It is a case of moods on Barnabas EP. Kizz Daniel personifies a man starved of love and attention on this extended playlist
This, subconsciously, is a reflection of the singer’s struggle for attention between the period after the release of King of Love in 2020 and the better parts of 2021
Though he was not found guilty of the charges filed against him by his former label, G World Wide in 2017, yet the music brand Kiss Daniel swiftly changed to Kizz Daniel immediately the court pronounced the singer “not guilty”. Kizz Daniel then established his own record label known as Fly Boy Incorporated in late 2017.
Before the release of Barnabas, Kizz Daniel had three albums in his discography—New Era released under G World Wide, No Bad Songz and King of Love. Barnabas, his first ever EP, makes the projects in his discography a total of four.
As a boy who lived in Abeokuta as an indigene and graduated with a degree in Water Engineering from the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Kizz Daniel has always had God to thank on every project in his discography.
You could begin with the track All God on New Era, Gods on No Bad Songz, Jaho on the album King of Love and the track Barnabas on the EP titled Barnabas. In each of these four instances of alluding to God, Kizz Daniel always sends a fresh request to his creator.
From the religious point of view, alluding to God is important. The religious would agree to this using the scandal between Kizz Daniel and his former label, the one in which Demmie Vee, a fellow artiste claimed he was defrauded by Kizz Daniel, the death of one of his triplets named Jamal and the lows the singer experienced after the release of his previous album, King of Love, met with skepticism from the Thomases of music and destructive criticisms from the media in 2020.
The attention-starved Kizz Daniel of 2020 tried everything possible to be his usual self and stay abreast of the industry in the early days of 2021, but all his efforts fell on a stony ground. Even the Amapiano-centred Currently on which he featured both Olamide and Falz could not put him back in the face of the people.
However, while it became worrisome for some of his fans how Kizz Daniel, a shadow of himself in 2020, was losing attention totally, the singer made a powerful comeback with Lie. Thus, Lie, one of the songs that is later included on Barnabas EP becomes a tool he used to gain back his place in the industry. Since the release of Barnabas, more than a hundred fans have said Kizz Daniel is very underrated. The emotion with which they claim this is empathetic too.
One may argue that Kizz Daniel has now regained his place as Barnabas EP took the No. 1 spot on Nigeria Apple Music Albums, a spot Sorry I’m Late EP by Buju has occupied for three weeks plus without any challenge from CDQ’s Vibes and Lifestyle album, Mayorkun’s Back in Office album, Phyno’s Something To Live For album and Reekado Banks’ Off The Record Vol. 2 EP, all released after Buju’s Sorry I’m Late.
Kizz Daniel spends the first two track of Barnabas EP smoking Indian hemp. Aside from the fact that, Addict, track 2, proves this. The sound of him lighting up a lighter is also a representation of this fact. Kizz Daniel’s addiction did not just start on Addict. The phenomenon on Pour Me Water, track 1, puts him in the clutches of addiction.
Fears and helplessness sadly characterize Pour Me Water—Kizz Daniel, as handsome as he is, as burning a fire he is, a lover pours him water. Yes! He is dehumanized by not having his love returned by a lover. The singer puffs, snivels and sniffles at the intro of the song. The track is a sad story of unreciprocated love that brews pity from the third party.
To get over this feeling of depression that cloud the singer’s being on this Afropop song, Kizz Daniel instinctively embraces drinking and smoking as a means of survival and escape. Blaise Beats does not help improve the situation with the heart-wrenching sounds of his saxophone that domineeringly pervade every space on the track. There is a touch on the culture of ladies requesting money from their men after every round of sex, however.
A little shrub becomes a forest on track 2. Swiftly, the new habit of drug abuse becomes addictive on Addict as the singer is heard lighting a lighter and puffing again for the second time on the extended playlist. Heartbreak and deprivation of love turns Kizz Daniel to two things—a drug addict and a womanizer.
The singer even attests to the fact that drug abuse is as sweet as “sugar”. Addict personifies the fact that drug addicts always want to change but cannot; Kizz Daniel sings “after today, I go change my way/But right now,” NO! The music persona is dying as he exposes himself to mental disorder and STDs through doing drugs and having unprotected sex i.e “no condom”. The sad saxophone sounds continue to beg for sympathy here.
Kizz Daniel sure needs Highlife to cleanse the atmosphere of the sadness Barnabas has exuded so far to this point. Oshe or “thank you” is an ode directed to gratify a lover. Kizz Daniel becomes clearly ubiquitous on the song leaving The Cavemen with nothing but the post-chorus of the song.
Even though Kizz Daniel has obviously put his previous heartbreak behind him, his addiction is still ever present as he asks his new lover if she could smoke and directly tells her to “gba’gbó l’ówó mi” (take this marijuana from me). Blaise Beats, Kizz Daniel’s confidante in his days of depression at the opening of the EP, is here to enjoy the mood of love with him.
Technically, Burn is the direct contrast of Pour Me Water. Kizz Daniel’s fire that was doused with “water” on the first track has started to “burn” again four tracks down the list. It is accurate to say Kizz Daniel is now in love again. The singer cannot even get enough of the love because “I’m starving for you”.
What people call foolishness when a lover unconsciously expresses love plays out here as Kizz Daniel vows to put “all the love… trust… money in your care” without ever wanting to think about the outcome. It is a sweet display of love and we hope it does not break Kizz Daniel like the first. The expertise of Young Jonn is employed here.
“I don’t really care about your body type”—even if the third parties perceive this line to be a lie, the love-stricken singer is obviously deaf to such takes. The show of love continues here, and it seems to be coming from the abyss of the heart of someone who is in love. The emotions are true and could be easily felt by anyone in the singer’s shoes.
Danceable and vibey, this is the lead single of the EP and Kizz Daniel owes it gratitude for bringing him the needed attention he sought for months. Lie was produced by Fly Boy Incorporated in-house producer Philkeyz who was assisted by Blaise Beats.
The statement “father na father” which means “God is God” is a dip into the religious clash of ideas, and the statement is made by Kizz Daniel to prove that there is only one God in spite of the many religions people own. Barnabas is highly significant as an eponym, it is the sixth track and it is from it the title of the EP is derived.
Barnabas plays the same role Jaho played on his last album, King of Love. It is an acknowledgement of God and the realization that he, the singer, cannot do without him in the current Economic situation of Nigeria as the cost of goods now skyrockets each day.
The Reggae-Dancehall feel is unleashed on Skin. However, that is not the only thing amazing about Skin. Another thing about Skin is that it is a discouragement of racism and bleaching as the case may be. While lines like “see me for me, and not the colour of my skin”; “what type of colour is the colour of your skin”; “let the whole world know when you look at me… That looks don’t matter”; “I got a black (white) skin and I like it like that” are a message fashioned against racial discrimination, lines like “your lips… looks don’t matter” discourage the low self-esteem that causes Africans to bleach their skin to look white.
Skin is a reciprocated energy between Kizz Daniel and German rapper, Kelvyn Colt. The theme of the song makes it a necessity to employ the services of a European in Kelvyn Colt. This song marks the end of Barnabas.
In the end, the thirst for the part of Kizz Daniel who has “no bad songs” is quenched. Barnabas is well arranged, starting with slow songs (Pour Me Water & Addict) that carry sad moods along with them, then it gradually proceeds to the climax (Oshe, Burn, Lie & Barnabas) where listeners get to dance and feel the impact of love which is happiness, while it ends with a slower song in Skin, a song used to address an issue of universal significance. This arrangement gives Barnabas a dramatic attribute. It is a job well done by the singer’s Artist & Repertoire.