Calabash Music has announced the release of The EP “Rise Again: The Lockdown EP” by award-winning Cameroonian singer, Wax Dey, on June 5 2020.
‘Rise Again: The Lockdown EP’ is a playlist of 6 positive and uplifting songs inspired by the Lockdown due to Covid-19, or recorded during this period.
On the release Wax Dey departs from his recent urban pop offerings and forays into more soulful and jazz compositions. For example, the title track ‘Rise Again’ is a guitar-based acoustic piece that benefits from thought-inspiring saxophone riffs. Its starkly appropriate message calls on African leaders to facilitate ‘Africa Rising’ post-corona by embracing the values of Love, Hope, Peace and Justice.
“Wayo Wayo” features Nigerian-South African award-winning jazz guitar virtuoso, Kunle Ayo. The song delivers a sombre yet comic audition of a jilted lover who must face the lockdown alone, without the warm embrace of his loved one.
And if Wax Dey’s bare piano-voice rendition of ‘Tomorrow’ leaves you reminiscent of Covid-19’s darkest days, it does share hope for the future and pays tribute to those at the forefront of the fight: “Tomorrow we go be together again; tomorrow our nurses and doctors will be heroes”.
The themes are not all deep – Wax Dey’s bilingual musical heritage comes through in the Dijay Karl-produced Congolese Rumba-inspired French love song ‘Condamné à vie’ (Life sentence). Then he joins forces with producer Cornel for a playful afropop love song “Face” – a lyrically naked, somewhat cheesy, yet beautiful love letter co-written with young singer/songwriter, Naomi Mbenkum – “I run go on top Buea mountain, all that I can see is your face” sets the tone.
“Rise Again: The lockdown EP is a call for Africa to use the experience of Corona to rise out of the myths and shambles that have long constrained us. I think above all, Corona is a reminder that we are all vulnerable, yet all intrinsically resilient, whether black, white, African, European, Asian, blue or red,” says the singer.
“Corona has taught us to be less tolerant of injustice and inequality. This partly explains the revolutionary stance taken by the entire the world against the racial injustice exemplified by the murder of George Floyd. But it is also time for Africans everywhere to stand up and say, we can no longer accept to be mediocre; we want better leadership, better services, better infrastructure, more accountability and justice. The song Rise Again invokes our sense of culture and identity so that we can fight harder for those ideals that we deeply desire,” Wax Dey adds.
“But it is not a dark EP. Songs such as Face and Condamné à vie remind us that life must go on – we must fall in love, find new ways to interact socially and enjoy ourselves. Corona, just like 9/11 spells a new era – not a death sentence for the good life,” he concludes.
As part of the roll-out of this EP, Calabash Music is working on a mini-documentary, in partnership with Local Youth Corner Cameroon, to showcase successful and hardworking Africans working towards the emergence a new Africa, with a stronger sense of culture and identity.
“I think music has a key role to play at this very trying moment. The “Rise Again” project is very important because it capture key values of building peace and it demonstrates the ability of young people to collaborate to face a common problem,” said Achaleke Christian, Founder of Local Youth Corner Cameroon.