Nigerian rapper/singer/producer Suté Iwar recently put out his new project 199x. The 17 track body of work blends a handful of genres like hip-hop, R&B, Afro-Pop and soul and showcases his versatile approach to making music. Some parts of the LP sees him embodying the true emcee spirit and at times he is in his R&B/Afrosoul tip. Beyond the music, Iwar uses the medium to detail the love struggles of a millennial African balancing his culture and roots and influences from the global scale.
The solemn moody track "Pulp Fiction" opens up the project and is a display of pure affection for a loved one. This is followed by "Swayy" and "Winter Cold" which show two different sides of the artist. The former is a warm texture-driven track ripe with afro drum breaks and sultry vocal runs while the latter displays some excellent storytelling raps over somber guitar riffs. Here, Iwar reflects on finding love in the cold Irish winter nights and savoring each moment as they last. "Fever" has a pop-infused sound with its bright synths and punchy drums while "Narcissus Is Dead" has a video-game type sound and focuses on Iwar's indecisions regarding commitments. "U" is an engaging tune and features singer/rapper SGaWD who delivers an alluring melodic performance and holds her own next to Iwar.
I must add, Iwar has a knack for crafting sublime soundscapes and his subtle use of samples goes unnoticed as he brings a whole new refreshing style to the forefront. Sometimes it's hard to pinpoint what genre he is focused on but the music is just too brilliant to bother about it. Tracks like "Rehab (Her Story)" and "Future Present" sound nothing alike with the former lying in the realm of experimental jazz soul and the latter in the funk/Afropop region. He is adept with the pen and while his singing takes center stage, his rapping ability is actually not far behind. Overall 199x offers a mix of the old, new, and futuristic and everyone can jump right into it and find it enjoyable.
Nigeria-born Suté Iwar started piano lessons at age 7 and learned the sax at 12 years proceeding to play in his high school band and orchestra. He recorded his first-ever mixtape at 15 using the Fruity Loops software before moving to Ireland to further his education. He also obtained a diploma in audio production, and has released four projects (two mixtapes, one LP, one EP) under his name with 199x being his latest LP. For those who might not know he is Tay Iwar's blood brother and member of the Bantu Collective.