• Omah Lay’s ‘Godly’ is Leading The Charge for Song Of The Year Prize

Written by: Adeayo, Adebiyi

"Godly" takes the early lead in the song of the year race

Man I Thank God I godly

Say God no ungodly

How can God be ungodly? This would likely be the question on your lips if you don’t understand pidgin (Nigeria’s indigenous English language). However, if you are familiar with Nigeria’s unofficial Lingua Franca you will know exactly what Omah Lay is talking about. You will understand that;

Oluwa (God) na him comfort me – it’s God who comforted me

When these people dey come body me – When these people (enemies) came for me

You see, the Nigerian society is a peculiar one and there are a host of evil forces both seen and unseen, known and unknown, principalities and powers all of whom are lurking around plotting the downfall of their victims. These dark forces must be dispelled with supplications to a superior power (God), and when victory is assured, gratitude must be given to God after which comes the celebration;

It’s why I jaiye sometimes – it’s why I have fun sometimes

A little Henny and ice – with a little Hennessey and ice

Make I fiti coolu my mind – So I can cool my mind

Make I live this life – just want to live my life

Songs of this nature have a striking relatability with Nigerians who irrespective of social status, gender, and age all have to contend with some version of evil mechanization and Omah Lay’s ‘Godly’ perfectly captures to this essence. The single is an expression of gratitude to God for offering protection from the enemies’ advances. It’s sprinkled with a stinging mockery of the enemies for failing woefully and spiced with a celebration of the triumph of good over evil. It’s a perfect Nigerian song impeccably delivered by one of Nigeria’s explosive talent.

‘Godly’ is the third track on Omah Lay’s second EP ‘WHAT HAVE WE DONE’. The song became an instant favorite and resonated with the audience so much that it thoroughly outperform the remaining singles. ‘Godly’ was so massive that if we were to put it plainly, it banished the remaining singles into irrelevance.

A few weeks after the release of his second EP and while ‘Godly’ and Covid-19 battled for dominance of the airwaves, Omah Lay left Nigeria for a show in Uganda. The show turned out to be ill-fated and landed Omah Lay in hot water in a foreign land. Omah Lay was hounded from the police station to the courtroom in what was clearly a premeditated case of harassment. A picture of Omah Lay in handcuffs was heart-rending and it unleashed the anger of Nigerians at the insult and disrespect meted out to their golden boy. Nigeria’s message to Uganda was loud and clear, and in no time, Omah Lay was on his way home.

Upon his return, he released the visuals for ‘Godly’ and his recent travails in a foreign land gave the song a broader meaning that was very Nigerian. ‘Godly’ would go on to spend a record 11 weeks at the summit of TurnTable Top 50 and reached the No .1 position on all charts published by TurnTable Charts. A feat that would have been regarded as a ridiculous and drunken prediction had it been made when the album dropped.

During the first quarter of 2021, Omah Lay’s ‘Godly’ was the most streamed song in Nigeria across all freemium streaming platforms. ‘Godly’ garnered 23.11m streams in the first quarter of 2021 which is impressive considering that the EP dropped on 19th November which is almost two months before the New Year. ‘Godly’s’ airplay figures are mind-blowing just like the man himself. ‘Godly’ occupied the second spot on TV in the first quarter of 2021 with 104.73 million TV impressions. And the song topped the radio in the first quarter of 2021 with 542 million radio impressions.

The dominance of the song on Streaming, Radio, and TV combined to keep the song at the top of TurnTable Top 50 for a record 11 weeks. A record Omah Lay would likely hold for a while. The success, dominance, reception, and most importantly longevity of ‘Godly’ makes it a front runner for the song of the year prize.

Trying to understand the factors that inspired the unprecedented success of this single will amount to an endeavor in academic exercise. ‘Godly’ is one of those songs that was destined to become a hit the moment it was released. We at TurnTable Charts are incapable of supplying a satisfactory explanation for the roof-shattering success of this song. And just like everyone else, we fell in love with the song the moment it floated into our ears.

It’s unlikely that even Omah Lay would be able to explain the magic formula behind the success of what is undoubtedly his biggest single yet, and if asked, we suspect that all the superstar might have to say is:

Man I Thank God I godly

Say God no ungodly.

You can download the complete Q1 report here.

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