Arriving the music scene with his debut mixtape VIV in 2016, Remy Baggins has always expressed a duality in singing and rapping. Perhaps that explains the effervescence that runs through the project, full of playful charm and cohesive themes about love and relationships. Also, VIV was an introduction to how Remy could hermetically contain ideas and messages in a body of work.
”Every single detail from the artwork to the lyrics have to go together. I take cohesiveness very seriously,” Remy says. Such is what occurs in 2017’s Eigengrau, an EP influenced by the depression he suffered for months which ironically doesn’t drown in melancholy but goes for a range of sunny, uptempo beats. His 2019 EP Hentai is pulpy and sex-soaked, canvassing for intimacy and lust through the disco-inspired Rock Your Body, the sleek brevity of NakedxSavage and the horny manifesto of rap-adjacent DripxxPhoneSex.
Born Urenmisan Solo-Edema, Remy is from Delta but born and raised in Lagos, the first child of three children and the only male. ”The earliest memory I have of consciously making music was making beats on a keyboard my uncle got for me when I was 6, then I started writing songs when I was in primary 5,” Remy remembers, ”I used to sing and act in my primary school musicals as well, I was almost always the lead character (Nollywood better holla at me, e still dey body).”
Thanks to his father, Remy grew up listening to a lot of Micheal Jackson, King Sunny Ade, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Yanni, Boyz II Men, Tina Turner, to name a few. Remy would later go on to establish his record label SouthSeid Music in 2019 and signed himself. It also a music production company. ”I produce too It depends on my mood and what emotions I’m trying to convey. If I’m making a sexy song, R&B is the way to go. If I’m trying to tell a story, rap/trap works best, etc.” Remy reveals.
On his songwriting process, Remy starts with production and once he’s satisfied with that phase which is mostly gibberish, he admits, he selects and arranges the best parts then write to the melodies.
Last year, and despite a crippling pandemic, Remy dropped two projects Sakura and Amaterasu. While the former leans into laidback, atmospheric RnB, Amaterasu looms over with sinister braggadocio as a trap EP. Gboju, which features rappers Mojo and PsychoYP, is a prime example. It’s obvious by now that Remy is an anime fan, allowing nearly all the titles of his projects to be inspired by the entertainment art form.
”My fave right now is Attack on Titan, but they’re using us to catch cruise. Who divides a final season into two and delays the second half by over a year abeg?” Remy laments over the enduring anime series.
These days, Remy is listening to Scribz Riley, Jarreau Vandal, Saint Jhn, Rema, Justin Bieber, Cheikh Lô and Richard Bona. His last single Sample was released in December last year, but he won’t say what he’s working on currently. ”Just keep your eyes peeled,” Remy says mysteriously.
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.