Following his Apple Music Rap/Hip-Hop Album chart-topping project Vibes Before Teslim, which he released in 2019 as a precursor to this album, and on the back of the success of its lead singles ‘Early Momo’ and ‘Mama Maradona’, which have amassed over 15 million plays online, Nigerian rap icon VECTOR is excited to release his brand new album TESLIM: The Energy Still Lives In Me. Named after his late father as a dedication to his teachings and philosophy on life, TESLIM is also an acronym for ‘The Energy Still Lives In Me’, which speaks to how his father is still living through Vector today. He sat down with Intersect Magazine for an interview about the new album.
Largely produced by Grammy Award-nominated producer and Burna Boy collaborator Mr Kleb, with additional production from the likes of Grammy winner Kel-P (Wizkid, Future, Adekunle Gold), Cracker Mello (Fireboy DML, Amaarae, D’Banj), and Major Bangz (Phyno, Olamide, M.I Abaga), with guest appearances with some of Africa’s finest artists including Wande Coal, Nasty C, Seun Kuti, Ladipoe, and GoodGirl LA, Vector’s TESLIM album is the culmination of a journey of rediscovery and realignment that has been five years in the making, sparked by the death of his father in 2017.
Self-described as “music according to my life’s truth and story”, TESLIM sees Vector pondering fatherhood, relationships, politics, and his country, among other things. On ‘Teslim Introduction’, he looks to shatter industry norms, while he talks to his daughter on ‘I Need You’, and on ‘You Don’t Know’, he implores listeners to understand their worth. Vector pays homage to his father on ‘Mercy’, and he flexes his lyrical prowess on ‘Clowns’ and ‘What’s That II’, while ‘My Name’ sees him in a confident assured mood to close out the album. Throughout the 16-track affair, Vector stands tall on TESLIM with impeccable lyricism, captivating songwriting, and majestic musicianship.
Speaking about the inspiration behind his TESLIM album, Vector says, “I thought I had an idea of what my album was going to be, then suddenly your dad passes, and you then start to understand that life is vain, you start to re-evaluate and rediscover the meaning of the things you do. I started to re-evaluate what I wanted my music to be like, what I wanted the message to carry, and how I wanted my music [to be]. I was also considering things – if life is a fleeting thing that we all can’t hold on to, how then is it easy for us to be distracted by things that we really don’t care about?”
Revered as one of the biggest rap artists to come out of Africa, Vector comes with eight acclaimed projects (four albums, three EPs and one mixtape) under his belt, while also holding the record for the longest live rap freestyle on the continent, which has been downloaded over one million times. The award-winning rap icon is the face of Hennessy Artistry in Nigeria, where he also serves as creative director for the renowned cognac house. The Lagos-born artist has been championed across the world by international tastemakers such as Apple Music, BET, MTV Base and BBC 1Xtra.
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