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Afro-soul singer and fellow Hausa speaking brother DOUG KAZE is back with what I would comfortably cite as one of the Afro-Soul albums of the year. ‘Paradigm Shift’ was released in early 2017 and the rest is pretty much in full flow – the album is a winner. Nigerians are known for singing songs that one can easily dance to. To sway, whirl and twirl, bop and move to – in fact. But with Doug Kaze, this Album is just as much if not more focused on making the listener listen and think. Building on from his debut album release in 2014; songs such as ‘No Season’, ‘Run for Me’, ‘Adidengdeng’ and ‘Batun Aure’ (some of my favourites) still pretty much resonate with me and many young people face within the continent and beyond.
Born and raised in Jos, Nigeria, Doug Kazé discovered a strong interest in music from his childhood and began attempting creating songs while in primary. Doug Kazé was born to civil servant parents in the city of Jos, where he was educated at St. Murumba College and the University of Jos. As a child, he was drawn to music, listening to his father’s reggae collections and watching keenly the likes of New Edition, Michael Jackson and Bob Marley on television. As a teenager in the 1990s, he fell in love with hip-hop and rhythm and blues. During these years, he began to explore the art of songwriting and developed a collection of his own original songs.
His musical tastes also expanded over time to include soul and rock, paying attention to artists like Kirk Franklin, Fred Hammond, DC Talk, Among Thorns and Hillsong. On the other hand, local folk music had always been available in his community as he grew up. After several failed attempts at starting an independent music group, in 2004, eventually, he founded a rock band, Trybe of the Sealed.
Back to the Paradigm Shift album: Track no. 3 ‘Give me money is an excellent analogy and story rife amongst many Nigerians in terms of the dilemmas, corruption and desperate need for money in all aspects of life from all aspects of people. We all know Doug is multi-lingual and that trend continues in this album with songs such as Nous sommes freres in French. The Izere and Hausa speaking artist has been based between South African and Nigeria over the last couple of years.
Recommended Songs: Sunday, Journey of Truth & Nous Sommes Freres
Sunday has a rather Shantu, Hausa, Northern Nigerian Blues feels to it. The song speaks of what Sunday means to the average church goer in Jos and ‘How long will it take to fill a basket with water? We all have God given gifts and talents that we must not rob the world of the gifts God has given us. Furthermore The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof. It is a brilliant album, full of proverbial funk, hausa jazz sounds and food for thought.
“At the risk of sounding arrogant, I hardly think of myself as ‘upcoming’ since i’ve been in music all of my life. This doesn’t mean I think of myself as having ‘arrived’. And arrival for me isn’t the toys and the toys and the awards, but being able to make my art more competent and finding more fulfilment. So I think of myself as an artist who is already living the dream of making my art, yet with a lot of space for growth.” (Doug Kazé in an interview with Pressreader NG)
For more info on Rudeshock Records and Doug Kazé; please click below:
Photo Credits: Rudeshock Records