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Back in Office by Mayorkun: A Thorough Scrutiny of The Mayor of Lagos’ Second Tenure in Office

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Born on 23rd March 1994, Mayorkun, christined Adewale Mayowa Emmanuel started as a keyboardist in the choir. The pianist-turned-singer secured a job at a bank immediately he graduated with a degree in Accounting from the University of Lagos. However, he had given up the job because he was underpaid. In fact, he got a call from Davido on the same day he quit his banking job. He had released a cover of Davido’s 2016 hit single titled The Money when Davido discovered him on Twitter in February, 2016.

Mayorkun got signed by Davido to Davido Music Worldwide (DMW) in 2016. He immediately debuted his career with Eleko, a single released under the label, that instantly became a 2016 hit. The Osun State indigene is the first child of a family of three children. His mother, Toyin Adewale, is a Nollywood actress and his father, Sunday Adewale, an artist and movie producer.

He brought 2017 to a close with his first headline concert in Lagos called The Mayor of Lagos. Significantly, Mayorkun embarked on a nationwide tour in 2017 that saw him perform in over 35 schools. The Mayor of Lagos concert continued in 2018 with a show in Ibadan city of Oyo State and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. A Lagos edition was announced too.

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Mayorkun chilling all by himself.
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His record deal with Davido Music Worldwide subsequently birthed hit songs like Eleko whose video gathered a million views in the first 10 days, Yawa, Sade, Che Che, Bobo and Mama. In October 2018, he released singles Posh and Fantasy featuring Olu Maintain preparatory of his first studio album titled The Mayor of Lagos. The Mayor of Lagos was released on the 16th of November 2018. On December 1st, 2018, the album appeared on the Billboard World Albums chart, peaking at number 15.

The same 2018 saw Mayorkun do a UK tour with label mate Dremo, where the former performed in about six cities. He also performed alongside label boss Davido at the Wireless Festival. In 2020, he, alongside some other artistes, performed at the Convention Center of the Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos for the 2020 Vanguard Personality Awards.

However, Mayorkun employed silence throughout the first half of 2021. He would later resurface online with Let Me Know, his first single for the year in August, citing that he has been through a plethora of psychological ups and downs in a social media post. This marks the origin of the rumour circulating about whether or not Mayorkun is still part of DMW.

Fans were quick to point out the fact that Davido did not help Mayorkun promote Let Me Know like he often does for every artiste under his label. Liya, DMW first female artiste had released an EP at the time and Davido had promoted it everywhere massively.

A screenshot proving that Davido only posted once about Mayorkun’s first 2021 single.

They also make reference to the fact that every song released under Davido Music Worldwide is distributed by The Plug Entertainment. However, Let Me Know was released under a new record label imprint, SM Entertainment West Africa Limited and distributed by Avante Digital Concepts Limited. The video of the song has no DMW logo too, and it was not shared on DMW official YouTube page.

A lot of people concluded that there is a breach between Mayorkun and Davido, however, via a particular video in which Davido is seen wearing a newly acquired necklace for Mayorkun, both artistes have strategically passed a strong message across to the fans regarding these speculations.

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The newly acquired Ice Box piece of necklace Davido was seem wearing for Mayorkun in a video back in the early days of October, 2021.

This video signifies that there is no breach or feud between the two. Though, everything points it out that Mayorkun’s deal with DMW is expired, yet there is no official statement from the two parties. Notwithstanding, Mayorkun just got signed to a foreign, record label known as Columbia Records, located in United Kingdom. The deal happened on October 29th, the day Back in Office, his sophomore album was released.

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Columbia Records UK announce Mayorkun’s new record deal with them via Twitter.

Back in Office, Mayorkun’s second studio project is highly but conceptually significant. It is a sequel to his debut album, The Mayor of Lagos, although the Geng EP released in 2020 comes in-between. Mayorkun had pronounced himself The Mayor of Lagos in 2017, and four years after his tenure in the office of music, he is now Back in Office with a new album.

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The cover art of Back in Office, Mayorkun’s sophomore studio album.

It is even evident from the singer’s posture in the cover art of the album where he sits gallantly on the desk of a political office holder—a pose bossy enough for anyone to easily recognize the concept being represented.

Soldier Boy sees Mayorkun take on rap—the type done by Falz, the self acclaimed “bop daddy”. The genre is Trap, a variant of Hip Hop, with backup vocals from a choir; Mayorkun’s lyrics reveal his worries about his circle, life, the industry, his losses, his never-going-to-reveal secrets etc, with the backup singers assuring the “tough little soldier boy” that “you’re gon be okay”. Rhetorically, several questions are asked. No answer is given by the way, as expected.

