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Album Review: Dotti The Deity’s ‘For You Knew Me’

While growing up, folk music had its hurrah days in Nigeria through the voices of folk legends such as Beautiful Nubia and Asa, but as the years went by, it dwindled- losing its appeal.

But in recent times, contemporary folk music has been making a subtle comeback through the valiant effort of certain young and talented music acts such as Oladotun Okeowo Alani better known as Dotti The Deity. 

Dotti The Deity came into the limelight in 2020 when he was crowned winner of the maiden edition of Mtn’s Yello Star Competition.

But just like many others before him who had found fame through a music talent tv reality show, he struggled to live up to the unrealistic aftermaths that came with these shows- especially since he chose a path most couldn’t dare to tread; Indie Folk music– a bold move, incredibly audacious in fact.

In the years that ensued, Dotti, The Deity would take solace on Instagram, telling fables via music covers, winning over new ears, and building at his own pace and his terms (I mean, his debut single came two years after the show). 

Dotti The Deity’s debut oeuvre is consistent with its theme- Romantic Love. ‘For You Knew Me‘  is neo-folk music that tells love stories which reveal the singer’s distinct personalities ranging from melancholic to phlegmatic to hopeless romantic. 

He displays vulnerability, wit, pain, and passion for romance as he puts it in his own words: “I am a hopeless romantic and I own it with my chest”.

The track opener, ‘Deja Vu’ begins with a chant that sparks a feeling of nostalgia(that is if you were an avid listener of Beautiful Nubia music).  

Deja vu begins with smooth sailing- electric guitar finger pickings and traditional percussion riding its wave before graduating into a beautiful sequence (Abeke).

Abeke is a soft requiem to a lover. Dotti is amorous and docile on this record- exposing a vulnerability to his persona(a side he vehemently reveals throughout the project).

Regrets and pleas are Dotti’s pals on ‘Pamisaye‘ while he reminisces on the jazzy-tinged/ rhythm and bluesy ‘Good Times’. The latter is extremely soulful and deeply personal, he also takes the same direction on ‘Time Heals’.

‘Akoya’ is probably the only time Dotti explores traditional folk music and the only time he isn’t trying to serenade but instead throwing careful jabs at an ex-lover.

‘Goodbye’ marks the end of a beautifully told tale, taking flight over soft piano chord progressions.

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