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Licky gifts fans a birthday surprise

Licky gifts fans a birthday surprise
May 30
12:05 2018

KWAKU GYANTEH

On the 12th of May, pop singer Licky released an EP to coincide with her 26th birthday. Since breaking out in 2016 with the Orackle assisted ‘Free Love’, she has showed an incredible resilience in a genre that has seen more deserters than a football team after a premiere league loss.

Following the single, a wave of support for Licky was felt and rave reviews came pouring like an unserviced standpipe. The overwhelming sentiment was that for the first time Botswana had a real contemporary R&B/Pop girl servicing that pocket which had mostly been abandoned.

Over the years, there have many ladies coming in the industry with a desire to share their talent under the R&B genre. Due to a myriad of factors including poor public reception, favour of dominant genres such as House, Afro-Pop and Gospel, as well as a low tolerance to endure these challenges on the part of these artists, a switch to more popular genres was usually the end result. The industry is faithful to people who show a willingness to learn quickly and contort, in order to deal with sudden changes. This has been an overarching theme in careers of contemporary artists such as ATI, Amantle Brown and Dramaboi – artists who had at some point been discounted, overlooked and faced a mountain of adversity but still stuck it out to get on top again. Licky is one such artist who shows the same mettle the courageous are fashioned from.

With a machine like Heartbeat Sounds that has K-Bos at the helm, pioneers like Prez Beats and Man-E on production as well as the genius architecture of producer Bangu, Licky found herself in good hands. Her rise in popularity aided by the polished music was multiplied exponentially by moves that ensured that position was cultivated and maintained. While Free Love was at its peak, bookings could be scarce and prove daunting for an act with one song out but in a bold move and a show of faith, the singer was lumped for performance engagements with label mates Gaone Rantlhoiwa who had scored a hit in “Kopisa” and Frost with “Pula.” As a 3-for-1 package this ensured that all artists had their shine on stage and their fans satisfied on top of the financial gain spread out.

On the other hand, her success can be seen as miniscule when factoring in that she had no relative competition and the bar set so low in her genre that any movement would be applauded. Even with all the accolades, Licky had been suffering the same poor affliction Botswana’s music industry has – the lack of solid full-length projects by even established acts with years in the game. In Botswana, it is not an anomaly to find an artist with clout and 10 years with only one album to their name. This situation places the legitimacy and professionalism of the industry in question, as is the case when compared to regional or even international markets.

4 A Moment EP presents 6 new songs out of 10, in addition to 4 singles she had released over the years. Missing from the EP is the BanT assisted 2016 release About That Life which could be a blessing as the song was a creative miss. The Dramaboi assisted “Real Bad” released in February of this year enjoys regular airplay, currently standing at number 7 on Yarona FM Hot 20 chart, but sees the township rapper sticking to a tried and trusted song writing aesthetic that is less than exciting. It is disappointing witnessing one of the most highly rated rappers in the country turn into a caricature of himself in real-time.

Outside of the clear sonic reference of Drake’s hit Controlla from two summers back, Push Away gave us an enjoyable verse from label mate Bouncy and ethereal vocals from Licky. The Prez Beats single was nominated for Best R&B Single at the Yarona FM Music Awards adding another notch on the singer’s belt. The most enjoyable moments come from songs such as “Trippin” a smooth Tropical House and Dancehall infused record eliciting visions of beach side vacations. Licky croons through the pain and uncertainty of an on-and-off relationship on W.I.H (When It Hurts) with a wistful, understated cadence atop a funk inspired production.

4 A Moment champions freedom of expression, financial independence, sexual liberation and blissful enjoyment, all the while taking stock of her own emotions and action by keeping personal integrity and accountability at her core. She acknowledges her own fallibility but never allows herself to dip too far to keep her from being objective and rooted in her sense of self. 4 A Moment physical copies are available now.

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