‘Youth’ marks the third chapter of Azekel’s debut album release. It builds on the previous titled; ‘Mental health’, which recognised the issues around depression, self-doubt and anxiety, whilst also, expressing how he came to understand it and manage it through music. However, his latest chapter ‘Youth’, was described by Azekel to be ‘based on present age and living out my youth whilst having responsibilities’.
First grabbing my attention with his captivating, heartfelt performance at Jazz Café earlier in April, as the secret headliner for Kojey Radical debut “Endless Presents…” event. I was impressed by his ease to reach high notes, and to bring them back down to speaking level quite effortlessly, and with his slightly sultry voice telling his story so well, he didn’t need to bring much stage presence. Listening to Youth a few weeks back, seemed to relive that live performance.
Azekel’s story continues with the thrilling track; ‘Wetty Betty’, which after a swirling, dreamy slowed down introduction is accompanied by an enthralling funk bassline, reminiscent of old school 70s funk tracks. The breakdown to the track makes the hook very memorable, as the addition of gentle piano chords, along to soft, slightly harmonised vocals provided a particularly poignant recurring feature which is not easy to forget.
‘Taxi Man’ continues the chapter at a slightly quicker, more rhythmic, upbeat pace to the last. Its difficult not to imagine riding in taxi whilst listening to this track (as cliché as it sounds), but Azekel’s lyrics help to create that imagery, whilst also seemingly reminiscing his youth days. Closing with track ‘Good Wine’, Azekel seems to leave an interesting message for listeners as well as himself. As he expresses the mistakes he’s made in his youth which have affected him now, but he reiterates the need to not allow those mistakes to ruin the present. An excellent development of Azekel’s on-going journey, one in which I’m excited to hear more of.
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