Krizbeatz is unarguably one of Africa’s finest producers. Since the last decade, the disc jockey and songwriter has significantly contributed to Afropop’s endearing qualities. Born Chris Alvin Sunday, the ‘drummer boy’ name tag of Krizbeatz is synonymous with a colourful percussive style that has made him widely sought after.
After his stellar work producing for others, Krizbeatz has embraced more freedom by putting out his own music. His foray into projects began with 2017’s Afro Dance Music and three years later, followed up with the critically-acclaimed African Time, an album which highlighted the producer’s strengths as a curator. Combining the most exciting features from the sprawling world of African music, he successfully crafted an engrossing body of work which belonged among the year’s standouts. Each record bore the unmistakable dazzle of Krizbeatz, featuring beats that were as layered as the stories being described on wax.
A deluxe album followed shortly after, and throughout the December festive period Krizbeatz’s music was blaring across Africa and the world. Over the past year the SAE Institute alumni of Music Technology has continued to stake out fresh turf, and his latest song “Abena” shows that. Following from the June-released “Wild Party,” a groovy collaboration with Bella Shmurda and Rayvanny, this one combines the flavours of Nigeria and Tanzania once more, but the lyrical direction is quite distinct.
1Da Banton of the “No Wahala” fame finds natural alliance in Mbosso, an enjoyable musician whose Swahili evokes the dreamy ease of lullabies. A romantic affair holds the actual tension at the song’s centre, with both musicians uniquely positioning themselves for the lady’s affection. 1Da Banton bemoans her indifference, singing “you go soon turn me to psycho” and maintains the cheeky charisma throughout his verse. “Abena oh, don’t kill me for mama o,” he sings in the chorus, pleading still. Mbosso’s verse is energetic and suffused in great candour, bringing into life the possible image of a woman as beautiful as Abena.
Masterful as ever, Krizbeatz’s production flexes his ability to always come across as textured. A door’s creak heightens the suspense in the opening seconds, but afterwards it’s the Bongo Flava guitars and punchy percussions which hold you spellbound. Horns, shekeres and bassy interludes also come in to spice up things. The result is a song that delivers on Krizbeatz’s well-defined mission to soundtrack the bubbly energy of Africa’s new leaders—its youth.
With his EP ‘King of The New Wave’ forthcoming later this year, Krizbeatz is stepping further towards his deserved place as a pioneer. Even when he’s fronting an edgy style in his fashion or playing to crowds of diverse nationalities, music has always been the dominant influence. Listeners now get to step into his vibrant world of sound, and “Abena” is the new landmark aboard the Krizbeatz train.