The Pick: Joeboy’s “Normally” is a Melodious and Vaunting Sing-along
Our song of the week!
●24th May 2023
Over the last few years, Joseph Akninwale, known to many as Joeboy, has maintained a decent standing in the Afropop sphere mainly by keeping things simple. The 26-year-old singer does not overcomplicate things; from the moment his 2019 breakout hit “Baby” brought him into the limelight, he’s mainly towed the same lane, swooning over various love interests — mostly in PG fashion — on his bitesize records and also managing to stay scandal free. He’s played it safe for most of his career, perhaps too safe atimes, opting for generic euphemisms and similar beat choices, but this tried and tested formula has definitely yielded results: “Beginning”, “Baby”, “Nobody”, “Focus”, “Call”, “Show Me” are just some of the hit records he’s racked under his belt in the years since his breakout.
This simplicity and largely inoffensive approach is what the emPawa Africa signee has carried on to his sophomore album Body & Soul which comes two years after his debut. While some of the songs on the album have no definitive edge, the opener “Normally” which features pop stalwart Bnxn and fast-rising rapper OdumoduBlvck, is arguably the most memorable moment on the entire project; the three artistes doing what they do best.
“Normally” isn’t one of Joeboy’s love ditties, instead, it’s a melodious and vaunting sing-along that captures his current standing as a star in his own rights: “When we in the club it’s a champagne shower, only see blessing never see yawa” he sings softly, before tagging in Bnxn who recounts his early days before also going on to boast about the upward turn his life as taken, attributing his success to a higher power. Even though he deviates from the overall theme, Odomodu still manages to close things out in charismatic fashion, ultimately making “Normally” one of Joeboy’s more compelling records in recent times.