Johnny Drille: The Musical Genius

What’s more than an album? Oh, a package of an unexpected gift. Exactly what ‘Before We Fall Asleep’ felt like. A package with homely and heartwarming songs that makes you feel the undying and unending love from every corner. A package with the gift of reassurance of how perfect you are and how much you’ve achieved so far. A package of orgasmic and therapeutic melody and rhythm, flowing through and piercing the thickness and hardness of your heart. Oh, how sweet.

C’mon, you’re lovable and peaceful. Allow someone to love you and love you properly — you are not unworthy of love.

My Kind Of Brown

In the softest possible way, Johnny introduces his album with a reminder that human validation doesn’t matter in living your life. You’re very blessed, but you might never realize how blessed you are until you love yourself first. Dear brown skin chocolate with caramel topping, you are so much more than you think, you are perfect. Leave that dark space and appreciate yourself.

Loving is Harder

This the debut single from the album, Before We Fall Asleep and all I can say is that it is a whole vibe. I think Johnny is right, loving is alot harder these days, what with the unrealistic expectations we all have of each other and the pressure of #couplegoals on Social media. Its interesting to see how Johnny’s writing skills have evolved to accommodate the easy, simple lyrics that afrobeats is known for.

Ludo

Just like we always say ‘breakfast must touch everybody in this Lagos’. On this bouncy beat, a heartbroken man calls it quits from a one sided relationship where the lady cheats unprovoked. He packed his bags and left the relationship to find a woman that won’t play ‘tiki taka’ with his heart.

Ova

Unlike some others with toxic masculinity and forming a hard guy, here’s a lover boy who realizes his shortcomings with his lover and tries to amend his ways, asks to apologize with a bullion van and a time machine to go back and correct himself. Knowing his type of girl, he had to bring in a father figure and Don to join him in begging her. A Don who denies the ‘stingy men association’. Men are what again?

Odo

These men are clearly ‘drunk in love’ because the lyrics of this smooth and slow danceable song is deep and appealing. A guest feature, Styl-Plus even makes the song sweeter than the word sweet itself. Love is really interesting when it’s with the right person. Hello, stop imagining things, you ‘singu pringu’, FIND LOVE!

Driving in the Rain

I’m particularly fond of collaborations between Johnny and Ladipoe. It feels like they unlock a different level of awesomeness with each other every time.

This song is the kinda song I’d be jamming in a car with the rooftop down with the wind blowing through my hair. Pure summer vibes.

In the Light

Ayra Starr is a star sha. I like the slight reggae sounds in this song. It had me busting a move or two while listening to it. A song that speaks about discovering each other and how to love one’s partner, In the Light is a song with enough replay value for you to get in the groove whenever the beat drops.

Clocks

Johnny is a genius. The blend of his soft vocals with the eerie sound of Chylde is musical bliss, for me at least. This is a pop song that could hold its own beside songs like ‘Stay’ by Zedd and …

With this album Johnny Drille has proven that his music transcends genres.

Lies

So I’m rock head and this song came as a pleasant surprise to me. It speaks about the societal issues that riddles the country with some reference to last year’s End Sars protests.

The elements Johnny Drille brought together in this song were one you would never have expected to go well together but it worked seamlessly!

From Afrobeat, to the narrations and the punk rock and guitar wailing! My imagination went wild and my ears prayed for me. This for me is probably the most experimental song in this body of work

Lost In The Rhythm

This song struck a nerve. This is the story of every Nigerian youth fighting for a better life in some way or the other. It’s also very clear the. influence Jon Bellion has on Johnny Drille and his music. I’m dying to see them do a project together.

Before I Let Go

The melody intro is too perfect for a heartbreak song and it’s sad because one would expect a happy song. However, a sad lover is reminiscing on moments with a one sided love before he finally moves on. In reference to the voice message at the end, would you rather say the truth and hurt your loved one, or cover up and make it cool?

Sweet As A Mother’s Love

How could a song be so melodious that you feel this slight anger when the song ends? This is an easy favourite. The perfect lyrics, the amazing rhythm, the homely love felt in this song; you can literally feel that motherly hug. This is an awesome record.

Sister

Beautiful? Check!

Soul piercing? Check!

Lyrics? Check!

Production? Check!

Johnny Drille collaborated with the Lagos community choir to deliver this masterpiece tribute to his sister, which could be figurative because it applies across board.

Sell My Soul

Talk about resisting temptation. This song felt like a love song to music and resistance to the pressure that comes with it.

I love the use of horns in the song and the subtlety of its sound. It’s what I would refer to as easy listening.

This music thing, JD don hack am. It is even more loving when you realise the testament of a fan on ‘Sister’. If you can’t find someone’s child to squeeze and hold tight after listening to this album, my dear, use your pillow.

Writers — David Adeyemi & Ife ‘Diran

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