Boomkat Product Review:
One of the most unexpected releases yet from Nyege Nyege's Hakuna Kulala imprint - a hushed set of audio-visual R&B theater from Ghanaian-Nigerian actor-singer Adomaa.
Whatever you expect to emerge from Ugandan outpost Hakuna Kulala, it's probably not gonna be gossamer pop music made by one of West Africa's biggest TV stars. But that's what we've got with 'Becoming Adomaa', a brilliantly cinematic set of complex neo-soul, tight Afro-jazz and experimental songwriting from Joy Onyinyechukwu Adomaa Serwaa Adjeman, better known simply as Adomaa. This album is her return to center stage after she descended into depression following the success of her 2016 "Afraba" EP. Offered a chance to appear in a Nigerian TV series, she was able to reconnect with her artistry and rediscover her voice, a process she deconstructs on the album.
'You Used to Love Me' is Adomaa's state of the union, bringing new listeners up to date with her music with a short chronological medley of her best-known tracks. But from there we're introduced to the new Adomaa, through the blissful and bedazzled R&B of 'In the Clouds', 'Smoke & Mirrors' with its svelte jazz groove, the hyper-theatrical 'Circus' and delicately highlife-influenced 'Crash'. 'Utopia' might be the album's most moving track, a heart-bearing confessional that tells her emotional story over snatched orchestral flourishes. "Becoming Adomaa" isn't the most obvious Hakuna Kulala release, but it adds a new depth to the label's sprawling catalog.