In no uncertain terms, Kechi is a star. Her single “All the Time” from her album of the same name has all the makings of a classic pop tune from a distinct voice, from her astounding vocals to the razor-sharp production and a surprising subversion of the melody on the hook. I really couldn’t get enough of the song listen after listen. I want to be very upfront in stating that she is immensely talented in an almost effortless way.
There’s nothing rough around the edges in this track with its expert mixing and just how much of a presence she has on the track all the way through. I preface this because context should be brought up when discussing art and how their lives impact their work. Kechi Okwuchi was your average 16-year-old Nigerian high school student before a tragic plane accident left intense burn scars across her body. She was one of two people who survived the unfortunate crash. Words cannot understate what a tumultuous and harrowing journey it must have been for her on her road to recovery and her life following that. I do not believe suffering should have an impact on anything an artist creates. Yes, plenty of musicians and creators who can cite times of personal pain that allowed them to craft their work, but just as much beauty can come from love, nurturing, and understanding, and Kechi’s soul is imprinted in her work.
Taken on its own “All the Time” is an immaculate love ballad about finding someone or even more abstractly something that excites you, and breathes new life into you. As a piece of artistic identity attached to Kechi, it is about her love of her music and what she does. Her voice irradiates across the track with every high and low, of which the lows are very few in between. This should and hopefully will be a long-term commercial hit that will put her squarely on the map as an artist not withheld from bearing it all in her art. She is fearless and inspiring and that can’t ever be taken away from her or understated. She makes you excited with her excitement and with those wonderfully peppy synth punctuations peppered throughout, you just find yourself immersed in this sonic world that she’s created. Pop music has been steadily evolving over the last few years thanks to the advent of indie music sensibilities bleeding over into the more mainstream, and while many acts are evoking the past as far back as the 80s, “All the Time” feels decidedly modern.
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Kechi cites performers like Adele and Whitney Houston among her influences and it’s understandable to see why, and with time she will be in their ranks in every circle of conversation. In the lesser hands, this would be a general nice-sounding pop song, but in Kechi’s vision, it feels lived in and raw and honest. The production of the song is complex, but it never distracts from the true star of the show, Kechi, and her miraculous voice. Here’s to her gifting us with more fantastic tracks in the future!