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If you’re like me, then the past six months have felt heavy and depressing at best, and downright unbearable at worst. You’d be searching for ways and means to relieve your mind and ease your stress, and there’s a very good chance you would have sought out fresh musical offerings that can accomplish this deed. Today, I present to you “The ExPerience”, by Lila Iké.
The instrumentation and overall production is amazing, to be honest. This EP showcases how Jamaica’s musical offerings are being refined daily to be more global in reach and more soulful in sound. It’s not simply dancehall, not simply reggae, but a mixture of feels and ideas that will resonate with your experiences as you walk this planet. Lila’s appeal has always been that when listening to her, you can imagine what she sings about because you’ve probably been there. She’s a strong voice for the women who can hear their stories in her music, and she is a great point of reference for men seeking to find ways to become better at their craft and approach. Since hearing “Biggest Fan”, I’ve been in great appreciation of her ability to tell a story. Indeed, I’m definitely now a fan.
There’s a good chance that you’ve heard some of the material already. Blasting from the airwaves and on social media, tracks like “Where I’m Coming From” and “Second Chance” are national favourites. I especially love the visuals for “Where I’m Coming From” that highlight the places and people that developed this young talent, but “Second Chance” may be my favourite item on the entire EP. The horn lines, the passion in her expression of love, the rocking dub and bassline; it’s all there. We all know the struggle of being in love, and having to work to restore the flames of love with your partner is an ExPerience that is common to most, if not all of us.
“Solitude” may very well be the song of the season right now, and it’s a great testament to the value of social media and keeping a true relationship with your fan base as an artiste since I actually got to know the song from hearing/seeing it in so many posts and stories recently. It’s a tense period, and this time of isolation has been welcomed by those who can understand the value of simply having time to yourself. She sings: “Peace of mind/ That’s just what I seek to find/ I ain’t in the mood/ I just need some solitude”. We all know that. We all feel that. Right now, everything under the sun seems to be clamouring for our attention, and if you aren’t able to preserve yourself and rehabilitate it wears you down completely.
The surprise for me was “Thy Will”, done on the “More Baltimore Riddim”. It may just be one of my slow favourites; one of those tracks that creep to your number one spot over time because you can’t ignore how good it actually is. It is timeless and current, a song for the years and a song for today. You need to bless yourself by listening to this collection.
Lila Iké’s “The ExPerience” features production credits by Protoje, Kamal Evans, Caspa Productions, Natural High, Tuff Gong Studios, Tad’s Recording Studio, Chris Athens Masters, Ziah, iotosh, J.L.L., The Habitat Studio, Niko’s House, Sterling Sound, IzyBeats, “Winta” James, Lamont “Monty” Savory, “Superman” Ogata, “BBMC Recording Studio, Safire Music. Instrumentation and background vocals are are credited to iotosh, Monty, Ziah, J.L.L., Romario Jackson, Blaise Davis, “Strings” Calderon, Danny Bassie, Winta, Sherita Lewis, Chevaughn Clayton, “Matic” Tenyue, “Bammie” Rose, Yelfrish Valdés, Brian Morris, Junior Spracket, Paris Lamont Dennis II, Sly and Robbie, Hector Lewis, Dean Fraser, Okiel McIntyre, Dwight Richards and Romeo Gray. Songwriting is credited to Alecia Grey, Oje Ollivierre, Phillip James, Alfred Simpson, Brinsley Ford, Dennis Biddy, Angus Gaye, Tony Robinson, Lowell Dunbar and Robert Shakespeare. Design and photos are done by Nickii Kane.
Blessings in abundace!