Written by Aidan Werder
Last week, Sierra Leonean-American artist Laik dropped his debut EP ‘Wanted’. Following the release earlier this year of his well-recieved single, “Stuck Inside,” Laik returns with his first fully-fledged, 5-track debut recorded entirely at Dafidi TMC in Maryland. On ‘Wanted‘ we hear Laik combine his love of dancing, music, and Sierra Leonean culture to create a bridge between the sounds of Sierra Leone and the United States. Produced entirely by BunieTheFirst and executive produced by Wale ‘Lelo’ Afolabi, ‘Wanted’ boasts two features including Javada on track 2’s “Fairy Tale,” and Tobby Drillz on track 4’s “Suga Lova.”
Originally born in Pennsylvania, Laik lived had a somewhat nomadic childhood, moving around from Pennsylvania to Atlanta to Jamaica to the United Kingdom to Sierra Leone and finally to Maryland, where resides now. Having spent 7 of the most formative years of his childhood in Sierra Leone – going to school, playing to soccer, learning to dance – he grew to love the culture and became inspired to share it once he was back in the states.
After creating the lead track, “Wantin” Laik instantly knew he wanted it to lead off the project. Laik’s goal was to create a fun, upbeat project to dance along to despite being in quarantine. This upbeat fusion of Dancehall, R&B and Afrobeats was designed to help transcend the boredom of our homes to the excitement of the dancefloor, “I want everyone to be able to dance to the project and feel like they’re not stuck inside,” says Laik.
“Fairy Tale” was recorded after Laik’s return to Maryland from Dallas. The song is a love letter to the woman he met while traveling. In his own word, Laik wanted to make a song she would listen to faithfully and “could feel us together in.”
“Gimme Dat” was the last track Laik recorded for the project – where he shows off his charisma and confidence in this upbeat yet seductive track. During production BunieTheFirst immediately recognized this as a standout and convinced Laik to swap the original beat out with one of his own. Bunie promised to create a better track and delivered.
‘Wanted’ is an excellent showcase of Laik’s unique afro-fusion inspired style, and gives us a promising look at the bright future ahead of this young Sierra Leonean-American artist.
Be sure to check out ‘Wanted’ by Laik – Streaming Now on All Platforms