Music review: Omawumi and Angelique Kidjo are a solid match on Play na Play

Them no dey use crocodile dey take dey do playmate/you suppose to know yourself when you see person wey no straight

Whether Omawumi had the better Hello version or not, one thing is certain; this wonder woman can sing.

Ahead of her soon to be announced forthcoming album, Omawumi released the audio and visuals for the song Play na Play which features vocals from Grammy award winning songstress, Angelique Kidjo.

First things we noticed.

This instrumentation on this song is brilliant. According to, this Cobhams Asuquo produced song is the first of an album made up entirely of live recordings. The background instrumentals are a quartet fusion of sounds from four different origins. Loud jazz trumpets and mellow piano chords are fused with Yoruba bata drums and Hausa Kalangu guitar chords, then married with a fusion of a rhythm guitar, a metallic shaker and bass guitar buried deep into the lowest level of the sound arrangement. The result of the musical higi haga analysed above is an international standard production that could only have been made by Cohbams.


Play na Play listens like a mother’s somber lullaby to a beloved child as she cautions the child not to lose sight while treading dangerous waters. The first frame of the video opens with a symbolic chess board which is relatable to the song’s title. The singer’s name on African tribal inscriptions is brought into focus in the next frame as she lip-synchs the words Play na play, na joke na joke/ Joke na person name. Omawumi coasts through the rest of the song giving advice about the need to test murky waters before jumping in for a swim. Although the song gets super preachy, almost to a self righteous fault, Omawumi and Kidjo’s distinct voices will keep you connected till you hit your 100th replay.

The video

The video was shot in New Jersey, USA by director, George Steuber. There’s a heavy use of the chessboard imagery throughout the video. An unknown hand knocks down chess pieces from a board at random intervals throughout the video. The floors in some scenes are also designed with this same Freemason-inspired chessboard pattern. This is symbolic for the song’s themes of action and consequences.
The set of the video is littered with African instruments. Drummers are also appropriately dressed in Western African influenced local attire. The video is littered with African prints and both Omawumi and the veteran Kidjo shine through the song with a pure African glow. While the former flashes sultry smiles, the latter displays some dance moves reminiscent of her days as Africa’s premier diva.

Omawunmi is ready to take on the world with more mature music; international grade music and clearly she’s going to do that with style.


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