Written and produced between Lagos and London and released on June 27th, Boundaries is a new EP by Nigeria native Phaemous and London-based DJames. The duo have collaborated on this 5-track record that fuses Afro beats with R&B under a hint of Caribbean influence. Together, they tell the story of love – from its inception to its troubles, climax and ultimately, potential.
With catchy beats and lyrics that convey painful love, MIA kicks off the EP with a song about the singer’s partner being “missing in action”. The melody line carries Phaemous’s message, alluding to being ghosted by a love interest. We continue the romantic battle in What is Love?, which explores the relationship between love and money. With repetitive words that sit well upon DJames’s Afro-Caribbean instrumentations, the lyrics maintain a rhythmic feel that entices listeners with its relatable questions about love.

The confusion of What is Love? lingers over into the next track, Locked Up, where Phaemous sings about falling in love but receiving mixed signals. “All you do is talk, you don’t show no action,” cries Phaemous. He sings about how he would do anything for his crush, but she doesn’t do anything in return. Though it’s the shortest track, Locked Up still significantly contributes to the romantic tale that Phaemous and DJames hope to convey in Boundaries.

Next, we get a sexy and saucy tune by the name of First Time. From the title alone and the overall love theme, one can predict the song’s contents. Phaemous tells about being with a woman “for the very first time”. With edgy rhythmic percussion and a seductive melody line, DJames provides an excellent groove for this tune. The attention to detail in this track is impeccable as DJames uses little sound bites like creaky bed springs that add to the song’s vibe and dynamics.

The EP closes with Dreaming, a song about a girl who is “stuck in [your] head”. A strength to Phaemous’s lyrical skills is his tendency to get straight to the point – no metaphors, no riddles. As he puts it, he “doesn’t play games”. Dreaming is a solid ending to a captivating EP.

Boundaries is an invigorating collaboration that adds humanity to art by depicting love in its rawest form and in ways many people can connect with. Through their well-crafted lyrics and multi-stylistic beats, Phaemous and DJames succeed in delivering an EP that excites. Listen to Boundaries now streaming across major music platforms.