Amidst the rush of nostalgia the album sparked and the corresponding conservation it generated, the subject of Wande Coal’s legendary status was tabled, and some persons displayed a painful lack of depth as they erroneously concluded that Wande’s legendary status was up for debate.
On this week’s ClassiQ Afrobeats throwback, I will be revisiting Wande Coal’s debut album, its impact, and his undebatable legendary status.
In April 2009, Wande Coal released his debut album ‘Mushin 2 Mo’hits’, an era-defining body of work that was unprecedented in Nigerian mainstream music or Afrobeats as it’s famously known.
Known for his breathtaking vocals, his unmatchable ability to mold melody, and his flawless delivery, Wande Coal was able to take the smooth sonic arrangement of western Pop and R&B and combined it with Nigerian cadence to create a pop sound that will forever alter Nigerian Afrobeats soundscape.
The album delivered timeless hits like the chest-thumping street anthem ‘Bumper To Bumper’ with which he announced himself as a hitmaker.
His ability to mold melody and his penmanship that combines a western-styled flow of thought with Nigerian relatability shone brightly on songs like ‘Taboo’, ‘Ololufe’, and ‘Bananas’.
The album’s sonic direction will alter the direction of pop music in Nigeria and set the direction for what we now consider Afro-pop. Artists that will come after Wande Coal are all influenced by his writing style, melodic sequence, and delivery pattern.
The immediate impact of ‘Mushin 2 Mo’hits’ is documented by the record breaking 5 Headies Awards it won at the 2010 ceremony.
The album won the Headies Album of the Year at the 2010 Awards which made Wande Coal only the second artist after Asa to win the prize with their debut album. It also took home the prizes for Best Pop/R&B Album, and Best Pop single and Wande Coal also won Artist of the Year and Hip Hop Revelation of the Year.
Since Wande Coal released his debut, he has successfully crafted at least a hit song every year consistently for 13 years. And on Friday, October 28th he is set to release a new single ‘Umbrella’ with leading music distribution company EMPIRE off their upcoming compilation album ‘Where We Come From’. This single is coming at a time when some fans either by oversight or ignorance are forgetting Wande Coal’s impact.
In respect to Wande Coal’s legendary status, while some might argue reasonably that one classic album doesn’t bestow legendary status, one must look beyond discography.
A sophisticated consumer must consider his impact, longevity, legacy, and consistency.
In terms of impact, Wande Coal is the sonic progenitor of major Afrobeats acts. Artists including Wizkid, Kizz Daniel, Reekado Banks, and Oxlade, amongst many others, have credited Wande Coal with inspiring their sound.
As far as consistency and longevity go, Wande Coal announced himself on the mainstream in 2008 and since then, he has consistently churned out hits every year while remaining one of the most sought-after artists around.
As far as legacy goes, an attentive listener only needs to listen to the predominant AfroPop leaning and take a trip across Wande Coal’s discography to see his impact and the indelible mark he has left in Afrobeats soundscape.
On Friday, 28th October 2022 Wande Coal will release a new track ‘Umbrella’ which will roll back the years and remind listeners of his wonder not like it was ever forgotten. ‘Umbrella’ will be another addition to the stellar records with which Wande Coal has defined Afrobeats Pop music and for this legend who has done it all, he has nothing to prove.
His legendary status is not debatable and everything he does now is merely icing on the cake.