As a first try, this is good enough overall, even though it might feel like moving against the tide in an undersized ship.
Vee can sing and she can make music. While she was in Big Brother’s house for its Lockdown edition, her musical aspirations constantly became talk on social media. Some even argued that she went into the house to seek a launchpad for her career. In earnest, it worked.
Before she went into the house, she had released more than three singles, none of which caught mainstream attention. But here she is, with more people aware of her music than before.
After a string of new singles, she released her 5-track debut EP, Young & Reckless on October 8, 2021. From the jump, it’s clear that her sultry vocals will forever be her best trait in this game. Her stunning good looks will only ever support that.
Her vocal texture and her use of it, as well as the way she delivered ‘Do It’ and ‘Forbidden Fruit’ attest to a plausible R&B roots – not Pop or Afro-whatever.
The best thing about this EP; it’s not excessively rooted in Afro-pop to suit the current trendy palette. Instead, she leads with her R&B roots and creates music with a bop, to form a bridge where lovers of R&B and Afro-pop can peacefully coexist.
She also caresses all the sides to love; trouble in paradise on ‘Do It,’ sex on ‘No Time’ and the latter parts of ‘Show’ while rocky romance forms the basis of ‘Forbidden Fruit.’
Barring ‘Do It,’ the authenticity in the highlighted sections of those three songs tempts this writer to opine that those stories feel too real to be made up. There is too much picture-esque detail in her songwriting for those stories to be random. If they are, Vee and her songwriters should take some plaudits for authenticity.
While ‘Do It’ is the best song on this EP, the cries on ‘Enter My Head’ stand out. The track represents an honest truth that we never get from people who suddenly find themselves thrusted into the spotlight. On the track, she sings about her fear of losing her identity, personality and self-control to the alluring shining lights of celebrity.
Her vocal pitch on the track might be incongruous enough to make this writer know that she probably recorded on different days, but her message is too awesome to ignore. Equally, this is one of Laycon’s best performances as a rapper yet.
That small pocket between 1:22 and 1:26 on ‘Do It’ also projects a mastery of moments and sounds. Her switch between English, Pidgin and Yoruba also shows dexterity.
However, there is something inauthentic about the overall idea behind ‘Do It’ – especially its opening verse. Although this writer has an objection, some listeners will argue that her second verse can be the reality of someone in a relationship and they will have a point.
Sonically, it’s the best song on this EP, but it’s delivery didn’t feel authentic enough. In fact, it feels like Vee panders a little bit, to what modern women might like or enjoy. In fact, for someone in a public relationship, the song and the brand are at loggerheads.
Equally, ‘Young & Reckless’ is a curious title for this EP. Records like ‘Show,’ ‘Do It’ and ‘Forbidden Fruit’ might mean you’re young, but ‘Enter My Head’ clearly shows that she is not reckless.
As much as the experimentation with limits of love on ‘Do It’ and ‘Forbidden Fruit’ might be deemed reckless, it’s not. Neither is the sex talk on ‘Show.’ Sex is only normal for a 25-year-old woman.
Overall, this EP will be instantly appealing to people with a wider sonic palette. But for the regular audience, it might be too much of an acquired taste. As a first try, this is good enough overall, even though it might feel like moving against the tide in an undersized ship.