Stylplus celebrates their throwback classic" Expression" in Afrobeats Celebration.
HOW STYL-PLUS PROTECTED AFROPOP’S STORYTELLING ART By AFROBEATS.
One of the most well-known Nigerian albums of the 2000s is Styl-Plus’ “Expressions” album. Journalist “Tofe Ayeni” describes how she fell in love with the boy band of the aughts and how they stood out by weaving intricate tales into each of their songs, a skill that isn’t as valued in contemporary music.
If you had the good fortune to grow up in Nigeria in the early 2000s, you probably played Styl-Plus’s debut album, “Expressions,” a lot. The songs from this album helped a lot of us get through the long commutes to school in the days before Apple Music and Spotify, back when we used to listen to CDs, the radio, or cassettes if you’re that retro.
traffic, just to arrive and join your classmates in singing the tune’s captivating lyrics.
Styl-Plus were the band that got people from all tribes to sing Yoruba words along to songs like “Imagine That,” convinced you that it might be fun to be mesmerized by a local restaurant’s food, and got people from the ages of four to forty to simultaneously want and fear the idea of love. Styl-Plus, at the time Nigeria’s top R&B boy band, holds a particular place in all of our hearts.
The Styl-Plus attracted a large audience across the country with their engaging, unparalleled, and identifiable storytelling. Although they weren’t the only Pop artists at the time, it’s possible that they were the only R&B group to retain their level of popularity regularly.
Shifi Emoefe, Tunde Akinsanmi, Yemi Akinwonmi, and Lanre Faneyi were the original members of the organization, which went by the initials STYL, and they founded it in 1997. Sadly, as stated in their song “Four Years,” Lanre passed away in 1998, and Zeal joined the group to become Styl-Plus. Yemi quit the group in 2002, and Shifi, Tunde, and Zeal, a popular trio, replaced the quartet.
The group, who started out as a strictly gospel four, transitioned into the love ballads and Pop songs we know them for today in 2001, and it was at this point that they attained widespread notoriety.
Each song Styl-Plus released during the secular music era told stories of passion, hurt, love, and life in general. They also made sure to include appealing beats so that we could dance to their songs during gatherings. The trio managed to maintain their music “family friendly,” focusing on love rather than sex, with theatrical, melodramatic lyrics very different from the more somber tone we (or I) tend to relate to nowadays. This is interesting, and may be related to their history in gospel music.
It is safe to state that no other Nigerian musician or group has been able to constantly demonstrate their songwriting talent like Styl-Plus, despite the fact that I am openly biased.