The Surprise of Banky W's 'Jaiye Ori Mi'

On my way driving to work one morning, I overheard some OAPs on radio giving kudos to Banky W's recently released single titled 'Jaiye Ori Mi'.

There were many reasons for the kudos one of the prominent being that it was not another 'jollof' music. Over the years, the Naija music scene has been dominated by a lot of music that just seemed like bunches of juveniles making noise about their fake wealth, sexual exploits and in many cases nothing substantial in particular. I remember raising a concern about such and one dim-witted gave me the excuse that they were just 'club bangers'.

Club Bangers? Like that's an excuse for mediocrity. It’s no wonder most Naija mainstream music never stand the test of time.

In a time when 70% percent of what you hear on radio airwaves is a mixture of meaningless repetitions, pointless slang creations, weakly fabricated dance steps and forced effort to create rhythm and melody with filthy language, Banky W's new single was a refreshing thing to hear on the airwaves. This is not to say Banky is not guilty of the atrocity of producing 'jollof' music. In fact when he released songs of such nature, I was wondering if he had flung he vocal virtuoso into the gutter and joined the bandwagon. But then he would reinforce the fact that he had not abandoned the true art by releasing sweet ballads that serenaded every sound system.

The height of it all is 'Jaiye Ori Mi'.

Now while the idea behind the song is similar to what many artistes have done before (which is to present a song that talks about their achievements irrespective of enemies or 'bad belles' and also attribute it to God), Banky presents his own appreciative song in a humbling, inspiring and almost tear-jerking way. The difference between this song and that done by other artistes is that while the others boast with effrontery and show-off of success, Banky simply presents with undeterred humility, his imperfectness, flaws, challenges and vivid truth and facts that are inspiring and thought provoking.

In his rap sequence, Banky spit touching words that will conjure empathy for what he has gone through in his lifetime as an artiste who has been ridiculed, criticized and made a success of his struggles. In fact this is a song that shouldn't just be enjoyed for its rhythm but also for its strong message. Listening to Banky’s rap you can’t help but feel his pains and what he’s gone through. And boy he sure does do rap very well, even better than some so called Naija rap MCs…

I know say people just love to dey hate me
I see the comments on Linda Ikeji
I know say people love to dey underate me
There's no mistaking, I'm elevating
If they could kill Jesus and He was perfect
Say what they want about me 'cause I am worthless
So when they put you to the test, just do your best
And let God do the rest, and enemies stress
I'm a living witness, I'm the proof
Nothing is impossible and that's the truth
You can achieve if you plan to
If I can make it man, you can too
They say my skin no fresh, it gots to be bleached
They say I really no fine, omo na film trick
I don dey puff up, I'm getting too much kick
And I got a big head, I'm blessed with too much brain...

In the song’s bridge before the chorus which also appears at the beginning, Banky’s says thought-provoking things that touch the heart:

‘Cause if I die today, nobody go die with me
Oloun ma je oh (God forbid)
If I go broke today, I won’t ever hear my phone ring
Oloun ma je oh (God forbid)
I no send nobody, Imma keep doing my thing
And if you’re feeling me now, let me hear you sing
Ma jaiye Ori mi x3 (I will enjoy my life)
Mi o dehin ola Oh (I won’t miss out on wealth)
O dola ki ile to mo (It will all dawn tomorrow)

While the song itself showcases these strong elements, the video further empowers it with interesting visuals and humour.

The setting is religious in nature; the main scenario being a church auditorium. Banky takes the position of the minister/preacher and it works well in visually interpreting the song.

The congregation is made up of a cross section of celebrities who do a good job of hilariously playing the different kind of vain characters you find in church.

The popular act of dozing in church in well represented hilariously.

You have the pervert who’s only in church to check out a babe's and exposed legs until an usher covers them and moves him to another seating position.

Then there are the self-absorbed chicks taking ‘selfies’ in church, distracting others who are taught a lesson by another member who seizes the phone. 

We also have the show-off dude who’s bent off showing off his blings but can’t drop anything in the offering basket and is eventually forced to hesitantly drop his blings.

Even the testimony giver who feels she must tell a long epistle or sing a ‘special number’ is also featured.

The video was a splendid Clarence Peters montage with beautiful aerial shots of the dancing choristers and a passionate Banky in performance.           

Jaiye Ori Mi is a good song with a good video, no doubt about it. Perhaps one of the things that make it outstanding is the fact that it actually has lyrics (unlike ‘jollof’ music) – and sensible one at that.

It’s definitely a tune that will play for a long time on my stereo. Thumbs up for Banky W, he’s done it again and shown us what being exceptional really means.