Lagos-based Afro-f usion Star YKB Presents Debut Project, Before I Blow
One week after the release of his bubbly anthem “Practice Patience,” exciting Lagos-based afrobeats star YKB is today sharing his debut project, the seven-track extended play Before I Blow. The project follows the success that YKB, formerly known as YusufKanbai, has enjoyed over the last three years, building a cult following and enjoying successful collaborations with reality TV star Laycon and street-pop star Zlatan as well as receiving critical acclaim from publications like Pitchfork and The FACE.
Before I Blow is billed as YKB’s rst and last project as an up-and-coming star, with the coming months set to see him move from the periphery of the afrobeats movement to a more prominent role. The project features shape-shifting production from three producers namely Zolo, Godomarr, and Finito, seeing YKB take an autobiographical approach to the project’s sequencing: recorded at the active beginning of his career, “Wake Up” is a call to work harder and take charge of his career’s trajectory while Pitchfork described “Oshofree” as YKB making his case to demand “Naira for his work, not exposure over Zolo’s staccato percussion and s3nami’s dreamy backing vocals.” The sentiments that inspire these songs are evident on others songs like “Okuku Pay” and “Bolatito.”
Speaking on Before I Blow, YKB said:
“I want this project to be a point of reference for my fans in the future, for them to know where my journey started from. It’s almost like a prophecy because from now on, I’m moving with new energy and going on to bigger things.”
The new EP is a follow-up to his 2020-released two-song pack, “Hear Me Out” and viral single, “Alabama,” which has been hailed for its melodious range by afropop titan, Olamide, as well as the Zlatan-featuring “Dey Your Dey,” which positioned YKB as one of the most cogent voices to pay attention to in afropop’s ever-evolving landscape.
Raised in the well-known Ketu area of Lagos, YKB discovered a range of musical inuences growing up in his hood and started putting his music on SoundCloud in the late 2010s. The release of “Swaggu”, a freestyle that turned out to become a viral sensation introduced him to a wider audience due to its supremely condent lyrics and the fresh air around the singer. YKB’s music is an eclectic fusion of afrobeats, R&B, as well as hip-hop tinctures. An independent artist, YKB has released and contributed his vocals to a number of buzzing singles that deliver on his promise to become one of the most important voices in modern afropop.
Stream Before I Blow here –