Paka Paka lacks the melodic verve that we have come to expect from Afrie’s music – it seems like she was doing someone a favour when she did this song
By Dennis Asiimwe
Paka Paka, Afrie’s latest single, feels like one which she throws everything at. The song is designed to be a banger of sorts (something that you quickly gather from her YouTube caption) and that almost never ends well.
I am not sure what causes it, but every time an artiste sets out to drop ‘a banger’, it doesn’t end well. This might be because people who drop ‘bangers’ never really make a big deal out of the process and go about it like it was another day at the office.
Paka Paka comes off as somewhat lightweight because it gets caught up in trying too hard. The song does not play to Afrie’s strengths – she’s got an amazing voice and power vocals, and can run away with a melody, but there is barely any melody to this track.
The track’s production also seems to borrow from too many influences, including Nigeria’s Afrobeats genre. This is an experiment that worked for Uganda’s Azawi, but it fails here because Afrie was probably trying to do too much at the same time (working the Afrobeat genre into a banger dance groove).
Another level where the track falls woefully short is the instrumentation. Paka Paka is a track that’s looking to pick the pace, with a groove that promises big things, frenetic energy, and some oomph. The instrumentation seems to have gotten a completely different script and is half-hearted at best. It’s disappointing, to say the list – a banger is exactly the type of song where you can expect folks to experiment and let loose, but this feels a little too cautious. There is no musical theme that the track is built around, and the session guitarist simply shouldn’t have been paid.
Possibly the song’s only strong point is the harmonies (typically, Afrie does her own backing vocals), which hint at the potent vocal musicality that is plainly lacking in the main melody. Paka Paka lacks the melodic verve that we have come to expect from Afrie’s music – it sounds like she was doing someone a favour when she did this song.