The Afrobeats industry has recorded enormous success internationally and locally in 2022, it can be argued to be the most successful year in its history. Highly recognized artists like Burna Boy, Wizkid, Davido, Rema, Tems, and more are pushing the genre internationally, crossing boundaries, surfacing on charts, and selling out venues in popular cities of the world. Afrobeats international success in 2022 has been remarkable but there are some artists holding it down domestically in Nigeria worthy of our attention and Zinoleesky can be put in this particular bracket.
Oyinede Azeez, better known as Zinoeesky, is a Nigerian singer and songwriter signed to Marlian Music. Over the years, the gifted singer has made his presence felt in the Nigerian music scene by churning out quality records from time to time. Although he might’ve not gotten peak international recognition yet, one cannot deny the fact that he’s been holding it down locally.
2022 has been an amazing year for Zinoleesky, with his annual catalog consisting of songs like Rocking, Call of Duty, the Asa-sampled Loving You, Jaiye Foreign led by Tiwa Savage, and the recently released Personal, it is undeniable. But he isn’t stopping anytime, the gifted singer has wrapped up the year with a body of work and vows to continue next year.
Zinoleesky has finally unlocked his long-awaited body of work; the ‘Grit & Lust‘ EP to wrap up an impressive 2022. Consisting of a total of 8 tracks, the extended play features guest appearances from his colleagues, Keeyqad’s Omah Lay and Mavin Records‘ Ayra Starr. Previously released tracks like Rocking and Call of Duty were included but it was given a fresh feel with 6 brand new tracks; Personal, Odinaka, Yan Yan Yan, Run It Up, Many Roads (feat. Ayra Starr), and Last Time (feat. Omah Lay).
On the first track ‘Personal‘, Zinoleesky takes the criticisms directed at him personally. Over the years, he’s been criticized for sticking to amapiano patterns, putting a big question mark on his versatility and ability to switch between genres. The Babybeat-produced Personal is a means to shut his critics as he abandons amapiano for the first time in a while, stepping out of his comfort zone. “Only God fit award me, all I need prayers from my daddy and mummy, lola satiramoni, me I go make am I was struggling for money, e be like God gives me warning, e don prepare me for anything that is coming, Him tell me make I no dey worry, He promise to keep me dry anytime it’s storming,” with these lyrics, the song is quite personal just as exhibited on the title.
The second track ‘Odinaka‘ is titled after popular dancer and social media sensation, Poco Lee whose real names are Iweh Pascal Odinaka. Zinoleesky sings about his friends – championed by Poco Lee and Naira Marley, complaining about his lust for love and obsession with his love interest.
Zinoleesky recognized his assignment on other songs on the project like Yan Yan Yan, Run It Up, Many Roads, Last Time, and delivered. Omah Lay and Ayra Starr were amazing as well. As regards production credits, Babybeat, Medua, Skondtrack, Young Jonn, and Zinoleesky’s frequent collaborator, Niphkeys carried out a commendable job.
Listen to Grit N Lust here.