The energy reflects again on the Amapiano-oriented Back in Office, the eponym of the album. Here, Speroach gives Mayorkun the medium to express his self-worth—it is a show of value hinged on God’s backings. This is specifically dedicated to the haters as Mayorkun contemptuously flaunts strength rather than weakness in the face of criticisms, sampling the 2015 hit by American rapper, Big Sean featuring Drake titled Blessings—”way up, I feel blessed”.

Mayorkun switches to Reggae-Dancehall on Freedom, his first production work with Telz of Bose Ogulu owned Spaceship Collection. Africa and the entire Black Race is well represented on this track with the singer and his choral backup stating that the search for emancipation of any kind comes with determination.

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Mayorkun; an ambassador of Coca Cola brand

This takes our mind back to the enslavement of Africa, its actual liberty centuries after, and the marginalization and racial prejudice of many blacks that are still tenaciously persistent at every corner of the world even in this modern era of libery. The theme of the song lends support to the cliche “he who wants peace must first prepare for war”.

There is a sharp shift to romance on Let Me Know. It is a part of Mayorkun that is necessary, and there is the saxophonist on the instrumentals to activate the mood of intimacy as the singer delivers love lines to “Odoyewu” on the Afrobeats melody. However, the guitarist is there to competitively accompany the deep sounds of the saxophone. Verily, it is no mistake if this is ever disc-jockeyed at a wedding party.

Mayorkun puts Gyakie, a female Ghanaian singer on Desire. The romance continues and again, it rides on the wings of the saxophone to be clearly actualized. The Afrobeats song carries the wishes of two lovers who never want to be separated by no means or for any reason whatsoever. Lyrically, Gyakie offers way less than what is expected. Regardless, she combines well for the delivery.

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It’s a chase after a woman—a tale of one night stand—on No Strings Attached. The instrumentals here overly sounds Kizz Daniel’s. This is not a love case, rather, it is that of lust. Both Joeboy and the Mayor of Lagos are ready to have their way even if it means “scoping” and giving “you ten milli(on)”. Fresh VDM is at the wheel of production here.

Mayorkun’s exploration of Dancehall continues on Holy Father. However, this time, he seeks the assistance of Victony. And truly, going by the theme of the song, Victony, with his birdy voice, assists Mayorkun in professing love to his intended on the Semzi made instrumentals. The hook of this song is specifically symbolic for the chills it sends up the listener’s spine. On that note, Victony is a proper addition to the project.

Nakupenda is a phrase that means “I love you” in Swahili. Mayorkun showers love confessions on his lover in both English and Swahili, adopting Amapiano for the second time on Back in Office. But this time from Fresh VDM.

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Davido and Mayorkun taken at the listening of Back in Office a week before the album was released.
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Mayorkun and Davido having a nice time together at the listening of Back in Office.

To cement his dexterity in the listener’s mind, Mayorkun taps Flavour Nabania on a party-centred Highlife tune on Feel Am as both singers take us to South Eastern Nigeria, Anambra specifically. Again, Mayorkun takes a dig at the Thomases in his life. Phantom worked on this particular collaborative work. Nabania does bring the Highlife feel with some indigenous Igbo lyrics. There is the use of an Igbo traditional hypeman and name-drops too.

The mood of partying abruptly folds up as Mayorkun discusses a very critical topic on Piece of Mind. The singer is in a state of emotional imbalance as he highlights his personal predicaments and the sad realization of the fact that no one really cares. Piece of Mind samples Di’ja’s hit titled Awww, released on 12th December 2014, under Mavins Records. Di’ja is even employed to take the same chorus of Awww as a prechorus on Piece of Mind.

Jay Jay alludes to former Nigerian international player known as Okocha as Mayorkun tries his hands on romance once again after the emotional outpour on the immediate previous track. DJ Maphorisa, a South African record producer, alongside Kabza De Small, graces this track with his local dialect.

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The tracklist of Back in Office.

Mayorkun signs out of Back in Office with Oluwa. Oluwa is an acknowledgement of God whom Mayorkun sees as the facilitator of his achievements. Highlighting the cases of bad leadership in Nigeria, and the unfavorable condition of the country, Mayorkun again uses the choir and the saxophone to show utmost gratitude to his God.

With moments of self acclamation, excessive romance, emotional outrage and gratitude, Mayorkun is Back in Office. Back in Office lyrically crochets a phalanx of experiences with masterful instrumentation and the outcome is an artistry worth calling good music.


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