Celebrating 10 years of Flavour’s magnum opus ‘Blessed’ [ClassiQ Afrobeats Throwback] | classiqdjfaze.com

On this week’s ClassiQ Afrobeats throwback, we will be revisiting Flavour’s magnum opus ‘Blessed’ in celebration of its 10-year anniversary.

After enjoying mainstream success with his preceding album ‘Uplifted’, Flavour was one body of work away from being the biggest star to emerge from the mainstream southeastern scene, and to achieve this he created the 18-track album he called ‘Blessed’.

The album had a mixture of Igbo Highlife with mainstream sonic elements of Pop, R&B, and Caribbean music to create an exceptional body of work that shattered whatever glass ceilings for Igbo-speaking artists in Nigerian mainstream.

In terms of hits, ‘Blessed’ has the ever-green ‘Ada Ada’ which is a Highlife record where he skillfully showcased his singing prowess and ability to mold melody to deliver a smooth record that continues to soundtrack marriage ceremonies ten years after its release.

The album had ‘Shake’ and ‘Baby Oku (Dance)’ where Flavour delivered a party jam over a bouncy beat and an intoxicating melody that made light work of language barriers. After delivering ‘Ashawo’ two years before, Flavour needed to show that he wasn’t a one-hit wonder and with ‘Shake’, he was able to prove this. The song also highlighted Flavour’s time-tested ability to deliver vulgar and lewd content appealingly so much he was said to have drawn the Irk of famous Catholic priest Father Mbaka while he was based in Enugu.

In ‘Baby Oku’ he offered himself to a larger audience in a party anthem delivered in English and Pidgin with a sprinkling of some Yoruba lines. The song was a template hit as it had P-Square‘s famous Pop rap delivery with the melody of his previous hits assembled over a fast BPM common with hit songs of the era.

There’s also ‘I Don’t Care’ the tingling jam that features popular Igbo Pop star Wizboy whose single ‘Owusagi’ and ‘Screen saver’ was hugely successful in the east and also crossed over to other parts of Nigeria.

Flavour had the intention to build on the mainstream success he had found with ‘Uplifted’ and he needed songs that connect with larger demography to achieve this. An example of a such song is ‘Chinny Baby’ the R&B love record where he sings in English.

Haven found international success in Francophone countries and in South Africa with ‘Ashewo’, Flavour built on this cross-over success with ‘Kwarikwa’ which features Francophone powerhouse Fally Ipupa.

With ‘Blessed’, Flavour has something for everyone and he was able to tap into different listener bases as he set out to become a star. Flavour’s union with gifted producer Masterkraft delivered an album that carried along his earliest fans, brought him new ones, and also expanded his base beyond Nigeria which is quite unprecedented in Igbo Mainstream music.

In terms of immediate success, songs like ‘Shake’, ‘Ada Ada’, and ‘Baby Oku (Dance)’ were instant hits.

The album was nominated for Best R&B/POP Album and Best Album at the 2013 Headies Awards, while Flavour was also nominated for Artist of the Year. And it still remains a mystery how ‘Ada Ada’ didn’t pick up a Song of the Year nomination.

In terms of impact, ‘Blessed’ rocketed Flavour to star status and shattered all glass ceilings an Igbo-speaking artist might have had to contend with in Nigeria’s mainstream market.

The album has aged well as several tracks on the album are still relevant and the project is still fondly looked back upon. Ten years later, ‘Blessed’ has achieved classic status and it’s agreed by critics to be Flavour’s magnum opus.

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