Review: From Riffs To Remixes, These Reimagined Masego Tracks Are Worth A Listen
Culture & Entertainment

Review: From Riffs To Remixes, These Reimagined Masego Tracks Are Worth A Listen

Masego's critically praised self-titled sophomore album was released earlier this year to fans' delight. Leaning on a cool, breezy, and smooth production, this 44-minute album highlights the singer's distinct musical delivery, which is steeped in neo-soul, R&B, and jazz. Through the album, Masego demonstrates his emotional and musical maturity via subjects of pursuing one's aspirations, looking for Black love, discovering oneself, and the scrutiny of contemporary fame.

Now, in response to the album's critical praise, Masego has released four remixes that provide an alternative take on some of his original tracks. With the help of Kweku Sanderson, Grammy-nominated producer Kooldrink, Pocket, and Jamie Brown, the tracks "What You Wanna Try," "Say You Want Me," and "Black Anime," the Grammy-nominated artist gives an already excellent compilation a new look and vibe.

To ride the wave of his successful sophomore album, Masego will kick off his headline Europe/UK Tour called "Where We Goin?" in 2024, where he will visit Berlin, Milan, Madrid, Amsterdam, London, and many more cities. In the meantime, however, you should definitely listen to the stellar Masego album, and give a listen to Masego Remixes.

"What You Wanna Try (Kweku Saunderson Detroit Mix)" 

I was intrigued and annoyed by this song's melody when I first heard it. I was intrigued by the distinctive sound of the tune, but I was also annoyed because there was, somehow, a familiarity behind the tune that I couldn't place. Nevertheless, after giving it some thought, I discovered that the familiar melody was lifted from "Tom's Diners" and given Masego's unique trap-jazz twist.

This tune is simply the beginning of Masego's musical brilliance. Cleverly, he produced a tune that felt familiar and brand-new by layering his original beat and flow over parts of the well-known track. When it comes to Black love, he appears to be asking the same questions that he asked himself in the song "Mystery Lady" from his last record.

He wants to know what she's willing to try, and he's prepared to give it to her, whatever that may be. A partnership? There he is. A fling? He is also able to accept that. The song is welcoming and forces you to want to find an answer to whatever question the artist poses.

With layered vocals, a drill rhythm, and an inverted echo of the singer repeating the first chorus over a variety of instruments, Kwekku Saunderson's remix has the most club-like vibe. Since this is the most significant song modification of all the remixes, the charm and sensual qualities typical of Masego's music aren't as evident here, which may leave the listener wanting more from the remix than from the original. However, its interpretation is still worth the listen, as it is intriguing to hear Saunderson's version of the single over a Detriot House beat.

"What You Wanna Try (Kooldrink (Amapiano) Remix)"

Masego's song "What You Wanna Try" is featured in this remix over an amapiano beat. The dance-like element of the single is emphasized at the beginning of the song, but when Masego enters, the song is almost as alluring as it was in the original. Why? This is largely due to being absorbed in the Afro-dance rhythms for such an extended period, that when the singer eventually makes an appearance and extends a warm welcome, it feels as if he is extending a sense of companionship following the protracted periods of isolation.

Since it seems like the more collaborative of the two remixes, I might appreciate this one a little bit more. Though it sounds more like Saunderson than Masego, the first song isn't a terrible cover. Nevertheless, despite maintaining Masego's self-assurance, the first song lacked the singer's easygoing charm and swagger when pursuing a lover. That's why it wasn't as interesting as this one, which manages to keep the charm and lyrics that make Masego so appealing and enjoyable to listen to, while also veering toward club-like sounds.

"Say You Want Me (Pocket Remix)"

Prior to Study Abroad: Extended Stay, Masego occasionally performed songs with elements of Caribbean music, although not as frequently as he does these days. In this single, Masego draws on his Jamaican roots in the original "Say You Want Me," playing a lively Afro-R&B groove that feels like warm sunshine. However, it is precisely because of this emotion that the song is so brilliant and flows so naturally, making the message all the more devastating for his pursuer. Masego takes the lead on the song with a player's mentality, talking about leading ladies on, while competing for their attention at the same time. There are times when he seems invested, changed even, but he quickly implies—almost tauntingly—that it was all just him lying to her.

The backing vocals, which are contributed by Ambré, Ari PenSmith, Mannywellz, and Destin Conrad, only serve to emphasize this point as they act as possible echoes of Masego's affections—only for them to learn that the voices are just an endless part of Masego's inconsistent actions.

The Afro-R&B is dropped in favor of a faster-paced, more energetic party song in the remix. This rendition of the song has some appeal, even if it's not as seductive as the original. Like other club hits, its irresistible rhythmic quality is the primary attraction. You won't be able to sit still, even if you don't like the song; and don't get me wrong, not enjoying this song is a big "if" because even in this rendition, you can't help but think that Masego meant something else for his lover, even if he is explicit about what he intended.

After this, it is impossible not to hope that he changes and searches for a greater romance.

"Black Anime (Jamie Brown Remix)"

In its original version, the opening of "Black Anime" has a piano riff that possesses a dream-like quality. Lasting only forty seconds, its melody brings the audience to an alternate reality full of grandeur and wonder that showcases the value of using one's imagination and how this exploration can foster new ideas that may contribute to one's success. Though, the melody does not nurture this idea alone. Instead, when Masego's vocals finally emerge, he gives off an impression of expansiveness mixed with the feeling of a distant, maybe illusive dream.

This is done when he uses the familiar tune from "The Cha-Cha Slide" to lull his audience into a dream-like state, illustrating the addictive nature of pursuing one's desires and "money dreams" through a captivating cycle of pleasurable contemplation.This song's Jamie Brown remix is intriguing since it produces the same engrossing loop as the original but in a novel and intoxicating way. This version instills a sense of urgency and agitation, rather than lulling us into following our aspirations through this infinite cycle of repetition. For example, if we don't achieve our goals with a swift and nearly frantic energy, they cannot materialize at all.

By the time the well-known tune of "The Cha-Cha Slide" appears during this performance, it seems as though Masego has reached a point of exhaustion and is being forced to take a break after working nonstop for many nights, only to have the cycle repeated the instant his eyelids open, again.

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The Reality Of Living With Severe Asthma – As Told by 2 Women On Their Disease Journey

This post is in partnership with Amgen.

The seemingly simple task of taking a breath is something most of us don’t think twice about. But for people who live with severe asthma, breathing does not always come easily. Asthma, a chronic respiratory condition that inflames and narrows the airways in the lungs, affects millions of people worldwide – 5-10% of which live with severe asthma. Severe asthma is a chronic and lifelong condition that is unpredictable and can be difficult to manage. Though often invisible to the rest of the world, severe asthma is a not-so-silent companion for those who live with it, often interrupting schedules and impacting day-to-day life.


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