Rotimi’s R&B language has changed over the years, from lust-tinged vocals on tracks like “Kitchen Table” to soca chords on “Want More.” After taking some time to examine his musical journey, the multi-talented artist has returned with “Love Riddim,” a cohesive blend of Afrobeats and R&B styles perfect for any dance soirée.
Released Friday (April 19), the Nigerian triple threat kept his roots in mind on the Harmony Samuels-produced track. It’s hard not to break out a dutty wine as he sings, “Make it rise, make it rise/put your love in the sky” with charm. Speaking with VIBE, Rotimi says his strong shift in sound was inspired the likes of Craig David and the urgency to create his own lane.
“I wanted to create a sound that was different. Something that was of me yet reminiscent of my favorite artists like Craig David,” he said. “It’s kind of bridging the gap between R&B and Afro[beat], no one is actually African-American to do it. It’s feel-good music that you can’t help but dance and wine to.”
In addition to his new sound, the Power star also signed a new distribution deal with EMPIRE following his departure from 50 Cent’s G-Unit label.
“I wanted to sign to EMPIRE because I didn’t believe in an artist under a label,” he told Billboard. “I wanted to have conversations in a room where we collaborate on things and not go to a major because that system is old and I feel like this is a new wave where artists can express themselves and then they have a machine truly backing them. I wanted that. I wanted that for myself.”
Rotimi will showcase his new sound with a new EP, Walk With Me, set to be released on May 24.
For now, enjoy “Love Riddim” up top.