Whoisakin airs a series of romantic frustrations in “Space,” which blends confessional, open-wound R&B with the willowy, propulsive rhythm common in Nigerian Afrobeats.
“Space” is part of Whoisakin’s debut EP, but the young singer has already mastered the art of masking blunt, accusatory lines with honeyed tones. “Space” runs down a list of grievances: “I don’t know why you said you need my loving for the weekend”; “Why you lying to your friends like we never had a thing”; “Why you acting like we never caught a good vibe”; “You talking about how I never gave you my time.” But each complaint comes as a sweet murmur, almost a pillow-talk whisper. The beat beneath Whoisakin is as spare as they come — clicking percussion and a few synth bleeps — throwing his words into sharper relief but never betraying resentment.
As the questions begin to pile up, Whoisakin seems to reach an important conclusion — he doesn’t want to have anything to do with the person he’s singing about — at the same time as the listener. The hook is a simple kiss-off delivered in four-syllable bursts: “Gimme my space/Don’t call my phone/Leave me alone.”
“Space” appeared earlier this year on Full Moon Weekends. The five-track set was released through Mr. Eazi’s emPawa Africa.
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