G.E.A.R. Ent.; 2013
Dir. J. Blessing
Well, what can I say? Ugandan gospel artist Exodus has not really been featuring prominently this year on our musical radar ever since his introductory single Igwe and the cross- border hit collabo with Alemba I Am Walking which resonated with the gospel and club crowds on every side of Lake Victoria. With such hits, come the fatigue of measuring up to your first proper hit song in the follow up, so I fully understand his position. In addition, his rather thin musical portfolio has not made him any less popular in Uganda either. In fact, he’s had a new single out since early in the year as an audio release which has been bubbling quite significantly. The grand introduction of the single to those of us in the “mainstream” came just a few weeks ago following the launch of the music video. It’s called Prophecy and is produced under the GEAR Entertainment label and the visuals handled by Kenya’s own J. Blessing.
It is one of those very uplifting tracks with a very positive message. Basically sees good things in the future for Africa. There is also a sneaky feeling that it is also an inward reflection of where he sees himself going career-wise this year, what with the challenges he has faced so far. The instantly relatable lyrics is the key ingredient to what makes this song work for us. As far as the rest of the production is concerned, there are couple of interesting things to point out here though. In summary, if Exodus has had a prophecy, what I am having is flashbacks.
The musical core of Prophecy is lifted from Aïcha, the heartwrenching ballad by Cheb Khaled from way back in the 90s, only that it’s livened up a bit more with some extra bells and whistles on top. The music video also has an uncanny resemblance to the (much more cooler) music video Cameroonian singer Wes Madiko came up with for his most popular song Alane just a year after Cheb Khaled released Aïcha. It could have been an accidental coincidence but the temptation to play spot-the-similarities with the two videos is too great (check the slideshow below).
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On the face of it, Prophecy could as well be summarized as an adaptation of two established African classics that remind us of a time when things were somehow better (a loaf of bread was just 5 bob damnit!). However, this does not make the track any less of a banger. It was about time somebody started bringing back the musical flavour of the 90s with a unique touch, which Exodus has done for the most part.
Looks like this is the year Exodus is set to march back into East African gospel musical charts with relative ease. We don’t need a proper prophecy to be convinced