In 2021 while everyone was trying to figure out how to get back into normalcy after the worldwide lockdown, a Ghana-based Nigerian artiste, Ogranya Jable Osai went superhuman mode and decided to embark on a peculiar journey: drop new music every week till the year ends. For something that sounds arduous and even near unfeasible, it was quite the success with Ogranya maintaining a balance of satisfied existing fans happy to get new music from him every week; listeners closely watching to be sure he was actually going to see this task through and curious new fans happy to discover music from such a resilient and talented artiste.
Like every great accomplishment, the determinative project, aptly titled Project 52 which represents the number of weeks that make a year, started as a suggestive idea, brought up by his manager as far back as 2019. Despite Ogranya’s initial reaction of being excited about releasing new music, he admitted he was human after all and had doubts like any sane person would on the possibility of this passing idea from his manager coming to fruition. There were a lot of dynamics to consider and inasmuch as he was already relishing the thought of releasing a backlog of music, he wasn’t sure he would be able pull it off – for 52 weeks. He had what he calls ‘Release Day trauma’ that he wasn’t prepared to go through every single week and there was his affinity for ghosting that might hinder consistency.
Despite these thoughts, while he kept recording and putting out music, the idea still lingered, finding its way into some of his conversations where he got nothing but morale to go through with it.
Ogranya doesn’t tag the exact moment he decided to go ahead with the project as a light bulb moment. Instead, pressure and the need to do something meaningful after spending two years in Lagos, writing and recording music led him and his manager to just go ahead with it. Project 52 had never been forgotten.
“My manager and I, well in our toxic masculinity bag, had casually exchanged jokes and jabs about it – I’m guessing (in retrospect) to rather, playfully gauge where we were mentally on the feasibility of taking on such a task. It grew clearer as 2020 drew to a close that the weekly release was up next and inevitable.”
Every song on Project 52 was released as a single and from melodic ballads to upbeat Afrofusion tracks to just plain soulful music, Ogranya takes anyone who listens to his music through a musical experience with his enthralling voice. Hitting on themes of love, life and sometimes just plain good vibes, it’s easy to understand who Ogranya is and what he represents through his music.
“Project 52 includes songs I’ve been recording in all my active years, in varying quantity per year. However, a good number of the songs started and had to be finished in 2021, during the course of the project. ‘Baptism’ for instance was written and produced in 2012, recorded and engineered in 2015. But, by May/June, it was clear I had to get back in the studio properly”
While fans enjoyed new music every week, Ogranya found the entire project doing something for him as an artiste. He learned to move around his challenge with communication remembering every time that he had to engage the people he had committed to especially, as the reception of the Project 52 exercise went beyond his expectations. He found that his confidence had been boosted and his anxiety around releasing new music had reduced significantly.
“I’ve never felt this assured about what I create and my ability to create in itself. I can almost feel the art in me, for lack of a better way to put it. Lol, or ‘I dey feel myself.’”
We’ve moved on to a new year now. It’s 2022 and Project 52 is over. Even though it was a long, exciting and insightful experience for him, putting out the last song, “Music Don’t Stop” a fun Amapiano fusion, felt good, knowing it was the last. Paramount over everything else, feedback from listeners calling his music medicinal and healing was more than satisfying. It’s no wonder he feels his confidence has been boosted after the project-run because, if there’s one thing artistes hope for when they release music, it’s for the listeners to connect with it the way they hoped they will.
This year, Ogranya and his team are not going on a major music break. Instead, they hope to release even more quality music:
“We’ve done quality and quantity, it’s now time for just quality. So the moment is more savor-able. More quality music, more quality content. Also more healing and bigger market, all in tandem, and in no particular order.”
Find all of the Ogranya’s music including everything he released as part of Project 52, recognizable by the coloured backgrounds with texts, designed by Clay & Momos. In his words, listening to his music will “heal you in a way you never thought was possible” and with his impeccable use of African Rhythms, melodies and compositions, “you will transcend your current reality and inadvertently heal”