Brymo’s Organized Chaos Proclaims The Start Of A Revolution
By: Caleb Somtochukwu Okereke
This is what Brymo does to you; first you are meandering your way through the crowd at Freedom park, holding your friend by the hand, ducking beneath the camera cables and squinting from the light. You have arrived twenty minutes into the show, your Uber driver has dropped you round the corner and so you have had to walk a bit, your legs are tired, but the audience is vibrant, the atmosphere is contagious.
You smile when you see him, in a black tunic on black pants gyrating to the fast paced music, existing as one with the flashing lights, and singing a tune you know so well. You are staring at him, so intently, at the beads of sweat on his forehead, the smile cutting across his lips, you are staring when you pull your friend closer and say to her, “Brymo is a god!” and she nods in response then says, “I swear!”
Few minutes later, you are bobbing your head to the music, live on Facebook, your palm wrapped around a bottle of Star Radler, your eyes beholding magic, pure, raw magic, magic in lights and fast paced music, magic in melody, in black pants and tunics.
“Brymo is one of the most under-rated Nigerian musicians,” a comment on your live video reads, another follows seconds later, “How many Nigerian musicians can sing live and sound so amazing.”
You smile at this second comment because you know this. Because this is why you are here, because somewhere in the corner of your Lagos home, his music soothes you every-time, because a friend had slid his album into your hands a few months ago, because you had been there to see him perform live at Ake and because Star Radler never tasted so good.
Because aside the taste of cider on your tongue, you can taste his music too, the fluidity as the sound escapes your lips and that of the hundred others lost in the moment, the smack of the lyrics gliding down your tongue as you sing;
I go say
Ori mi pe bi alajo Somolu eh
Bi alajo Somolu eh
You are not yourself, you know this and that’s okay, you are never yourself when you watch him sing, you are everything but the feature writer with big dreams. Just as everyone is everything but themselves, just are they bound to one thing, the fellowship of soul, this one thing we all understand.
When he says, “The theme for this year is feminism,” you cannot contain the joy in your heart, because right here in this old prison at Marina, Lagos with towering walls, right here in this small corner of the earth was someone who understood, the battles that had to be fought, the victories already won.
He reminds you of the heroic characters you write about, the fictional brave man who you hoped could exist, whose words you knew could bring life, whose songs you knew could start a revolution. And this was what Organized Chaos was, a revolution springing not from the place of anger as we have been taught revolutions should be, not from a place of placards and statement Tees with strong messages, but from a place of peace.
A place where you high fived friends and said “Hello” to folks who said they read your long posts on Facebook, where you took selfies, watched Lindsey perform and made small talk with strangers. This is the most powerful revolution, laced with dissatisfaction but not exactly dissatisfaction, the sort that is needy but not angry, demanding but not indignant.
You old enough to fuck
You old enough to know
No body gives a fuck. Prick no get shoulder
E no get shoulder
You put hin head
The rest enter
This is the song that lingers in your head as you are in the car back home, it is not what he sings last but it is what you remember, and staring out the window at the stillness of the Ikoyi roads, you think of what Organized Chaos is saying and in the silence you make a creed to yourself;
We will smash down these walls that limit us, challenge these concepts that sit by our bedside and nurture our minds, we will be and we will do, we will be flame and ocean, novel and pristine, Brymo and an organized chaos.
Photo Credit: Victor Adewale