The U.S. is a particularly tough market for reggae music, as DJs too often marginalize the music or limit it to hip-hop stations instead of exposing the music to a wider pop audience. However there is a new breed of crossover artists coming up, who are fighting to change that. ‘Danlil’ Daniel Chinenye better known as Danlil, is such an up and coming music star from Nigeria, situated in West Africa, who has his sights seriously set on breaking the market. Of course, getting reggae music and African artists to the next level on a global basis relies on a concerted effort to distribute their music and images out there across all platforms.
Danlil recently dropped an EP entitled ‘Sold my Soul’, which has gained a wealth of international recognition and amassed an epic amount of streams around all platforms, including Spotify. The EP also features Djocy Santos (Cape Verde) who meticulously assembled exclusive tracks and remixes.
The EP topped the iTunes world chart for 24hours and also peaked in countries like Spain, USA, Nigeria, France and Turkey. Danlil has also featured on a track by the American Producer ‘legacybeats’, who has credits from the likes of Lilkeed, Lilgotit and more, which has given his brand more momentum.
Now the rising Nigerian talent is currently riding high with his latest single “Redemption Song”, which gained over 400,000 streams within 2weeks on the audiomack platform. Danlil is committed to raising the profile of African reggae.
The track solidifies Danlil’s signature sound – powerful vocals paired with an eclectic fusion of reggae, urban, and Afro flavors – while remaining committed to sending a positive, spiritual message. He flips between mellow heartfelt bars and bold, throaty singing.
Danlil is committed to his roots, as he deals with the realities of the modern world, emphasizing that through thought-provoking music about the unfair social and economic differences that debilitate our societies. He does however manage to maintain a hopeful and motivational outlook on “Redemption Song”, as he sings: “All I know that one day everything is gonna be alright. All I know that one day everything is gonna be okay.”
Throughout the song, Danlil is at the top of his game in terms of lyrical content, style and delivery. His vocal is pure class. He has a gift for using the mid-range of his tenor, which is always clear, well enunciated and controlled. Starting with the impressive cover artwork, the all-round package of “Redemption Song” is impacting from the first look. And, indeed, it gets better as you go along.
The song presents Danlil’s skills honed into perfection and creates a universe of words and music, which even after a fourth and fifth run-through, has not ceased to reveal its multi-layered beauty and complexity to the listener.
Danlil’s highly praised lyrical prowess comes to the fore. You really have to focus on every word of his forthright lyrics, which are delivered on top of a rhythm that he rides in a seemingly effortless way. Musically and vocally the song shows the glorious breadth of Danlil’s talents. And moreover, his ability to build accessible narratives coupled with a stirring performance. Danlil is clearly a driving force on “Redemption Song”.