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Monjola preaches simplicity on addictive single "OFTEN"

23 February 2024, 10:00 | Written by Cailean Coffey

Following the release of his mini-EP WHILE YOU WAIT last year, Nigerian-born, Dublin-based artist Monjola is back like a breath of fresh air with his breezy new single "OFTEN".

Produced with his brother and ever-present collaborator MOIO, "OFTEN" blends future-leaning R&B, hip-hop and a drop of rock; extolling the fear of overthinking, its gnawing impact on confidence and its ability to whittle artists into a corner, afraid of trying something new in fear of criticism or critique.

"OFTEN" opens with a sharp uptempo driving synth line, joined nearly instantly with a chorus of voices which fade to the back as Monjola takes over, his sung-rap style reminiscent of the best of Sampa’s early work. The optimism of his delivery is certain to bring a smile to everyone’s face, his confidence contagious, as you imagine the fun it took to craft such a buoyant gem.

""Often" is for all the overthinkers out there, stuck in a cycle of feeling overwhelmed by life's journey,” Monjola explains of the track’s message. “Sometimes, I don't even know what I'm thinking about often, but my mind finds a way to convince me that I need to overthink some things. I believe there's more to life than the things we stress about.”

“Recently, I've started hiking and trying to take in nature and everything around me. It's definitely helped me show more gratitude in general. I created this song about a year and a half ago in my family home with MOIO. He laid down the chords, and the melody came pretty much straight away. He also added some vocals; I think our voices blend well together."

2023 was a big year for Monjola, as alongside the release of WHILE YOU WAIT, he accompanied fellow Irish artist Kojaque on his UK and European tour; his third tour support following his stints with Genesis Owusu in 2022 before joining Kid Cudi on the EU leg of his To The Moon World Tour. This year has already gotten off to a flyer, as he opening up for Maryland rapper/singer 6lack in Dublin’s historic 3Olympia Theatre.

"OFTEN" highlights once more the reason why Monjola is so respected by his fellow artists, fitting of the praise of which he’s been bestowed and only growing in bravado and conviction. There’s no reason for Monjola to overthink it, he just needs to keep doing what he’s doing and the opportunities will continue to fall his way.

"OFTEN" is out now. Find Monjola on Instagram.

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