Tay Grin and Tanzania’s Vanessa Mdee’s highly anticipated collaboration “Tola” has finally dropped and the verdict is: it is a definite game changer.
The track, produced by none other than Sonye, one of the best talents on the Malawi’s music production scene, is a masterpiece.
The beat starts off as a contemporary dance anthem with Mdee’s effortlessly executed vocals. As Tay Grin jumps in with his vernacular lines, the beat drops and traditional African drums kick in, creating a great fusion that perfectly reflects the character of the Nyau King.
The use of multiple languages (English, Chichewa and Kiswahili) lend the song a true international feel. A strategic ploy on Grin’s part as beyond the dance floor, people outside of Malawi’s borders will relate to Tola.
The lyrical content is flirty and punctuated with explicit innuendos but at the same time, it is playful and catchy. As was the case with “Chipapapa”, Grin’s previous collaboration with Nigeria’s 2 Face, Tola takes us back to our childhood. It gives familiar phrases from old favorite rhymes a new rendition. Those that grew up in the 80’s and early 90’s will definitely remember Kantoletole and wakutuma ndani.
The video itself which was shot in South Africa by the internationally acclaimed Nigerian director Sesan Ogunro is a must watch. The concept is simple, the set is nothing out of the ordinary but the lighting and smoke effects transform it into a spectacular dance arena. The choreography is on point. The onscreen chemistry between Tay Grin and Vanessa Mdee is authentic. Nothing seems staged. Everybody seems to be having a lot of fun. Some of the dance moves, however, are as explicitly suggestive as the lyrics and parental guidance may be required for younger viewers.
The overall camera work is phenomenal and the shots are crisp and clean. The post production work ties it all together perfectly giving us one of the highest quality productions to come out on the Malawi music industry.
If Tola is anything to go by, the standards have been redefined and we have finally come of age. From here on, the Malawi music industry can only be expected to churn out nothing but the best.
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