Neky’s new single Home will be released on June 16. It’s the first single off her new album ‘Nghọta’. Unexpectedly, Nghota broke most of the barriers associated with the first album; pressure. The duality of her powerful vocals drives her music, then the overpowering kindness of the album structure. The album cut through two ways; gifting you solace that makes you feel alive and a reminder that it is never over till it truly is. She understood her role and played it to perfection, as the title goes.
Born Nneka Chimaucheya Ngwe in Enugu on November 22, 1992; her musical journey started with a childhood imagination of making it to the big stage and passion. That aspiration is the vehicle that currently drives her craft. She was also briefly on The Voice Nigeria season 3. Her first studio release was in 2018, a song titled Biko. It was imaginative but was drowned in the ocean of Nigeria’s rising afrobeat. Nghọta, at its peak, is fierce, possessing an indomitable spirit but with a fragile sound. The album commands all the trappings of imagined bliss. It is something you can play in your bedroom and in your car. It exhibits a little but a significant departure from the loudness of afrobeat. You could feel the battle right in it, enabling her audience to enjoy it with less stress. The trouble is that she will have to do it again. In Nghota, Neky wants her audience to experience the maturation of her artistic growth, lyrical confidence, ingenious musicality, and the repulsiveness of her attacking posture. It’s a gift that keeps giving.
Afro alternative / infusion albums are tallied and graded on their excess supply of inventive musical structure and sound, impressive singing ability with natural vibrato, mild improvisation around a central melody, and a signature comprehensive vocal register. Nghota’s duality is a signature of Neky’s sensibilities.
With an ambitious eight tracks, the album wanders within territories of imagination, self-discovery, complicated life dynamics, and somewhat of an unintentional intimacy, yet interestingly ambitious. The experimentation in Nghota is as buoyant as the interaction fueling good music may be. Nghota is not particularly raucous and loud. The tempos rarely break a sweat while the volume is within, restrained, and the spirit is calm. It’s a reality that the expanding music world will have to deal with; an artist will dare to be different and still make magic.
There is an endless stream of fun and youthful exuberance in the track Enjoyment. Neky reminds her audience that ‘money no go shame you’ and seeks their permission to allow her to enjoy herself ‘I cannot kill myself and run away, the body needs enjoyment’. The lyrics do not come quite wordy, but the vocals leave an ecstatic feeling.
There is even more.
Cheta epitomizes the toes-numbing love experiences that wrecked hearts and made the misery of men. ‘Relocate with me or just move on’ is the second chance given and an attempt to salvage the ship. Home x-rays the intrigues of the socio-political crises that have engulfed her part of Nigeria. She asks pertinent questions like ‘why should I be scared?’. Neky is more convinced in the track People. She pasted emotions on top of it and left it to communicate independently. The territorial migration in Nghota has projected Neky as an artist with a deep understanding of her environment. The production is warm and with a touch of paralyzing kindness. But beyond the individual standout tracks, what is, however, more compelling is the album’s journey. The prevailing mood is unambivalent, the atmosphere murky. Nghota gives the shape of what to expect from Neky in the future and leaves us with a charisma that makes her songs shine. Nhota’s June 30th release will usher in a star to the world.