Genre: RnB, Pop, Afro-Beat
FFO: Tiwa Savage, Rhianna
Rating: 5.5/10 (but with loads of potential)
‘Pick Your Fruit’ is the first solo release from artist Sami-Mae. The song spans several genres and like many parables including fruit, it contains an important life-lesson. Self-penned, the song warns of the importance of being careful who you associate with and pick as your friends, and comes from a place of personal experience. Whilst the message is clear, the same cannot be said for the rest of the song, which struggles to get into its groove across the four minutes.
The problem with the track lies with the production choices, which are dominated by the frankly awful use of seemingly-erratic drumbeats over the disco-pop inspired melody. At times ‘Pick My Fruit’ sounds almost as if someone decided to play the stock-drum beat on a Yamaha keyboard over an already complete song. And worse, they do so out of time. The result is a harsh cacophony of beats fighting against each other (as well as pushing against the melody) in a jarring and sometimes disorientating manner.
Another victim of the heavy-handed use of the drum-machine is Sami-Mae’s vocals, which are drowned in a tempestuous sea of mismatched percussion. This makes her voice sounds far weaker than it actually is, and is a shame given her obvious vocal talent.
Indeed, the whole song smacks of missed opportunities. We’ve already mentioned her voice, and her rich and soulful tones are far better displayed on her collab on the afro-beat track ‘Cool Down’ with Trayc Selasi. In addition, the overal vibe of ‘Pick My Fruit’ is full of promise. The backing chimes, for example, are strong, sexy and fun—and oddly reminiscent of Edwyn Collin’s 90s hit ‘A Girl Like You’. Blending Pop and RnB together is not exactly unusual, but incorporating elements of what can only be termed ‘grown-up-dinner-party-music’ certainly is, and we love the innovative mix of genre here.
Sami-Mae clearly has potential as an artist and the issues with the track are ultimately very fixable. With a few tweaks in the production (read: sort out the beats!) ‘Pick My Fruit’ could ripen into a fresh and bountiful offering.