Inspired by loss, love and balance, Fasina’s Love and Grief EP out since early February takes sonic cues from his previously released materials, including his 2016 debut EP LifT, which is particularly set against notes of techno, RnB, and Afrobeats. But it’s a more evolved and complex cut. Recorded during the turbulent #ENDSARS nationwide protests of 2020, Fasina’s physical features for the project’s promotions skews towards the morbid. Eyes bloodshot, tears streaming in the same colour, an imagery that feels like he’s dissecting his pain.
As Lagos continues to be marked by the fingerprints of Afrobeats, putting the city in a chokehold, Fasina is carving a space for himself that upends those musical narratives, pushing a sound where multiple flows can exist. Born in Washington DC, Fasina grew up between Nigeria and London. It’s no wonder he’s made rap songs like Nasty inflected by the dynamism of the latter city – Afro-swing, a sonic flourish within the Black British diaspora.
”I have alway been into hip hop,” Fasina tells, ”Back in primary school, I had a clique with this two guys and it was sick. I listened to a lot of Eminen, 50 Cents, Cold Play, and Biggie and as I grew older I listened to Tyler the Creator, to mention a few.”
A native from Ijebu-Ode, Ogun, Fasina didn’t finish university. He doesn’t say the reason for this, but it’s evident that his heart is with music. ”I decided to make music because that’s what I love.” Between LifT and Love and Grief, Fasina has left a glut of collaborations and features. Joint EP with Tim Lyre titled 3 Strains released last year, Seki SuperVillain, JoulesDaKid and Mojo for the emo-tinged rap single GTA.
Elsewhere, the Minz-assisted Freaky leans into popular waves of Afro dancehall. His latest Can’t Complain is with Toronto-based singer Nova. ”I don’t have any favourite colloboration because everything has been authentic but I do like Wahala on the Rocks with Gigi Atlantis.”
Fasina is in Lagos, soaking in the madness and chaos of the city. Over the phone, vehicle horns blares and he apologises for the noise. A long-form project from the artiste is the works, but for it’s all about Love and Grief. After all, it’s still Cupid’s month.
When Bernard Dayo isn’t writing about pop culture, he’s watching horror movies and reading comics and trying to pretend his addiction to Netflix isn’t a serious condition.