By Chiagoziem Onyekwena
ARTISTE – Sean Tizzle
TITLE – The Journey
LEAD SINGLE – Sho Lee
PRODUCTION – D’Tunes, Prince Boom
GUEST ARTISTES – 9ice, Iceprince, KCee, Naeto C, Olamide, Reminisce, Tiwa Savage
RECORD LABEL – Difference Entertainment
DURATION – 73 minutes
In the impractical business that is royalty collection in Nigeria, COSON’s umbrella is hardly big enough to cover artistes, never mind the others behind them. Interestingly, by law COSON may not actually owe producers any protection. Intellectual property expert Rotimi Fawole argues that if a producer is paid off for their work, then the transaction is deemed work-for-hire and his claims to the property end there. Going forward, all copyrights then belong to the record label.
So with no one to look after the producer’s interest in this matter, why not just become the record labels as well? Taking a leaf from Nelson Brown, Don Jazzy and Cobhams before him, the rave producer of 2012/13 – D’Tunes did just that. He’s set up Difference Entertainment and made Sean Tizzle its first signing.
Sean Tizzle and co are in a hurry to be great – the window between the release of the album’s intended first single Sho Lee and the album itself was about a year. Now, in clinching a Headie, it is true that that year has been an eventful one for the Ondo state native. However, it is also true that in Nigerian music, a year is hardly enough time for listeners to buy into an artiste or their sound – a sound that occasionally, Sean and D’Tunes seem to still be searching for. He sounds like a poor man’s 2face Idibia on the syrupy Could this be Love and unashamedly so, shouting 2 Baba out as the song fades. He then takes his position on the queue of artistes trying to milk the ‘oh, it’s suddenly cool to sing in Igbo’ cow on the KCEE-assisted All the Way. To be fair to him however, occasions such as these are few and far between. The Journey maintains a consistent mid-tempo vibe, so even if the rest of us are still discovering Mr. Tizzle’s sound, it’s relieving to know Sean himself has found it.
If first albums are supposed to be introductions, then at 17 songs with 0 skits, Sean Tizzle is like that girl you just met who you asked for her number but she goes on to tell you how her junior brother didn’t pass common entrance this year. Too much info too soon. Impressively, Tizzle doesn’t sacrifice quality for quantity; there are good portions of the album that are largely unskippable. One such portion is from track 9 to 12 – starting from the bouncy Duro and transitioning to the trumpet-accented Igi Orombo. These songs and songs in between approach love but from widely different angles and this album excels when it dwells on this subject. Brilliance happens in patches as well, the album’s opener Perfect Gentleman is a brilliant wedding song, while the warm reception Kilogbe has received has already warranted a remix with Reminisce and Olamide.
At the start of this review, if I bored you with all that legal stuff, please forgive me. If however, you pick up this album and you’re disappointed to find that the monster hit Sho Lee is absent, forgive Sean – it was because of more legal stuff which I have no intention to continue to bore you with. In its absence however, Sean displays enough on the Journey to hint that Sho Lee wasn’t a one-off and there’s plenty more quality where that came from.
ALBUM RATING – 3.5/5
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