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WPGM Commentary: Ekene Anonyai Doesn’t Want Her Ex Back On ‘Callin’ Me’

Hello, my name is Ekene Anonyai. I am a Nigerian singer and songwriter living in Canada. I dropped my debut single, “Callin’ Me” on May 26.

I wrote “Callin’ Me” in October 2019 when my friend Ibro sent me a beat he’d just created, titled ‘HER type beat’. Prior to this, he’d sent me different beats that I’d written to but there was something about this beat that just stuck with me. I started freestyling on it immediately and that’s how the first verse came about.

At the time, I did not have a good recording mic. I only had a cheap dynamic mic that I’d recently gotten to help enhance the audio quality of my YouTube videos.

Ibro was adamant that I didn’t use that mic as he thought this song could do ‘really well’ and he wanted the quality to be great. So, I reached out to fellow musician and friend, nezsa, to use her RODE NT1A mic at her home studio.

I went over and the song was recorded at nezsa’s. I still had only the first verse, although I had planned to write the rest of the song before visiting her. I decided to tap into the only relationship I had been in at the time, for the second verse.

My ex would always say we should promise to stay friends if the relationship ever ended and that’s how I got the inspiration behind the line, “I could have sworn you promised, did you lie?”.

The session with nezsa was really cool, she was basically my sound engineer and that was my introduction to Logic Pro x as well. I had always used GarageBand as that was what came with my MacBook.

It was easy for me to come up with hooks as this beat honestly made song writing easy for me. We had decided that I would complete the rest of the track another day, but we left the song and beat playing on nezsa’s laptop and so I kept freestyling quietly to myself and that was how “You’re a liar, you’re a criminal, you belong to the streets” came into the mix.

Since we had already ended the session, I quickly recorded it in the voice recordings app on my phone. After sometime, this was also mixed and mastered by Ibro, but I was not too happy with the sound quality.

Another friend mixed and mastered it after this, and I still was not satisfied at the time as we were all just starting to perfect our crafts then, and have come a long way since then.

I ended up abandoning the song as I had to focus on graduating from university in 2020 and then last year, I had to focus on getting a job related to my degree. After that happened in July, I also had to relocate cities and moved back to Toronto after 4 years.

I was now living with my sister who was always studying for her masters degree and it seemed impossible to be singing in the same apartment as someone who was pursuing a postgraduate degree.

Hence, I started searching for recording studios in Toronto as well, but they were all too expensive; until I came across an ad on Instagram. This ad was for a new studio that was having discounted opening rates and so I booked an appointment immediately. I also learned a lot from that experience, but at the end of the day, I did not get enough time to record enough harmonies – very important to me.

The track was mixed by the engineer at the studio, but I had many issues with the mix that could not be fixed in the one free revision, and it was already costing a lot. At this point, I was getting really frustrated as nothing seemed to be working out.

When the new year came around, I decided to figure out how to record even with my sister studying in the next room and I was able to record “Callin’ Me” in January/February. I then found justinbranduk on Fiverr who mixed and mastered the track.

Unfortunately, I still did not like the first mix at all. This time I knew I was partly at fault as I was very tired when I’d recorded the vocals. Even more tired, I took another shot at recording and had to drink two cups of coffee just to stay awake and we were able to get “Callin’ Me” to where it is today.

I am very grateful to God and to Justin Brand (justinbranduk) for letting me re-record and for mixing the record. I am also grateful to all my friends who helped listen to the different mixes, right from the very first version in 2019. I do not take any of it for granted.

So far, it has been an amazing and stressful experience releasing original music, but I am just elated to have my own song out at all. I also dropped a new track “Life Begins” with a producer, KidC4, over the weekend. I am very excited to keep working on my music career and drop even more songs in future! Thank you to everyone who has supported thus far and continues to support me!

Watch the lyric video below and stream the track everywhere else here.

Words by Ekene Anonyai // Follow her on Instagram + Twitter

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