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ALBUM REVIEW: MALEEK BERRY - FIRST DAZE OF WINTER

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45 million views on YouTube for the 2017 hit single "Kontrol", 22 million streams on Spotify, and a collective following of 985,657 on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. British-Nigerian producer and artist Maleek Berry has proven time and time again he can do no wrong and in a lane of his own. From producer to stand out star, Maleek has let it be known gone are the days of obscurity. While among the ranks of some of the top acts of Afrobeats, Berry manages to stand out with catchy metaphoric  lyrics, eclectic production, and vibrant visuals.  Back with the second installment to the "Daze of" series, Maleek drops "First Daze of Winter"  the EP.  Serving us nothing but smooth, melodic, chill, mood music suitable for cuffing season. 

  L to R:   The Matter featuring Wizkid,  Maleek Berry's " Kontrol ", Ycee's " Juice"  featuring Maleek Berry, and Maleek Berry's " Eko Miami ".

L to R:  The Matter featuring Wizkid,  Maleek Berry's "Kontrol", Ycee's "Juice" featuring Maleek Berry, and Maleek Berry's "Eko Miami".

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Being multi-talented comes with several perks like producing a whole EP by yourself. Initially introduced to the world as the mastermind behind hits like "The Matter", "Feel Me", "One Life", and "Murder". Maleek Berry needs no assistance in this department.  All produced by Berry, it makes sense it's his arena and we're just here to enjoy.

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 Maleek Berry at Hard Rock Cafe Lagos during his first ever solo sold out concert in Nigeria + Maleek + Ycee. Photo credit:  Blackprintgram

Maleek Berry at Hard Rock Cafe Lagos during his first ever solo sold out concert in Nigeria + Maleek + Ycee. Photo credit: Blackprintgram

On this project, Maleek Berry has no guest appearances on the EP. Consisting of 6 songs, Maleek Berry keeps it short, sweet, and straight to the point. Berry makes it very clear to listeners it's just him accompanied by great production and catchy lyrics.

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** - Requires listening / * - Requires no description

**Been Calling - Vulnerable, candid, and open Maleek sings about a love connection gone wrong between him and a former love.

During an interview with BBC 1Xtra Maleek gave a bit of insight on the sound of the EP, the meaning behind the title and the difference. 

"The whole concept behind the EP is that it's a lot darker and it's a lot warmer. I'm a lot more emotional on the songs and a lot more vulnerable."

Maleek sings

Chorus:

You know I been calling/  You don't want to answer me/ Baby I been calling/ You don't want to answer me/ Baby I been calling/ You don't want to answer me/ All day I been calling/  You don't want to answer me

Verse 1:

 Seen how you gwan'in/ You no dey give me warning/ You put me on a long ting/ We ain't even talking, you ain't even online/ But girl you got me logged in ugh/ Give me one time one time/ Baby girl, give me one time one time/ Make I, make I rewind rewind our love To the old times old times/ Don't play no play no games I'm waving the white flag for you/ Don't play nor play no games/ Cause you know say I'm falling for you girl

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**Pon My Mind - Love or lust? Relationship or situation-ship? It's a beautiful when you have that special person you like and everyone needs someone. Whether she's yours or someone else's is another story. Pon My Mind is a sweet romantic bass-filled tune about Berry's infatuation for a particular girl that has took permanent residency his mind. However, Maleek doesn't seem to care for her  seems to care about her having a another man.  However, we all need affection, right? 

Maleek sings

Pre-Hook:

You got me creeping all up in your timeline just to see you ah/ And you got a man and you tryna keep it on a D-low ah/ Wonder what I’m gonna do or say when I see you ah/ Girl I hope you understand that I’m a new man now

**Sisi Maria - This song  by far happens to be my favorite on the EP. On this track, Maleek dabbles into the tradition sounds of Highlife. Sisi Maria is a romantic tune about a lady who caught his eye. Berry incorporates of bit of some Igbo to express his feelings towards his love interest.

Translation:

Afurum gi n’anya - You know it's only you that I have my eye on / has my attention
Imara nma, Imara nma - You know you're fine / you know you're too fine

**What If - If you're still single from now don't listen to this track on Valentine's Day. This track is the ultimate "you played yourself"/"this could have been us" song. On this track Maleek just wants ex-bae to know you missed out. Now he's doing well and you're not here to enjoy the success or take part in all these experiences. Hopefully, whoever said girl is, isn't sitting somewhere in a corner crying. Moral of the story, good things come to does who wait. Unfortunately, ex-bae couldn't see that.

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Smooth melodies, catchy lyrics, chart worthy, and get ready for the kicker--there's no features. First Daze of Winter is an absolute solid project. Berry nails it with this project. With no features, Maleek allows the audience on an intimate session allowing the listener to digest his sound with no interruption. Just you, Maleek, and some really good speakers. Berry is at a high and there's nothing to slow this moment down. First Daze of Winter is a project full of eclectic sounds, great melodies, hooks for days, and immense rotation longevity.

The EP is available for purchase via iTunes / Spotify / Tidal.

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★ - Terrible

★★ - Bad

★★★ - Okay

★★★★ - Good

★★★★★ - Perfect