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Omah Lay's Newest Singles "Release" & "Holy Ghost" from his Deluxe Album-Boy Alone

Updated: Dec 3, 2023


With his mesmerizing vocals, delicate storytelling, and infectious rhythms, Omah Lay has emerged as one of Nigeria's most noteworthy artists. At just 25 years old, this singer and producer skillfully blends his personal connection to West Africa's percussion-rich highlife genre with his passion for the popular sounds of his generation, encompassing everything from classic rap to the thriving Afro-beats scene in his hometown of Lagos. You can refer to our previous article on Ohma Lay.


Complex-I firmly believe that growing up in Port Harcourt is actually 95% of the reason why I am where I am today. My parents coming from Port Harcourt and raising me, who spent almost all my life in Port Harcourt, is like 95% of what made me Omah Lay. It's different there: the food, the way we talk, the way we put our words together. If you listen to artists from Port Harcourt, you’ll always hear there’s something about the lyricism.



Omah Lay introduced the deluxe version of his album Boy Alone this summer, which received widespread critical acclaim. It won the 2023 Headies Award for Best Male Artist and Album, and Complex UK highlighted Omah Lay's desire to showcase a different side of himself with the release of the deluxe version. In addition to amassing 133 million global streams, the music video for the "Soso Remix" featuring Ozuna garnered over 8.4 million views on YouTube.

Complex.... To be honest, I didn’t find it challenging to talk about my mental health issues. That was a place I used to be in while working on the album, but by the time the album was done, I was out of that place. I found myself doing interviews and talking about the state of mind I was in while working on Boy Alone so, naturally, I would share these experiences.

Complex, he shares..... I didn’t grow up on a rich kid vibe—I grew up in the trenches. The things I went through as a kid, I’m sure many people in Port Harcourt will be able to relate to, things like living in face-me-I-face-you, which is a type of residential real estate in Nigeria, where a group of one or two-room apartments have their entrances facing each other along a walkway. Everyone from Port Harcourt can also relate to the toughness, especially with the situation in the Niger Delta. It’s like a war out there, so you just have to grow up tough.

The Los Angeles Times interviewed Omah Lay for an extensive Afrobeats feature, and he delivered an impressive performance on NPR Tiny Desk. The album caught the attention of major publications such as The New York Times, HYPEBEAST, The FADER, Billboard, and NME.

Omah Lay also collaborated with various notable Afrobeats artists this year and lent his recognizable voice to popular songs like Libianca's "People," Victony's "Soweto," Bella Shmurda's "Philo," and "I Can't Stop" with Big Boss Vette on the Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse soundtrack. With the Boy Alone Deluxe album, Omah Lay expands on his successful tracks and shares fresh ideas that foreshadow a promising future for the Nigerian star.



“I was in a dark place when I made this album,” Omah Lay tells Complex, “but the process made me grow up and see things differently. I learned how to be a better person and that’s where I am now, enjoying my life and having fun.”

So, what has he been up to lately? He recently released June 15th 2023, a single titled "Release" part of his delux album Boy Alone. In this song, he draws a parallel between the army's unleashing of "heavy fire" and his own current life circumstances. The army's heavy firepower represents the multitude of challenges life is throwing at him, to the point where he realizes he has no one to turn to but must face and confront these challenges head-on, even though he acknowledges that he lacks mental and emotional stability to effectively combat them. Consequently, the word "fighting" is a recurring theme in the song.


Omah Lay questions the purpose of fighting against something that he knows he will inevitably lose to, at least in his case. He considers surrendering to these circumstances and the onslaught of "heavy fire" he is experiencing. This contemplation likely stems from his realization that the fight and struggles in life are perpetual and he simply does not possess enough strength to endure them indefinitely. He yearns to be free from constant encouragement to fight and uphold an image of strength.



Written by Ohma Lay himself, the lyrics go like this-[Intro]Uh, my dear / My dear e my dear, oh my dear / My dear ah, my dear, my dear / [Verse 1] How long will it take you to realize? / I don't know who to run to right now / Army is opening heavy fire / I'm unsafe, but I'm still out here .....[Pre-Chorus](Fighting)What are we doing my dear, my dear? (Fighting) / I surrender you myself, myself (Fighting) / My hands are in the air, in the air (Fighting) / Only time will tell the difference clear....... [Chorus] What is the reason you do not have your own peace of mind? / Are you having fun or are you doing this thing to survive? / Are you taking the pictures of every memories of your life? / What's the reason why we're still out here?


[Verse 2]Shekeleke give me one, better finger two / Make a nigga suit and tie, let him fly like you / Showing you the route, you tryna untie my shoes / Is that good? / ......[Pre-Chorus (Fighting) What are we doing my dear, my dear? (Fighting) / I surrender you myself, myself (Fighting) / My hands are in the air, in the air (Fighting) / Only time will tell the difference clear......[Chorus] What is the reason you do not have your own peace of mind? / Are you having fun or are you doing this thing to survive? / Are you taking the pictures of every memories of your life? / What's the reason why we're still out here?



November 10, 2023, concluds a groundbreaking year filled with significant achievements and hit records, Omah Lay releases a new single titled "HolyGhost." This track showcases his ethereal vocals accompanied by organic instrumentation and natural percussion. Omah Lay effortlessly evokes both mystery and joy over the lively musical backdrop. Shedding sadness and embracing a positive path, he embraces the light and happiness that lie ahead.


“Holy Ghost is a symbol of my belief and fear for God, my respect and love for all his creations. It is incredible how I could find happiness in all this chaos, strength and courage to move past what could have possibly been a dead end.”



You don’t appreciate light without darkness and, as I said before, I was in a dark place when I made Boy Alone. Now that I’m in a better place, it only makes sense to share the full story. The album is Side A and the deluxe is Side B, which completes the story—the light after the dark. Boy Alone was me stuck in my room pouring my heart into the mic like a therapist. The deluxe is me coming from a party and going straight to the booth. It’s like two different Omah Lay’s which tell a whole story.

Lyrics:


[Intro]

Get up, get up and dance

Oh, oh

(Lekaa Beat)


[Chorus]

Holy Ghost fire

Supernatural

Boost my confidence

My cocaina

My heart desire

Give me nothing else

I no dey tire

'Cause you give me ginger

For the die minute

You're my true lover

My mami water

Give me happiness


[Refrain]

Oya, I go get up and dance

Get up and dance x17


[Chorus]

Holy Ghost fire

Supernatural

Boost my confidence

My cocaine

My heart desire

Give me nothing else

I no dey tire

'Cause you give me ginger

For the die minute

You're my true lover

My mami water

Give me happiness


[Verse ]

Symptoms don dey show for my knicker

I'lI stop drinking, baby

Tequila don dey hit me for liver

It's either indica or it's a sativa

Anytime that I smoke, these girls be looking like wife materials

Is it this or that?

If I seek, I'll find

How I feel inside

I'll let you know

I am super high

I can't feel my eyes

They say love is blind

But I can see you


[Refrain]

Oya, get up and dance

Get up and dance x17


Complex....I look forward to growing and being more of Omah Lay... I’m excited for Omah Lay of the future! I wouldn’t say I wish to be the biggest artist or whatever, but I just want to keep discovering myself and being the best version of myself that I can possibly be.

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