READ more: The Singing Doctor
How much is a dollar in Nigeria again? 490? How many are complaining of the status quo? Relax, Survivor will give you some hope.
Some months back, Dr. Alams and his producer Mac Fash gave us the thrills of your Magic ,Wahala and Energy bubbling through our phones and all over Facebook. It was not bad for a talented young man walking his paths of destiny; from doctoring to writing to music. The Singing Doctor didn’t loose his knots, he tied them better and released another captivating song, one that bore into the very core of the prevalent Nigeria situation.
First Ear: The first time I heard Survivors, I was pulled into the beats immediately. Finger tapping! Oshey. Whether it’s an upward tilt of your head, a random waist whining, a foot tapping or a slow but discreet body gesture, Survivors will just make you move. The beautiful thing is survivor is not just any kind of song, and the moves accompanying this dance is not any kind either. It’s not the usual gyrate beat of Olamide, Wizkid and the likes. Perhaps from the sound comes the lyrics, either ways it’s a perfect combo that gets you thinking seriously enough to move as a survivor. Picture yourself raising a placard for better economy, the fist of no we cannot continue like this or the hmmmm sensation dangling in your throat. Maybe, see it like you getting up from your troubles and clapping happily yet subtlety acknowledging how far you have come. Survivors will make you feel something.
My High Five: It is a fight song. An encourager, a lift of spirit, a call. But it even gets interesting. Survivors is one of the best songs I have listened to in the past months that conveys a serious message in the most crisp but subtle manner ever. No dramas, no gunshots in the background, no grunts, no foul words, no oh please shut up or Nigeria jagajaga, everything scatter scatter. Even the one day bushmeat go catch the hunter song isn’t as subtle as this. It’s like a Timi Dakolo song in upbeat version. You know Timi doesn’t stress himself, slow does it. Dr. Alams isn’t stressing himself either. The lyrics mixed with pidgin and rich words appeals to you, saying the very happenings around you.
“No forget na we put you”
“We stand in the kitchen absorbing the heat, see as you enjoying the meat.”
“Next election, we press delete.”
“Grow a conscience.”
“Chop mouth e no do. You try to poison our own stew.”
It indirectly talks to attack the situation crisis Nigeria is facing while still maintaining some sense and sanity.
And Survivors is not just talking to a situation, it points to leaders and individuals as well, a call on deep reflection to turn over a new leaf. An empowerment to push on despite the challenges.
However, I didn’t like that the song ended before I opened and closed my eyes. Don’t blame me please. I mean, It ended so soon but then all songs must come to an end. Though survivor isn’t an end in itself, once the song ended, I played it again. Or put on repeat.
“We cannot continue like this. We will rise from the ashes and create our own bliss.”
“We’re stronger than they think”
Who are the they? The very possible problem and challenge you can think of that existing in your life and in the country Nigeria. While Dr Alams didn’t state outrightly that it is a song for Nigeria, this song can be a fight chant for any other country. It is as direct a message about Nigeria as it is indirect to the world.
So the video came out and I went Oh where is it and waited for Dr. Alams to turn his YouTube privacy view to public.
I respect this song that I listen to it with some built in hope. Mood swings? Survivor crushes it anytime. Perhaps why I was agitated when I heard the video came out.
My take on the video: I know this is a big starting and it takes a while but I was not expecting a rush on this video in the first place. Maybe if Dr. Alams had done a video on Wahala , Energy or Magic, I would not have bothered much but Survivors? I beg to differ, I expected something dramatic, action video full of different shades of people depicting a survivor stance or scene. I expected a calculated step choreography: I think i pictured a one lady dancer grinding it on the dance floor ” musclely” I mean every dance step trying to accentuate what it means to be a survivor. Perhaps, there could also have been a male gang. Note I didn’t say team. This is a serious song abeg. A gang pushing the buttons of surviving and telling the world a story. I expected to see a song that told a story. However, the video is neat and nicely captured. I say No fogs, no haze. You know sometimes when you watch a YouTube video and the lightning, video work is poor quality? Survivor has none of that. And like the audio, it ended too soon.
The hmmmm Part: But the lyrics were the ones telling me a story, the video didn’t really show me the story. The introduction of the video was pretty nice, the city background, the artist’s approach and walking stance as well as the big bone faced men. But the part where a small girl was shown carrying a tray of items got me confused. She had this smirky smile on her face, I think she should be boning or in activity. What was she even doing there? The two big guys in the sunny shadow that came together like they wanted to fight and break something didn’t quite drive home any point. Then they showed them with their hands folded across their chest. The part where the song goes “we are broken free” nothing depicted this strong lyrical line and I think something should have. That line makes me remember TY Bello’s video “The Future” where she had to fight her way through some people serving as obstacles( the poverty obstacle was beautifully captured) and then she broke free from them. Then the two big guys bowed to each other and started their supposed fight, I am not understanding.
Lastly on this, why did Dr. Alams have to wear an orange over all? At the last part “we would rise from the ashes?” All I see is Rihanna’s “Mandown” that a lady on MTN project fame ’16 sang; she wore something like that, only it showed she was a criminal. This outfit didn’t sit right in the video for me as there was no concept linking to it.
Regardless, it’s song for me anyday and I wish to see another video in the future.
Conclusively, even when wahala surrounds us, we are survivors. Yes, I remember people talking about Nigeria splitting by 2015 as a result of the elections. Have we splitted now? Nah.
If you need to reflect, searching for hope or lift in spirit. Listen to Survivors. Trust me. If the beat does not sweep you off your feet, the lyrics will, that just a nod would count.
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