After watching Jamal Swiss, a gifted up-and-coming rapper with charisma to spare, deliver a bracingly confident set at this year’s GidiFest, the question that immediately ran through our minds was: Why isn’t this dude a bigger star?
It’s a question we still haven’t been able to answer, and one that feels even more baffling after listening to all the stellar tracks that haven’t even clocked 1000 listens on his SoundCloud page. Well, we certainly hope that all changes with his latest release: "No Stress".
Produced by the clearly gifted Jay Blakez — another talent that needs to be recognised — "No Stress" is the kind of genre-hopping high-wire act most Nigerian artists are either to chicken to attempt or fail to pull off when they do try.
“No Stress” skilfully blends highlife and trap, two genres that are hard enough to nail individually, and both Jamal Swiss and Jay Blakez make the outcome look effortless. Definitely more effortless than the date at the centre of the song, which Jamal raps about struggling to score.
With "No Stress" and the infectious single that came before it, "FUN" — both produced by Jay Blakez — it's clear that Jamal Swiss is getting better with each release. We hope more people catch on, and we no longer have to ask why he isn't a bigger star very much longer.
Listen to "No Stress" below:
TV taught me how to feel.