Music Review: Barbara Olesi’s Niokoe Is Worth A Listen

Two weeks ago, I was brought to the attention of Barbara Olesi’s latest song, Niokoe. It was the first time I was hearing of Barbara, and therefore, did not know what to expect. I could only make, from the title, that the song was gospel. I finally listed to the song – and watched its video – two days ago, when the song was already a month old.

Niokoe is a groovy song that grows on you. It was produced by Gittx of Rhyme X Production. Gittx is a great producer who has worked with artists such as Juliani, Nasara, Bire the Vocalist and Kris Eh Baba. The moment I saw his name as the audio producer, I knew I will not have to worry about the instrumental part of the song. Gittz does deliver, from the beginning, to the bridge that ushers in the chorus, the guitar part that comes before the second stanza and finally to the climax when the instruments are accentuated as the song comes to an end.

Gittx describes Barbara as an ‘amazing and talented musician who is open minded, experimental and knows how to write music.’ True to his word, Niokoe is well written. In my opinion, it is a gospel song. Not those songs that are termed gospel because the word God was thrown somewhere. It talks about God saying that we need to ask and pray for anything and He will provide. The artist however, has been asking and praying but it is like God has not been answering her. She therefore asks God to come save and deliver her. The caption on the YouTube video is that the song was written when the artist was praying for something and God did come through for her in a way she did not expect. The song is therefore meant to encourage anyone going through difficulties- that they should continue trusting in God and He will save them.

The video is a little bit confusing. I think less than four minutes was not enough to portray what the director had in mind well. The story line is that there are two ladies, a house-help and a well to do lady, both played by one person. The house-help has a husband (captured at the very beginning of the song) while the well to do lady has a child. They both want what the other has and this makes them jealous of each other. The video was shot in one location – at a friend’s house. As simple as it looks, it took a whole day to shoot, mainly because of the double personality aspect. At the end, both personalities appear together, which was probably not a mean feat.

The video is okay, it will probably be interpreted in different ways, which is not necessarily a bad thing. I would have loved to see how the story ended, that is, did the house help get a child or the lady get a husband? To me, the concept of the video was great, the execution was a bit wanting.

Gittx informed me that Barbara is working on a new album, and Niokoe is one of the songs in the album. I also listened to Umkuu and, Barbara’s musical diversity makes the album one to look forward to.

 

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