#BumpThis: Lady Donli’s “Corner” w/ Van Jess & The Cavemen

August 10, 2019

There’s so much music out there that it’s hard for even the most loyal fans to stay up with their favourite artists or what’s new and hot right now. That’s why we’ve created #BumpThis – a daily series that features the one song you need to listen to, every day. Don’t say we never did anything for you.

Lady Donli has never been too shy to let us into her journey or more importantly, the mind and emotions that drive her decisions. Her impressive catalogue is a run through an individual’s evolution from an awkward teenage prospect to a self-assured woman. It is perhaps why “Enjoy Your Life”, the title of her 15-track debut album sounds like a decision made on a night at the beach after years of chasing her dreams.

“Corner”, one of the project’s standouts shows why that title and the decision are perfect. In the last few months, Lady Donli has added a more contemporary, highlife element to her music. Merged with her jazz leanings, it’s produced a smooth, mid-tempo sound that’s a perfect entry point for fans across generations.

The song opens with a choral rendition that feels lifted from an Igbo highlife song, or more recently, folk hits from the 1990s. Donli sticks with that feel as she sings in a hushed tone about a love interest who’s playing tricks or ‘corner corner’ on her. The Cavemen, a stellar band who she’s worked with on songs like “Cash” provides a minimalist bed of live instrumentation. It’s perfect for Lady Donli to evoke her inner Madam, with help from Van Jess, a Nigerian-American R&B duo composed of sisters Ivana and Jessica Nwokike.

Seen by many as the First Lady of Nigeria’s much-vaunted Alte scene, the new album from Lady Donli (or Madam President to you common folk) sounds like a journey through decades of Nigerian sound.

The culture is more than safe in her hands.

Listen to “Corner” and the “Enjoy Your Life” album on Apple Music and Spotify.

Segun Akande

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