Leriq did something fucking amazing last year and we all missed it

A lot of events happened in Nigerian music last year. Some built around the widespread acceptance of former indigenous industry rebels as the new rulers of the soundscape as championed by Olamide. And then there was the arrival of an internationally recognized Nigerian sound system via Davido and Wizkid as foretold by the elders many many years ago. Any way, between trying to keep up with Olamide and Lil Kesh’s back to back hits or Wizkid and Davido’s unending PR battles, we all missed something spectacular credited to Leriq in 2015.

His Lost Sounds debut collective.
LeriQ-The-Lost-Sounds-Art

Isn’t it ironic that an album titled Lost Sounds literally got lost in the noise of Nigerian music in 2015? Well, that about explains what happened to Leriq’s debut album after its botched June release last year.

The question of the influence producers and DJ actually have on songs entirely shouldered by guest artistes has always been a subject of discussion. Some of the arguments that have been raised are reactionary to the stereotype that producers are expected to be behind buttons while artistes stay in the booth. But over the years, with the success of Billboard chart toppers like Diplo, Calvin Harris, DJ Khaled, Avicii amongst others who have played major roles, curating some of the biggest hits of the 2010s with stellar instrumentation and guest vocals, the music world has brought the questions forward again with new answers. None of which still explains why Leriq’s album sailed under the Nigerian music radar without reaping its full benefits last year.

Jumbo-packed with a track list of 20 songs featuring some of Africa’s unarguable bests, a mere glance of Wizkid, Cassper Nyovest, 2face Idibia, Nneka and Timaya on the same album already set Leriq and his Lost Sounds collective up for a music innovator/innovation spotlight.

The rest of the shine the album takes goes to stellar production and the most unlikely drawing of  influences from details as minute as small nuances of Hausa Kalangu music to reggae dance hall tracks and even the more abstract but spread-out detailed European EDM. Leriq shuffles between making the best use of his guest vocals and morphing the instrumentals to paint the image he wants any listener to see while the song plays.

We don’t have many answers for the lack of attention paid to Leriq’s album, but this record is sure to be pop culture gold in the coming years. The Lost Sounds is not only made up of a collection of sonically bound singles, but a transcendental artwork as an album housing talents like Burna Boy, Wizkid, Cassper Nyovest who are all set for the international stage and outliers like 2face, Nneka, who were some of the first to re-open shut doors and give African music another voice of its own.

Between music videos and better promotion, we feel Aristokrat Records and Sony RCA should be doing a lot more to ensure this album gets a very much deserved respect for Leriq’s work and his music but if you want an actual scoop on the contents of the album, you can get it here.

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