Vibes: term often loosely used to describe music that evokes positive & happy sensations.
“It’s a rarity for an album to have good vibes from top to bottom”
It’s a rarity for an album to have good vibes from top to bottom, but that’s the goal Dimeji Tyler fondly called Tylerriddim in music circles set for himself on debut tape, Summer Riddim.
“I live for pure vibes so I came up with the name Summer Riddim in 2015 with an intention to have a mash up of the ‘vibiest’ sounds. I had come up with just one song “Domitilla” prod by 3rty and the project had no clear direction then”.
Released on September 2nd 2018, seeds of the creation were first sown in 2013.
“I had the best time of my life in summer 2013 and that was the same year the artiste Tylerrriddim was born. 2013 birthed our lifestyle/record company Mokanla 11. Hence there was a structure and that structure would see me rise and birth the long awaited compilation Summer Riddim. There was also a lot of great music at that time”.
One of such was Burna Boy’s debut album L.I.F.E and coincidentally the sounds of Tyler and Burna Boy are cut from the same fabric. I must say that Tyler didn’t explicitly state this, but my guts tell me L.I.F.E must have contributed to the process of shaping the artiste Tyler has become.
“I remember going to a lot of parties in Lagos and Abuja cos I used to design fliers and posters so I always got a free pass. 2013 was the rebirth of Afrobeat and it was obvious as most of the songs getting plays and traction at these parties were afrobeat. It was a great year for music, we had songs like Burna Boy’s Like to Party, Sarz’ and Wizkid’s Beat of Life and many more.”
Although, unlike a few new cats in the Afro-Pop & Afro Fusion genres, Tyler isn’t just your straight copy of Burna Boy, as one can argue that he brings more soul than most on Summer Riddim. Girlfriend, Stop Am & Squeeze Tight, Hold Tight are 3 deeply soulful cuts. Girlfriend is mood music, the depth of its execution conjures feelings that makes one strongly relate to Tyler’s theme of despair as he’s suffering from a lack of affection from his love interest. Stop Am has a nostalgic fondness that’s reminiscent of the remix to L.Marshall’s Castles. Squeeze Tight, Hold Tight is a mellow tropical ballad that sees Tyler requesting to be loved by his love interest; apparently her love is even sweeter than jollof. Tyler has a snappy rhythmic impulse that makes him croon in one second, spit rap lines in the next and deliver with an upbeat patois flow right after. His versatility in delivery is a product of hard work and sometimes forced practice
“I remember writing a song and recording on 4 different occasions cos the producer would always lose my files/data”
The bouncy production of Sweet Mirinda fuses dancehall and afrobeat elements to create something with a pop appeal. No More starts off sounding like a hip-hop record but midway into it you feel like you’ve been thrown right into a Taylor Swift pop jingle, making it one of the better sound mingling effort of the tape. The highlife influences on Save Me and his youthful delivery makes it a balanced genre-defying tune. The dancehall ready sound of I’m Ready is poised to break backs. Domitilla is a straight up banger with an energetic dancehall production that sees Tyler having one of his better outings in terms of making music that moves the pulse.
Fusion and Improvisation are the heart of the music Tyler makes on Summer Riddim. It is dynamic, but its dynamism rarely comes at the expense of the artiste’s tight subject matter. It is an ambitious record with a sound texture that’s mostly uniform, but Tyler’s versatility makes the music across the board place you in different spaces. It’s difficult picking which makes a stronger impression – his unmistakable aura, his spontaneity or versatility.