Maleek Berry has always threaded the very thin line of owning a signature sound and sounding repetitive.
It wouldn’t be far-fetched to say that the songs featured in the ‘First Daze Of Winter’ would fit easily on ‘Last Daze Of Summer’ and vice versa. How then does the ‘Eko Miami’ singer walk this thin line so majestically time and time again? Formula.
The first part of Berry’s formula without a doubt is his rich production. Although we are not to expect less from a tried and true hit maker, the fusion of the foreign texture and familiar warmth of Berry’s guitars and percussion is pure ear candy. Just when you thought you’ve heard everything, a new listen to tracks like ‘What If’ and ‘Pulling Me Back’ always show a new synth, kick or snare. This is impressive especially given the fact that Berry’s songs all sound seemingly minimal.
This brings us to Mr. Berry’s second part, radio ready. Perhaps one of the reasons Berry has decided not to release a full length body of work is because he is not ready to create in-depth album tracks. Just like the E.P’s lead singles, ‘Been Calling’ and ‘Pon My Mind’, any of the other four songs on the E.P. are good to go as singles. Complete with catchy choruses, ‘Instagram caption’ lyrics and brilliantly crafted melodies, Berry’s ‘First Daze’ is as radio ready as ever.
While Berry’s tracks are a stream of commercial successes waiting to happen, what makes them a joy to listen to is that they are easy listens. Something about Berry’s breezy vocals and the vibe of the songs in general instantly creates a laid back atmosphere for the listener. Arguably the strongest track on the E.P., ‘Sisi Maria’ and a very close runner-up, ‘Own It’, showcase Berry as a song maker who is concerned with just one thing, making true jams. Berry is never in a hurry to entertain you; he takes time with his vocal delivery and story telling and there is something truly special about that.
There is no denying that 2017 was a remarkable year for Maleek Berry and going by the sound of his latest effort, 2018 is already looking pretty amazing. Berry has shown us so far that he is a tactical artiste who would rather take his time and plan out his moves than jump on the next big wave. So until he is ready to put in the work for a complete L.P., we will trust his process and wait patiently. This shouldn’t be too hard since he has blessed with some amazing ‘waiting’ jams.
Words By: Adeoluwa Atayero