Zlatan, Omoniyi Temidayo Raphael, Omoniyi Temidayo, Nigerian

Following a streak of successful singles and collaborations, Omoniyi Temidayo, popularly known as Zlatan, dropped his debut album recently. Titled ‘Zanku’, an acronym that translates to Zlatan Abeg No Kill Us, the singer noted his choice of moniker was influenced by fans’ reactions to the fast paced rate at which he released singles this year.

The 17-track album explores different subgenres under the afrobeats umbrella to evince varying tempos that suits the concept of each song. Also, the title serves as a patent of some sorts for his zanku dance style, a dance style he claims credit for its mainstream acceptance in the music industry.

“The first time I made a dance style, I didn’t have a meaning to it. And then someone else was able to give it another name and hijack it from me.” he lamented. “So, when I actually wanted to bring out the zanku dance, I said, ‘this time around if you want to steal the zanku, you will have to steal me too,” he said.

Gaining national acclaim for his work has greatly influenced the caliber of artistes the album presents. Established acts like Tiwa Savage reached out to him for a feature on a track ‘Shotan’.

The album’s direction in terms of lyrics is a projection of his grass to grace story.

“I was able to reminisce about things that I’ve been through for the creation of this album,” he said explaining the process of creating ‘Zanku’.

He continued: “Every day, I wake up in the morning; I give thanks to God for where I am today. I never knew that I was going to be here today but God turned everything around for me. This time last year, I had no house, I had no car, but I have ‘Zanku’ today.”

Wining Airtel’s One Mic music competition at age 19, he recalled the occasion as being memorable but went on to reveal that the star prize of a car added to his problems then, as fueling turned into a burden at such times when he barely fed well. This experience and more impacted elemental themes of hope, love, and triumph are reflected on the album.

Other music heavyweights that graced the album include Patoranking, Davido, and Burna Boy. The album’s current single ‘Gbeku’, marks his second collaboration with Burna boy since ‘Killin’ Dem’. The track has also helped the singer launch a viral dance craze since its release last week.