It’s another day in the music industry, and we have been treated with something from the camp of the Mavins. The Supreme Mavin Dynasty chose to bless us all today with a new single and video from their eclectic belle, Di’Ja .
The new song is titled “Air ”, which like most of her song titles, is woke and deep, inspiring you to want to open up your lungs, exhale oxygen, and try to breathe in the new Di’Ja ‘Air’ . The video which was shot by Clarence Peters is retro-styled and produced to impress.
The shots are grainy, the costumes are from the past, and changed a lot all through the video, with Di’ja feeling through the clip with her signature child-like happiness that is helped by her co-actors – a group of four beautiful black women who are with her on this.
“You’re my air-oh…I can’t live without you, I can’t breathe without you…’cause you’re my air-oh” She sings on the chorus, and you get it. This is classic Di’Ja material. There’s love, there’s energy. There’s a juvenile innocence to the visual and it all flows well.
But something feels wrong. Somewhere in all the color and beautiful visual, you find out that the audio isn’t great. The single lacks an edge, or something special. It comes across as flat for too long, as Di’Ja layers her vocals over the soft rock strings, sparse keys, and repetitive drum patterns.
This is an Altims production, an in-house effort from a camp that has produced some of the best songs in the country. As the song nears its final quarter, there’s some syncopation thrown in, and everything becomes a Caribbean party, before it slowly eases itself out.
It’s a good effort, but falls short of what the public has come to expect from Di’Ja. There’s just something about this that can’t match the brilliance of ‘Aww’. That’s the Di’Ja standard so far, and fans expect her to top that.
She hasn’t managed to do that in three attempts. ‘ Take kiss’, ‘Sowemo’ , and now ‘Air’ . None can lace the boots of ‘Aww’.
Something has to change. And it is in the production.
Di’Ja has a lot of things going well for her. She has one of the best personal branding in the business, connects deeply with her fans, has the funding, and is insanely talented. Her potential is huge, and so is her songwriting. But the melody has let her down thrice so far.
What she needs is to leave the enclave of Mavins, and take a break from Don Jazzy, Altims and Babyfresh. Let her try her hands out with new producers. Let her explore other depths of her craft and have her genius connect with that of new people. Cobhams Asuquo, Oscar-Herman Ackah, Johnny Drille, Coldflames, and a few others are producers that she can work with.
Di’Ja’s ability to operate at the mainstream level is a blessing to the culture. She is different, and unique. She has branding, songwriting, fans and talent. The final piece that brings it all together is melody, and she clearly needs that.
I’m rooting for her to get that. We are all rooting for her.