Have you heard "On the Low" by Card on Spokes featuring Nonku Phiri and Okmalumkoolkat? Well I have and I love it. I've heard it over and over and twice on a Sunday. One word to describe this song would, obviously, have to be: ~feels~

"On the Low" is probably my favourite song I've listened to this year so far. I never even imagined that a song set to an electronic beat could be sexy and intimate and melancholy. In fact, "electronic" only brings to mind topless white dude bros jumping around in warehouses and doing other white dude bro things. Sorry, to whatever minority group they likely appropriated it from, sorry they bastardised it.

I'm one of those people with whom intimacy ranks high above everything. Intimacy is better than sex and squads and baes and, probably, chakalaka. Never money though. From the moment Okmalumakoolkat opens with, "there's something about her" I'm in it for keeps. As a nosey person, people reviews and finding out what exactly draws -- or repels -- people to others fascinates me to no end. I especially love it when there's not enuf language in the world to quantify just how wonderful you find another person. When all you have is, "unalanto" or "there's something about{them}." When you can't put your finger on -- or words to -- it but you just know that this person is the reason people were invented to begin with. The reason we feel things and long. This is it.

From the onset the song sets the tone: Today We Will Be Exploring Survival And Learning To Be Vulnerable Again or Exploring The many Reasons Why We Can't Be.

Survival and self-preservation, in many instances, does mean shutting it all down. Being hyper woke and not letting anyone see behind the veil. I'm a guarded person in nature so I can't even imagine letting another person in after being through the things Koolkat infers by referencing Chris and Bobby Brown. The only part I don't like about the opening is how he says he "found her." It's off-putting. Like a sniper/predator zoning in. The really impressive thing is that the setting of this part of the song seems to be a night out but ALL these feels, man. Now I kind of see why groove is a thing. and is "the good stuff" D or drugs?

petit noir girlfriend, petit noir yannick illunga and girlfriend, okmalumkoolkat love song, nonku phiri singer,
attempt at a film still // fav pic of someone with their bae.
Can we talk about the chorus? Woo ah. I don't know what I expected Nonku Phiri to sound like but this was far from it. I have very limited experience of her music -- the last being vocals on a house track I don't even remember. But it seems I have been sleeping on her! On first listen I double-checked to see if it doesn't say "Maleh" somewhere because that's what Nonku Phiri is serving here: Raspy, buttery goodness. And I'm about it. 

It's so reassuring and comforting how she sort of says, "yes, we can take it slow but I need you to give me a little more." The lyrics are powerful because patience and just hoping you'll one day be "rewarded" with the cheat code is what's emphasised for people who love people like me. These “people like me” are guarded or broken or mending -- but should others just wait around hoping? This advice is especially dished out when the people being emotionally distant, unfulfilling and stand-offish are men. So it's powerful that she says I've beeen here, I've beeeen about you, but nawe you need to give me more. Aside from the assertive and shiver-inducing chorus, my other  favourite lyric has to be "she was super smart and her (that?) body was porn" yes, be attracted to my mind and body in equal parts. As a brilliant, interesting, kind, funny -- basically great in the brain and heart -- woman I also need to hear you ask what the mouf do. Email me about my boobs sometimes.

But, of course, it gets complicated. It gets deeper and lines entangle. Please be kinder to each other and set expectations. Please let each other down gently and don't be cruel in how you break a heart. Please do your best to avoid it. “Saying that she loves me/I just wanna nyama” Let them know. All in all, falling for someone who probably wont catch you in the summer and smoking medicating together through it all hasn't sounded more attractive. 

Sharrout Card on Spokes, got the girl keen on electronic tings. I just cannot quantify just how great the beats sound with these words.

As far as meet-cutes and beginnings go, this is a lovely one.

Buy the song here, watch the lyric video here.



Image credit: Jody Brand via chomma.tumblr.com