In recent times, the relocation of Nigeirans to other countries in search of “greener pastures” has been highlighted in the media as a course of concern. Known as the “Japa Culture”, many Nigerians immigrating daily is a reflection of the state of the economy – A Bad economy. However, “green pastures” are not always greener on the other side, as the crops need to be planted from scratch. JeffreyBenson conveys this message through AFRO6IX. The struggles an independent immigrant creative faces, with love, finance, peer pressure and more.
Afro6ix is a sonically pleasing merge of sounds from both worlds – Lagos and Toronto. The project opens up with “Melody” , a song that speaks on the power of music. How an unknown artist like himself in Canada can connect with people globally through his sound only. JB classifies music as being spiritual especially when it’s pure. The song ends with a voice recording of Fela buttressing the point that Real African music never fades away. Leading to the transition of “Take Your Time (TYT)” a slow tempo afrofusion melody with nostalgic lyrics from Jamaican dancehall legend Diana King. The song smoothly takes you into a trance of slow romantic dancing right before the hilarious Nollywood sample from Late Legend Sam loco ques in on “Ruff play”. An Alte song (Alternative sound) with a groovy hip hop bounce, one typical of the Toronto street music culture. “Magic” being an amapiano sound (A Genre from South-Africa) has a catchy hook accompanied with several melodious instruments that would have your feet moving. The song praises the complexity in African dance which an outsider may deem as Magic.
One of the challenges young immigrants often face is, long distance relationships. Having a partner back home and embarking on a new journey in a new country, alone, can be lonely. “Forever thing” and “Ehen” are songs JeffreyBenson uses to reassure his partner that they would be able to make it through the challenges.
The EP ends with “Living My Life (LML)” , a profound message that goes against social pressure. The pressure that encourages hyper reality whereby young ones feel obligated to make money by any means, showcase a fake lifestyle and drown in depression without seeking help. Living my life as the title implies, encourages people to be patient and trust the process. As constant comparison makes one lose their essence.