain r&b — the type of song that makes you close your eyes to listen and then passionately praise your love interest while longing for physical intimacy.

On Peppermint, we jump into the unique, party starter sound and style of Alhaji Tekno — pop-esque, fast-paced, slapping drums and repetitive lyrics. It’ll bang extra hard if he gets in African Chris Brown mode and performs a choreography whenever he decides to shoot the music video. 

The Tekno party carries on into King of Pop, a musical breed of makossa and afrobeats. Hyped AF, Tekno gets the dance floor busy with his bright energy, owambe piano keys, body-jerking percussion, Fiokee’s guitar, a sample of Fela’s Shakara and adlibs reminiscent of Awilo Logomba. King of Pop is Tekno’s subtle reminder that he’s the best at making party jams when he wants to. This one is for a local setting like a bar with dull, multicoloured lights.

Tekno tunes down the party to reflect on his Peace of Mind on the sixth track. Through emotive songwriting, he vaguely recounts his humble beginning and sings about patience, blessings and contentment. Generic as the lyrics may be, Tekno shows faith in this new body of work, he’s ready to seize the moment it’ll create for him and you can’t tell him shit. His delivery blends with the to-match afrobeats production from Insane Chips.

Lokation has quelled log-drums and sparse guitar strings all over it, providing a lush medium for Tekno to ask about the whereabouts of a romance partner, as he shalayes about the love that’s got him hooked. He boasts that only kayamata can make him love like that. That can’t be healthy.

In Pocket, Tekno slips back into party mode to spread his motivational message of enjoyment, positive vibes and financial freedom with fast tempo, infectious drum patterns and his usual playful interjections. Permit employs thumping log-drums, fiddling guitar strings and simple drumlines. He swings between flattery and committing to spending all his money on his love interest — all the afrobeats lamba. 

On Borrow, Tekno switches up his vibe and delivery and enters a fresh zone within the confines of african percussion instruments. Tekno spices things up with a backup choir in the chorus, chanting “Borrow borrow”. With the basicest of lyrics, the song further preaches that personal contentment is key for happiness.

On Regina, Tekno brings down the tempo again with konto drums and lush guitar touches to lay bare his romantic feelings, singing lines like “You be original, no substandard”. Biting off his early reggae-dancehall influence, Tekno spits it into the second verse, complemented by our emo boy, CKay — the only feature on the album — who says, “I like you way too much / E be like my brain dey touch.” Please, is this what love makes people feel?

“Na play-play, na play-play, na play-play, we take reach where we dey,” is the leading statement on Play, before Tekno sings about all the nights he tearfully sought the face of God in prayers to make an evident success out of a bleak beginning. Throwing all his gratitude to sky daddy, a children’s choir aids his thanksgiving, but the best thing about this song is its introspection and subtle political statement.

Tekno observes that everyone’s nonchalance has pushed Nigeria to its current sorry state. He takes from 2Face’s For Instance and African China’s Mr. President once more, while maintaining a mix that’ll slap as a political rally jam and a special number at church events.

The album closes out with Can’t Chase in which he confesses that he’s too lazy to go through a talking stage or apply pressure to win the love of his life — an emotional song about having no emotions. It’s sweet and toxic, clearly his perspective on relationships. It’s whispering red flags as Tekno Miles melodiously rocks Tuzi’s afrobashment (AKA afroswing) instrumental.

The More The Better is a thoroughly enjoyable album overall, an applaudable improvement from his last work. The brilliant sequence makes it a no-skip project for us. Doubling down on a refined version of his signature style, Tekno spices up the current afrobeats soundscape with a sprinkle of classic songs from Dido and Africa’s Fela, Awilo Logomba and African China. We only hope Tekno gives the album the proper marketing and promotion it deserves.

According to popular belief, sophomore albums are cursed, but The More The Better breaks the jinx to become Tekno’s best body of work so far. Even the album art, which features a three-headed Tekno, symbolises the transcendental spirit of expanding beyond one’s personal limits, an idea that shines through this album and cements Tekno as a returning Afrobeats champion.

Zikoko’s Burning Ram meat festival is coming soon. We can’t promise to bring Tekno, but you’ll stand a chance to win a live ram if you attend. Stay tuned.



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