Niniola: Light and Dense in Wrong Places.
Around December 7, 2016; somewhere in Karu, Niger State on a beautiful morning, a curvy, dark skinned woman crooned a song titled “Soke” on MTVBase. It was instant love; her style was effortless, her make belief acting was perfection, with a perfect dose of hilarity in tow. The best part was, you knew she was a natural. I discussed her with my friend Ayo for minutes after, even speculating she was a Unilag alumnus — we were right.
In all that beauty, certain things were obvious and quite understandable; her (fashion) style was way off and she was hungry for success, with a rich dose of talent to boot. When you’re starting out, certain things can be overlooked, but those things become unaffordable luxury for judges when you become a silver screen mainstay.
Niniola has matured, more people are aware of what she possesses, and for that, I’m grateful, happy and frankly flattered that I was right — bite me. Niniola is still growing, but she definitely is on a path to greatness if she continues working and pushing boundaries, more importantly though, if she keeps prodding originality.
Recently however, certain things flaws have come to the fore, albeit a bit subtle; Niniola’s songs are lacking in content density and progressive quality, prone to the odd rhythmic repetition of predominant words or phrases and her style, seems a bit off — it’s either too light or too heavy, burying her face in ugly art and drawing unnecessary attention to pointless features.
On songs like Sicker and Maradona, Nini sadly rode the wave of another Uncanny ability of hers — great ear for beats. Both songs are light and the average person won’t notice the things I say, but when you’ve listened to Nini for a while, you’ll know she might have put those songs together a bit hastily, or maybe even lazily. She’s better than that and I hope she realizes. Fans are enjoying her, and for that I’m so happy but it might not last if she continues on this path, because her songs will seem a regurgitation eventually.
She should put in work to change sonic diversity and control the beat; putting her marks and skills on it, not hide behind its brilliance to craft hits. Niniola has the words in her for us to hear same rhythmic words or phrases for 30 seconds at a time 4–5 times in a song, even if that’s the chorus. There’s a reason Wizkid’s Come Closer isn’t bigger than it is. It’s because its chorus was hastily and lazily put together but that’s a story for another day. Niniola can’t afford to thread the same path, I’m loathe to seeing her talent become another casualty of latent entitlement manifesting as laziness and lack of meticulous appetite. Those beats deserve the real Niniola we heard on Soke when she had an appetite for density. Sadly though, that’s the weakness of quite a handful of Nigerian would be talents with world class potential.
Her style is a much simpler, but equally pertinent issue. I’m no fashion blogger or stylist, but I’ve always been prone to the odd fashion critique and meticulous outfit choice, even though I’m not rich enough to have a style yet — lol. Although, my sister sometimes jokes that it’s a miracle I’m not gay which I think is an exaggeration. Niniola’s make up and hair usually seem to heavy, in conflict or just simply off. Make up, fashion and hair are forms of art on their own. Sometimes, simplicity is an affordable that seems a luxury to certain folks.
In the Maradona music video for example, her make up while dancing beside the pool and the one right at the end make her look scary and are way too heavy. In the Sicker video, her make up, hair in the scene where she had a jump suit on were just off. Her stylists and make up artists need to understand the concept of simplicity. Even if it’s repititive, leave it that way. Tiwa Savage is a constant victim of this mishap. The only time Tiwa Savage has ever looked perfect was in her Wanted music video — it’s not about the raunchy feat, you perv.
I love Niniola, but at the juncture, density and simplicity are in the wrong places with her. Imagine what a switch up could do for her brand… She will definitely break boundaries. I love her, and I hope she gets it right.
By PennedMusingsNG for Urban Central @Weird_Liberal on Twitter
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