Niniola’s “Want” is a Rhythmic Go-getter Anthem

It is almost impossible to discuss the lure of Afrobeats and its artistes without acknowledging the vibrant presence of Niniola. In her last album, Colours and Sounds, she flirts with the Amapiano sound. However, in her following EP, Lagos to Jozi, released in late 2021, the singer fully embraces Amapiano and presents her delectable dive into the sound, marrying both Afro-House and Amapiano to form a tasteful subgenre. However, she does not stop with those projects as she readily jumps back into the music scene with her first single of 2022 titled, “Want”, produced by Smeez and D3AN. “Want” is an assured party-blast as it is a medley of the groovy percussion of Amapiano and Afro-House that wields an infectious delight, diametrically leading listeners to the dance floor and retaining them there.


Since her acclaim to fame in 2013 when she enlisted in the sixth season of Project Fame West Africa and secured a spot for herself as the season’s third runner-up, Niniola has proven herself time and time again by satisfying the buzzy and energetic demands of Afrobeats. Her craftsmanship is not only realised in her brilliant vocal power or songwriting, but in her ability to visit different sounds and create unique blends of those sounds, ushering in her unshakable stance as the “Queen of Afro-House”.


The subject matter of this song, “Want”, comes to heel with the singer’s CNN interview  where she asserts that she does not need to wait for a man to explore and discuss themes surrounding sex and sexuality first before doing so as “Want” details a woman’s boastful certitude to win over her reluctant love interest within three days: O̩jó̩ mé̩ta ni ma lò (I will use three days) / Ò̩nà mé̩ta ni ma jé̩è… (I will use three days to eat you).

The title of the song immediately foreshadows the matter which it addresses. Niniola dabbles in an interesting role-reversal where she unabashedly pursues her beloved and reprimands naysayers as opposed to stereotypical obligations requiring women to act docile and checked. She is daring and boldfaced, emphasizing that the disinclination of her love interest is diminutive in the face of her candour. She is not willing to back down and she expresses this sentiment explicitly.


Peculiar to Niniola’s sound is her use of the Yoruba language which concretises the tasteful indigenous nature of Afro-House. She employs this rich language to season her lyrics with different connotative metaphors, euphemisms, and puns that testify to her individual Afrocentricity and that of her sound.


Niniola’s “Want” is an amazing artistic production that preaches extra motivation to pursue desires and interests without discouragement from external forces while keeping listeners entertained with its upbeat tempo. Like Niniola, if you want it, chase it, get it.

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