REVIEW

Hear the Music, Feel the Dream

Thandeka Diphoko is of the view that with his debut EP, Ohmz is asserting himself as the real kgosi.

The intro to the Feel the Dream EP is as smooth as the take-off of a plane with a seasoned pilot steering. A few seconds in, the production is already crispy and clean, setting the tone for a beautifully produced offering by the Botswana-born and now Bloemfontein-based Kgosi Leburu, widely known as Ohmz.

Ohmz started writing songs in 2004, but only went pro in 2012 when he released his first single. Titled Don’t Stop, the song rose to the number one spot on the Yarona FM Top 40 charts. Yarona FM is a trending youth radio station based in Gaborone, Botswana.

Feel the Dream is a debut EP from the crowd-arousing performer. It sums up the trials and tribulations of being a budding artist in a cut-throat industry, but still sticking to your dreams, no matter what.

It was released on his birthday – 18 June 2017 – and is mainly produced by the new kid on the block, Trasshy Riiich, but also hosts guest collaborations from the talented likes of Beatslayer – who produced Ohmz’s January 2016 Hype Magazine single, All I Need – TR Hitz and Austria’s Adal White. Other local acts that Ohmz has joined hands with include K-Set, Castino, Thwenny Thwenny, PrimeEezy, LostOnez, Eerah and many others.

Evidently, the fact that this is Ohmz’s first EP doesn’t mean he’s been inactive; he has released a lot of singles, including a remake of Khuli Chana’s Respek, which eventually caught Khuli’s attention and led to him reaching out to the local rapper for a possible working relationship.

Whatever comes out of the talks, we’ll still recognise Ohmz as a crucial and necessary addition to Bloemfontein’s entertainment industry, and much of this project backs this up.

I will be the first to mention that the beats and the production on this EP are top shelf. It’s kind of sound you feel deep in your gut. As the bass blasts through the speakers, you most certainly feel Ohmz’s dreams through the music.

The second song on the EP – Sutang Foo – is a mission statement that Ohmz is coming for everything. Consistent in that it maintains the same spirit as the intro: it is catchy, vibey, and commanding of your attention. Also, it is smooth and without instrumental clutter in production, and audibly balanced so that you can hear and heed the warning on the hook gore o sute foo: moving out of the way. This track, which features L Tore, is a banger in every right.

Ohmz is a gifted man who is surely determined to make his presence felt. This I say because Piss off the Neighbours is the kind of joint which, if it came on at 2am and you were the sleeping neighbour, you’d be pissed off that you’ve been missing all the fun, but only for a little while, until you too join in the party. I imagine him performing it, and having everybody up on their feet, two-stepping and screaming, “Ho bona, Ohmz! On them!”

On them, a song in which he collaborates with Castino and Trasshy Riiich, was a bit underwhelming though.  Or maybe I was expecting more.  But I feel like the trio could have done more with the song. I know that both Castino and Ohmz have it in them to do better.  Perhaps something with a bit more tempo and a sexier flow from Castino could have given me joy. But alas, artists do need to move out of their comfort zones every once in a while.

The seventh track (minus the Intro and the Outro) is overall put together very nicely.

The songs balance each other out very well. Although some are songs you can move along to, they’re equally not far off from the songs that require you to listen.

In the end, Thank You, which an Outro, is a song that leaves me with mixed feelings. Look, I love this song. Everything about it goes in. Flawless flow. Rich beat. Soulful keys. High bars.

But I have beef with the duration of the song, despite grasping the technical reasons for it. How do I say goodbye on such a beautiful note, which actually makes me wish I were only getting warmed up for the EP?

At the same time I feel like the Outro is Ohmz’s way of letting us know that there’s more coming from him.  In fact, he’s whispered to us that his new project is already underway and the lead single off the project will drop early 2018.

Plus he is under the new management now. So here’s to more music, more collaborations, more visual work and more live performances that will leave the city gasping, “Oh(mz) my God!”

Feel the Dream EP is available on iTunes, Soundcloud and Audiomack.

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