- Artist: BOJ
- Runtime: 42 minutes, 16 Songs
- Genre: Afrobeats
Nigerian singer and songwriter, BOJ makes a big return as he dishes out his highly anticipated album titled "Gbagada Express".
Written and recorded during the most restricted periods of 2020’s lockdown, BOJ’s third solo album sees the DRB Lasgidi alum and alté pioneer at his most collaborative yet most introspective. “I grew up in a place called Gbagada, Lagos. During the lockdown, I was just there, and I soaked in the whole environment,” BOJ (real name: Bolaji Ojudokan)tells Apple Music. The album (which shares its name with the area’s main highway) serves not only as a dispatch from his hometown, but also a vehicle for a deeper connection to it—a complicated idea for an artist born in London and raised in Lagos, and who’s spent much of his adult life moving between the two. “‘Home,’ for me, is where you feel the most comfortable, where you feel most yourself,” BOJ explains. “In lockdown, I really tapped into myself and found a new way to express myself.”
Assisted by a similarly multi-faceted group of collaborators he brought together during a lockdown songwriting camp, BOJ’s journey of greater self-expression mimics what he sees as the evolution of the alté scene—the term he and fellow DRB alum and longtime collaborator Teezee coined in their 2014 track, “Paper,” describing a sound and a lifestyle that can’t be pinpointed. “I feel like a lot of people have started to really understand the concept of alté,” BOJ explains. “For us, it means freedom to express. There shouldn’t be boundaries when you’re expressing. You should be able to go all out.” Here, BOJ talks us through key tracks from Gbagada Express.