Single Review: Boadi, ‘Walk’

Listen to ‘Walk.’

Boadi (pronounced Bwer-dee) released his single ‘Walk’ on 17 July, an aching neo-soul ballad. He wrote it while on one of the walks that were crucial to his mental health care in overcoming depression and anxiety. 

As a child, walks in his grandmother’s courtyard in Ghana gave Boadi contentment, and is referenced with subtle crickets in the song’s opening bars and lyrics (“Take me back to them days when I was young and running free with no care in the world”).

‘Walk’ does justice to Boadi’s expressiveness and fullness of sound that his live performance conveys. He has an agile range that ambles up and down the register in a slight rasp. He shares the turbulent emotions behind the song with plaintive openness reminiscent of Bill Withers, his favourite songwriter. “With this song I’m trying to be as honest as I can with myself. Allowing myself to be vulnerable connects with people way more in music. A lot of us are going through the same stuff but can’t communicate it.”

Boardi’s family is from Ghana, and growing up he didn’t listen to any popular music. “Rhythmically, Ghana helped a lot,” he said. His harmonies are largely influenced by gospel and soul. Boadi cited highlife as his inspiration for using horns in his arrangements. Ife Ogunjobi’s restrained, melancholy trumpet textures the jazz instrumentation, which R-Kay and David Thomas (keys), Harry Denton (drums), Mark Laing (bass) bring to arresting full stops. Charlie Moreton’s blues-influenced guitar solo meshes with Boadi’s haunting harmonies and searching vocals of someone seeking inner peace. 

Crack the window mixed, Oliver Lyu mastered, and Boadi produced and engineered the song. The production’s attention to detail delights- the song ends with a guitar coda and small chirp on the piano reminiscent of the crickets.