I just listened to the new Sarkodie EP, Alpha EP. Like all sane Ghanaians, the song I anticipated the most was collaboration with Ebony Reigns. Ebony Reigns is the first artist to be awarded VGMA Artist of the Year post-mortem and the first artist to be award VGMA Artist of the Year on a technicality so she’s forever in our hearts. I was a bit disappointed by the actual thing. Okay, not disappointed but conflicted.
I am not going to pretend I knew Ebony’s creative process. From her public persona, I can infer she was an artist who worked off of vibes. She was an artist who lived in a moment, and go with the flow. She however took extra precaution to make sure every work she put out was very manicured. It’s hard find a scene on any Ebony video or a line any Ebony that wasn’t celebrate. Her costume and stagecraft were all pared to perfection.
Her sanguine and instantaneous way of living came across in her interviews. She was able to strike a perfect balance between living in the moment and taking her time to her works trimmed to perfection. That’s why she was one of the greatest to do ever it.
It will follow that Ebony will work off of vibes in the studio when she’s working and then come back later to smoothen the rough edges, pun intended.
Ebony’s verse on Sarkodie’s Odo sounds like it never got to the manicuring process. It looks like Ebony recorded her verse off of the vibe in the studio with the goal to come back to the studio to re-record it but never did. I’m not saying her verse sounded back, I’m saying it sounded raw. It wasn’t well-mixed or whatever mixed it is oblivious to her to-go vocal manipulation plugins.
It was still great that Sarkodie put it out even if Ebony’s voice sounded like she recorded her verse from across the grave. Ebony saying she was going to paradise in her got me really emotional. The conspiracy theorist in me was like, “did she know?”
It was different from the rest of the Alpha EP. Alpha EP sounds like a collection of leftover songs from the Highest session. On the opening song, Greatness, gave a shout-out to rappers he liked in 2017. The line sounded like he was living in 2017 when he wrote and recorded it. It was obvious why the songs on the EP didn’t make the album. Each sounded like just another Sarkodie song. Even the standout song, Bleeding, sounded like the appreciation song you do when to end your album session. Angels and Demons is the only song that sounded it was recorded post-Highest.