AUDIO: Ayanfe – “All That Matters” (EP)

Ayanfe has since spent much of his time crafting his just-released debut body of work titled All That Matters. The extended play presents a dioramic image of his talent, life, and desires, offering a window into the things that motivate him.

The talented singer represents perhaps the finest mutation of the current music landscape, breaking into the limelight with a series of covers before endearing himself to more listeners with songs like Pretend, What’s Going On, and Focus.

On project opener, Burst My Head, he spins a warm love anthem over a subtle percussive base conjured by Napji, repeating his pithy line with pathos-filled conviction. The follow-up Vannessa is a thematic follow-up on the loved-up claims of Burst My Head as he falls deeper into the elation of this romance. The centre of All That Matters is packed with songs seeking clarity on the status of this love affair before segueing into an engaging duet with Peruzzi on My Mind that sees both singers bring their inventive approach to songwriting to the fore over a lush instrumental that harkens to romantic bliss.

Tiwa Savage’s dulcet vocals enlivens Fire as she moves back and forth in a verse delivered between English and Yoruba as All That Matters enters its final stretch. Much of the album is spent inching towards Migrate, a show-stopping collaboration between Ayanfe and Davido that sees them work around each other to make bop dedicated to love interests. Davido’s impassioned yelps give an expressive quality to the track while Ayanfe’s buttery verse adds depth as they interchange with ease across the song’s length. 44, the song that closes out the project, is a pseudo-tribute to his deceased mentor, Obama DMW, who passed away earlier this year. Featuring vocals from Obama DMW and Jamopyper, the song is a throwback to the bacchanal-themed songs that made Afrobeats such a resonant genre.

Across All That Matters, Ayanfe shows a balance between his hitmaking sensibilities and his fierce commitment to artistic expression.

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