Sonically, IJALE's latest, Wildly Disparate Sounds is a delicious concoction of sleek production which moulds together afrocentric sounds with western influences in a nod to his Nigerian heritage and Australian upbringing. Thematically, the seven-track EP delves into his experience in Australia with intimate lyricism that reflects the misrepresentation of Black people down under.
The EP comes off the back of previous singles released this year including "Hotlines" and "Coffee Cups". The former details the microaggressions faced by IJALE and people of colour more broadly in Australia, with a playful flight attendant-like vocal sample from Naarm musician Rara Zulu. The effortless production vacates space for IJALE's earnest and emotive lyrics to breathe and bop in accordance with the rhythmic and powerful flow he creates. The latter features rapper Zephyrr Greene and was released on Kitsuné Musique, the French label that champions up-and-coming acts globally. Refreshingly, the up-beat drum programming and entrancing guitar melodies allow IJALE's vocals to rest wonderfully, reminding us of fellow Naarm rapper REMI.
"CCTV" develops the guitar melody placing it at the forefront of the track with enthralling enticement while "Couldn't Deliver" shows the simple excellence of IJALE's production, met with an infectious hook sung by Teischa. This track hones in more on the heartbreak aspect off the EP, as IJALE explains:
"Wildly Disparate Sounds is an in-depth portrait of my life and the overarching issues that pervade it. Two years in the making, it is comprised of abstractions and retellings of experiences that have changed me in ways I'm still discovering to this day. Without intending it, the EP is undoubtedly a breakup record and shows in great detail the vast array of emotions I felt during a turbulent relationship with a toxic partner. A lot of the songs on the project were written during this time, so in a way, the project is an exercise in making sense of what went down and why.
As it always has, the colour of my skin has helped shape my identity and my perspective of the world at large, and through the making of this project, I have discovered how my run-ins with racism and discrimination have shaped my ability to deal with trauma, trust wholeheartedly, love deeply and deal with intimate forms of betrayal".
Before the chaos of 2020 unfolded, IJALE hosted his first show in Naarm (Melbourne) playing alongside promising local musicians including Jordan Dennis, Nasty Mars and Rara Zulu amongst others. Down under we wish the best for his global career while secretly hoping that he is not snatched away just yet.