The vocal powerhouse that is the promising emerging artist Buwa, presents to us his debut EP “Road Signs”.
As his powerful high notes resound and recite the feelings we all can relate with in this race called life, Buwa shares his emotional journey in techno, Pop, R&B, and even spoken poetry.
Music for the auspicious young artist has been his safe place, giving him the sense of life and completion (couldn’t get deeper than that, could it?). Being the ‘boy with the big voice’ in the choir during his school days, Buwa has been writing songs from a young age but consciously made an effort to understand himself and his sound before releasing a project such as his Debut EP.
“I believe before any true artiste starts churning out music you really need to understand yourself. Know what makes you you”, he explains.
Buwa did release a song in the year 2014, titled “Under-construction”.
He tells us;
“It was me telling everyone that you may not really hear from me for a while cos I’m building myself”
Purposeful young man, no?
Now with a greater understanding of himself and his music, he describes his sound as, “Soul. A lot of it”. So you can imagine the amount of that soul he has put into this project.
Road Signs. It was emotionally draining. I opened up myself in my music in a way I had not done before. It was hard to put out my darkest moments on paper and even record it for everyone to hear.
We give Buwa the chance to explain the process and meanings behind each individual project on the “Road Signs” EP.
What did I learn from it all? Well the whole EP is about last year; 2015 and all the challenges it came with. So after I learnt hard lessons I took out my pen and paper and wrote. I literally had to write myself out of the pain.
The emotional journey. I honestly don’t know how to explain it but it was draining. A lot of times and even till now I’m scared to let people see how vulnerable I really am…
Road Signs the EP is a survival story and I hope everyone gets the message. Okay so here it goes:
Dreams Come True: This is spoken word and it introduces the intent behind the EP. It was actually the first single out and I wanted that so people can understand what I was trying to pass across. Dreams Come True summarises 2015 and how I was able to overcome my challenges.
Road Signs: I believe in the journey called life we all have our different lanes with different signs. Sometimes we are meant to stop, not go past a certain speed limit, turn left or right. We need to be able to know what the sign is saying and actually obey cos really Road Signs are put in place for our own protection.
Pain your pillow: one of the hardest songs I’ve ever had to write. True story; someone heard this song and shed tears. I didn’t know whether I should feel good or bad. Anyway this song is about two people that did unimaginable things to me at almost the same time.
Burn: After all of the shit of 2015, I had to learn to burn the past away and look forward. Really it’s all about letting go and moving on
Don’t stop believing: I love doing covers so I picked this song by Journey not just because it’s an amazing song but because it helped me move on when I was dealing with all my shit. I really wanted something very simple but powerful. I’m not about that cliche look, you know the one with the fancy blazers and exquisite location and a hat. I needed something that really captured the meaning of the work, so that was why I picked that cover. It’s really me continuing my journey in life having overcoming one set of challenges.”
Did I mention there is a video to the explosive Spoken word piece, “Dreams Come True”?
Bar any previous acting experience, Buwa aptly portrays the universal feelings of despair, fear, frustration and anxiety. He shares his experience with us:
“First off I had to lie down on the floor for Lex Ash and Mohini Ufeli. They shot the video and helped bring my vision to life. Lex Ash fine tuned the storyline and Mohini captured me in ways I never knew I could be captured. I’ve never had any acting experience in the past but I had Lex Ash push me to get the right emotion out of me. The whole idea was to show how messy my mind was and probably still is. I believe the greatest demon we have to battle as humans is our mind and mine put up one hell of a fight and still is. If you watch it well, you’ll see how I overcame my mind which in turn helped me overcome reality.
We had a lot of fun behind the scenes; I had a few friends help me out; Obichi Marshall who played the “devil”, Segun Erinfolami, Jemima Ejiga who did the makeup, and Pamilerin Daniel. But the funniest thing that happened was how Lex Ash kept making me roll in rat poop so I’d look really filthy”
Dyksen, K9, Dammiechordz and Skweird were the producers behind the amazing sounds of this project. We also hear the enchanting vocals of Preye on Dreams Come True.
“Skweird is a genius. I called him up and told him what I wanted and after going back and forth a few times he sent me something he did with the lovely Preye Itams and that was how “Dreams Come True” was born”
The infectious flow and Lyrics on Burn were by J Swiss.
“Jamal Swiss was there during the “Burning” process so it only made sense to have him on the song and may I mention that he KILLED it”.
Still in the light of collaborations, Buwa tells us who he’d love to work with in the future.
“Ms Jill Scott, Ms Lauryn Hill, The Dream, Emeli Sande, Asa, Alicia Keys. I’ll also love Muyiwa to write me a song. I think he’s a fantastic writer”
Have to admit that the boy has taste!
A young artist who seems so sure of what he wants and what he wants to do musically, I had to ask this question:
How do you plan to stay true to yourself and true to your art in a world where commerciality is key to mainstream success?
And this was his reply:
“… I always tell myself that I want to be happy 15 years from now when I’m performing my songs. It’s good to be “commercial” and do what everyone is doing and there really is a space and large market for it but I honestly have to be true to myself. I can’t be anyone else, it doesn’t look good on me. Imagine if I land a Vegas residency when I’m 50 and I have to keep performing songs I hate over and over again. I wouldn’t exactly enjoy or be comfortable doing it so I can’t sell my soul for momentary fame. As far as I can sing and write, there would be someone to listen. Does this mean I won’t explore other genres.. Nope, but while doing that I would be very true to myself. The sky is big enough for all stars to shine and we come in different shapes and sizes”
Aforementioned, Buwa is a songwriter so I wondered what song he’d wish was his.
What song out there right now old school or current do you wish you wrote yourself?
Interestingly, this was his reply:
“This is weird but I always wish I wrote “Single Ladies by Beyoncé” Whenever I listen to the song I just hate The-Dream the more for writing a song that would last a lifetime. Lol”
All signs lead to Road Signs which is now available for download right here, and of course available to stream on Soundcloud.