EP Review: No pressure by Lamu

July 24, 2020

Lamu has carved out what might become the Ugandan (maybe even East African) pop female urban sound. She has put in the work and refined her voice to a point of, what I can only describe as, silkiness. 

One can hear the progression in sound from her first songs to her latest ones and know that this is a lady on a mission. A lady with a plan. 

And there is no better proof of this, than her latest project, No Pressure. For starters, the songs on the EP are already enjoying tremendous airplay. From Sanyu Fm, Tidle radio, XFM, Radiocity and other radio stations; to performances and appearances on TAG TV, NTV and other TV stations. She is being endorsed by seasoned and respected artistes, and her 10k+ followers on IG and Twitter are all in agreement that the project is a work of art. 

For the past few days, I have had the privilege of listening to No Pressure. I was trying to find a flaw, to balance the review. I was unsuccessful. 

More often than not, perfection is a concerted effort, and this EP is no exception. The crisp production is handled by Boris Kintu, Rey Macc, Luca Sivette and Jinmi Abduls. Boris also mixed and mastered the entire EP. 

Lamu delicately picks out her collaborators on the project and it pays off. 

With Mugaba on “Kill you with it”, they create an upbeat , feel good song. The chemistry is clear and their energy rubs off on the listener. You can almost imagine them dancing to the song as they record it together. 

Another collaboration is with the Nigerian star Jinmi Abduls who has hit songs with Mayorkun and Oxlade, amongst others. Lamu holds her own and represents Uganda well, in this meeting of musical minds. She incorporates Luganda at a certain point in the song, probably to assure Ugandans that this world class tune was actually sung by a Ugandan.

The final pairing is with the 20 year old sensation, Shawn Maine. The “It’s crazy” singer delivers a memorable performance in his trademark tenor, soulful tone. Not to be outdone, Lamu swoons back with a high pitched, simultaneously sweet and raw response. They later make peace by way of  harmony. It’s heavenly. The result is a beautiful pop ballad. 

Lamu clearly works well with people but she can do just as well on her own. One of the standout tracks on the project is the opening song, “Habibi”. It’s a love letter to her habibi, and she means every word. The song also is proof of her songwriting prowess, she rides the beat effortlessly with melody and she throws in some eloquent swahili for good measure. It’s a song that I predict will reverberate from bluetooth speaker to bluetooth speaker, in Kampala and beyond.

No Pressure is proof of work. Work that has been years in the making. It is a perfect EP. 

By Wanjala