Omah Lay’s debut album is a pot full of gems. A gifted songwriter, as proven in his several chart topping singles, collaborations and pair of EPs released in 2020—Get Layd and What Have We Done— it remained to be seen if the Nigerian Afro-fusion artist could replicate this success across a full album. Boy Alone’s 14 tracks set any doubts aside. Each track combines biography with fantasy, earnest songwriting and mannered, though seductive singing, whether about heartbreaks or childhood ambitions, carnal pleasures or his bouts with depression.
“I had the worst days of my life recording this album,” Omah Lay tells Apple Music. “Trust me, I was blocked.” Rather than compartmentalise this turbulent period in favour of fantasy-filled songwriting, the man born Stanley Omah Didia conceded to the music-making acumen which has served him well in the past: mining the highs and lows of success and romantic adventures. “I can’t sing what’s not me,” he explains; “If I’m saying anything in a song, it’s definitely true. The whole idea was to make sure that the album was really sounding the way I felt. I actually lived my reality on the album.”
The deluxe edition, released in 2023, adds six new tracks—including a remix of “Soso” that likns the Port Harcourt star with Puerto Rican singer and rapper Ozuna. British rapper Aitch also makes an appearnce on “imagine”. Below, Omah Lay talks us through key tracks from Boy Alone.