If Tay Iwar isn’t already on your radar, you’re doing something wrong.
The Lagos-bred artist has achieved a somewhat of a cult following in the past year; the fruits which his diverse sound have bore. After dazzling us with a whopping six singles in the buildup to the album, the 16-track masterpiece Gemini is finally out, and from the first song, its fluidity instantly grabs you. Leading from electronic to R&B to afro-fusion, the project is influenced by several different genres and genuinely gets better by every song.
For those who already knew who Tay Iwar was, then this album should come as no surprise. He had already showcased his flexible style in his previous releases, and had already been touted by some as a star of the future. But for those new to him, perhaps the expectation would be a run-of-the-mill R&B tape, with the same old cadences and vocals. But Gemini is so much more. It comes across as a coming of age project. We witness an artist entering his prime and producing an eclectic tape that is a stark contrast to his earlier music. This is a journey which does not tend to be taken by many breakout stars, especially those who are still trying to solidify their fan base.
Too often we see artists endlessly shoving out album after album, EP after EP, to appease their fanbase and their sometimes unrealistic demands, because of this it appears as if the belief ‘quantity over quality’ begins to rear its ugly head again. But in Tay Iwar’s case, fans bode their time. His previous EP, Renascentia, dropped all the way back in 2016. This lengthy wait, combined with the sporadic release of singles in the build up to the album had fans champing at the bit. But boy, the wait was worth it. Gemini is a delightfully and refreshingly composed art piece with an infusion of afro beats and sounds. It’s topped off with some great features too, particularly by his fellow countryman and rising star, Odunsi.
A firm fixture of the Soulection wave, the artist collective that has steadily taken over R&B/soul within the past few years, it’s only a matter of time until Tay’s star completely explodes, and he’s all over our screens.