As musical borders find themselves fading more and more each day, African artists find themselves leading the charge in international recognition primed for crossover success. Among those talents quietly awaiting the transition is Tekno. Hailed as one of Nigeria’s more prolific artists both at center stage and behind the scenes, the “Enjoy” creator has finally arrived with a full-length Old Romance debut to back up the notion.
At 27-years-old, he’s already had his hand in some of Afrobeat’s most memorable moments. As a solo artist, his “Duro” and “Pana” breakouts are solidified as undisputed classics across the African continent and much of the rest of the world, save for the American market. While his own tracks have failed to pick up definitive steam stateside, his production is at the core of Davido’s major crossover “If” track, which played a role in ushering commerical affinity for the genre.
“This year was difficult, from the pandemic to global protests to shifts in power and figuring out how loud our voices are together as Black people,” Tekno said in a statement about Old Romance. “I want people to feel joy and freedom to live and just be.”
Checking in at 14 tracks total, Old Romance finds Tekno delivering on this promise solo. As easy as it is for him to reach over and have his pick at any collaborator with foreign audiences, Tekno leaves no room for outside voices. Instead, he makes the bold choice of hedging his debut on his own merit, daring the rest of the world to catch up.