Harlem based soul artist OTH€LLO has burst onto the scene with his wilfully playful debut single ‘SZA 4 NGAZ’, which expertly blends elements of soul, RnB and hip hop over a seductively loose Afrobeat. If this is OTH€LLO’s introduction to the industry, there is loads to be excited about.
Opening with a soft acoustic guitar pattern before the vocals enter gently, giving an almost tantalising sexuality to the single. This sexuality is the key theme of the lyrics, as they discuss feelings of self acceptance within the way they look and feel and how this relates to their sexual perspective and libido. As the song progresses, more layers are added, with the afrobeat drums adding an energy which transforms the track from emotional ballad to a laidback sleaze fest.
At this point of ‘SZA 4 NGAZ’ OTH€LLO introduces us to his ethereal flow, albeit fleetingly, only hanging around for a few bars before returning to his soulful vocals which bring such a relaxed feel to the song. This brings in the close of the track as he repeats the chorus, which is bound to latch itself into your mind after only one listen.
The entire track has a celestial atmosphere, almost bordering on gospel with the tone of the track. However, the lyrical content works in juxtaposition to this. It’s hard to recall something with such a detached vibe to lyrical content, which sets OTH€LLO apart from the soul scene.
Don’t be surprised to see OTH€LLO lead a new soul revolution, as his expertly crafted sound leans into his Congolese background, borrowing aspects from all different walks of his eventful life so far. One thing is for sure, OTH€LLO is not one to play it safe so it is super exciting to see where he goes next.