It is Terri’s first project; his chance to convince people he’s good at this music thing. There were glimpses of that raw talent, waiting to be harnessed on Wizkid‘s Soco when he delivered a stellar verse. The window of opportunity was wide open for him. Along with Lyta, he would go on to be compared from time to time as the expectation for him to be Rookie Of The Year was huge.
However, by the time his debut single will emerge, that window of opportunity had elapsed. The euphoria of that stellar verse had subdued. When Bia dropped, it showcased his unassuming voice and contained moments of brilliance, yet people moved from it quickly.
2019 offered respite. Redemption.
Wizkid, Davido, and Burna Boy were busy finessing their albums and there was less musical activity in the first three months. Yet again, Terri was missing. When he’ll drop On Me, the trio of Fireboy, Joeboy, and Rema were propelling the gospel of the new generation.
The new wave of artistes were armed with a unique sonic appeal – one that felt different from the regular sound. At the end of 2019, it was hard to fit Terri into the artistes that were ‘popping’.
Afro Series is that redemption plan to restore him to the conversation.
With Afros Series, Terri is opening the door to his world, ‘Come, let’s explore’. The opener, Wake Up, sees him building a relationship with the heavy-laden bass drums that characterized Killertunes‘ masterstroke. It’s throbbing, the beat leads the way, and Terri makes romance with it while delightfully expressing gratitude. It’s a showcase of his wins and how far he’s come in the game – a beautiful affair of afrobeat.
The tempo is high at this point but on My Chest, it seeps. The drums are hitting hard and sprinkled with melodies. Here, he adulates an unknown lady about the wonderful time they spent together. The brightest moment was when he burst into a short rap at 1:33. That was a show-stealer.
The template of Wake Up is replicated on Balance and we’re still traveling down the love route, with Terri touching on different topics of love. The tempo dips and so does the momentum. In place of the hard-hitting drums comes the skittering drums, and Terri’s vocals soften too as he continues adulating his woman. He’s lyrically weak here as he’s frightened about losing his lady. “No go let another man take my place” – he says this with swagger and as you’re listening, you’re nodding your head. This is a bop.
Love is Terri’s comfort zone, and it’s not hard to fathom why. Previous singles, Bia and Shuu shows Terri promising his lady his never-ending love.
There’s a reincarnation of this on Ojoro – this is where the EP receives a spark. It’s like there’s a resurrection of feelings and love as Terri comes through with an exciting delivery. The throbbing beats help to alleviate his croons and as you’re listening, you’re nodding your head to what Terri has to say. There’s an emotional connection and the underlying lush melodies of Sarz, in which the record is thrust on, make it even better. He’s heartbroken. Sadly, the girl doesn’t fancy him anymore.
Dancehall makes an entry in Doo. Terri’s lyrical excellence falters here. Short, repeated verses make it dull for the listener and it might be difficult to grasp the full concept of what he’s trying to say. He’s not making it easy for the average listener.
As the project draws to a close, it could have been better with the inclusion of mellow beats. Hard-hitting beats don’t go well when it comes to expressing love and feelings and it was a constant feature on most songs on Afro Series.
EP’s closer, Kill Man, basks on a somber, laid back tune, accompanied with skittering drums. This is similar to some tracks on WizKid’s SoundMan tape. Terri could have also made more of Kill Man.
Overall, Afro Series is an EP that’s both tantalizing and a little half-baked. On tracks like Doo and Ode, Terri struggled to string lyrics together. Yet, he shows growth. There’s impressive Afrobeat production – an exciting blend of Afrobeat, although some beats were much similar.
Will Terri get back to the conversation with this project? The success of singles, off this project, will be a huge determinant.