Los Angeles-based R&B singer Ogi Ifediora bought her begin posting cowl songs on Instagram as a senior at Northwestern College. After PJ Morton shared her tackle his track “Alright,” producer No I.D. bought in contact; a document deal and tour opening for Snoh Aalegra quickly adopted. On her debut EP, Monologues, Ogi wields her voice with precision and pleasure. Although there’s room to hone her authentic songwriting, the venture is a powerful showcase of her technical talent and vocal prowess.
Ogi’s musical background—she sang with an a capella group in school—is clear in her enveloping harmonies and exact vocal management. The jazzy preparations and layered vocals are dense and sophisticated, however her singing feels easy. Listening to Ogi’s voice wind from a gauzy falsetto to her golden deeper register on “Let Me Go,” you are feeling fully immersed, as if watching a wave of fog roll in. EP spotlight “Bitter” boosts the vitality, with syncopated vocals skipping over snappy drums and a effervescent horn line. The association conveys prickly frustration at feeling insufficient in a relationship, however Ogi’s assured supply implies that she’s nonetheless very a lot in management.
She has described Monologues as her “audition into the business,” a set of six songs chosen to showcase her vary. The venture appears like a pattern pack, protecting a wide range of emotional states in broad strokes. On “Let Me Go,” Ogi cooly informs a lover that they deserve somebody who cares extra about them. She grapples with different folks’s resentment on “Envy,” flexes on “I Acquired It,” and devotes a ballad to a struggling beloved one on “IKYK.” Every new course may very well be a viable idea for an extended venture, however because it by no means focuses on anyone temper or theme, the EP feels a bit scattered.
Partially, it is because the lyrics on Monologues may be imprecise, gesturing at emotions and experiences with much less nuance than Ogi brings to her singing. “Was the issue at all times me?/Or the very fact you possibly can’t imagine/I’ve what I’ve and that you simply don’t,” she sings on “Envy,” by no means fairly transferring past a generic description of envy itself. At different occasions, the metaphors can border on corny. “All these blessings falling in my lap like I’m a grandpa/All this cash I’m going swimming in it like a tadpole,” she sings on “I Acquired It,” a second of would-be bravado that comes off stilted.
However on the bubbling “Bitter,” storytelling comes second to the restive temper Ogi establishes. “I hate that I’m not what you need,” she repeats, her voice stuffed with frustration. However as she stacks up harmonies and maneuvers round them with the benefit of water slipping by way of your fingers, it’s additionally clear she’s taking pleasure in each observe she sings. Whilst she parses out angst, envy, and disdain, her charisma makes these songs shine.