Following the runaway global success of his ‘Last Daze of Summer’ EP – spawning the global underground hit ‘Kontrol’ which has amassed over 46 million streams in less than a year – the British-born Nigerian artist and producer Maleek Berry returned with a bang last month with the release of his new track ‘Been Calling’ and continues his winning streak with the debut of the epic visual for the single, premiered on The FADER.
Shot in Cape Town, South Africa and directed by Meji Alabi for JM Films (Seyi Shay, Asa, Complex), the clip sees Maleek taking things to the next level with the must-see visual. Written and produced by Maleek, the vibrant, summer-ready song premiered on Julie Adenuga’s Beats 1 show last month and reached number 4 on Billboard’s Twitter Emerging Artists Chart just days after its release.
The single provides a taster of more new music to come this year which Maleek performed at his highly anticipated, sold-out headline show at London’s Scala last week – including the new track ‘Bend It’ which he released after its debut at the gig – and is set to take to his just announced slot at Philadelphia’s Made in America festival in September and Encore Festival Amsterdam in August. ‘Been Calling’ showcases Maleek’s unique and addictive sounds which sublimely fuse R&B, African, reggae and hip-hop influences and have led to collaborations with the likes of Wale, Wizkid, Davido, Runtown and Iyanya.
Speaking on the video for ‘Been Calling’, Maleek Berry told The FADER:
“I really wanted to create a record for the summer but also one that would be played all year round. It’s a continuation of the Last Daze of Summer feel. It’s all for the love of the fans.
Me and my director Meji are always trying to push boundaries creatively and set a new precedent not only in African Culture but pop culture in general. That’s what I hope for the video to do”
Born and bred in south London, Maleek was influenced by the iconic R&B and soul acts he grew up listening to including Michael Jackson, Jodeci, Boyz II Men, and Tevin Campbell which led to him singing in church and subsequently forming a group with two of his friends where he started to hone his performance, writing and production skills. Following a family trip to Nigeria in 2011 he was introduced to Lagos’ thriving music scene through good friend and artist Davido which sparked his journey to becoming an international music producer as he went on to produce one of the biggest singles in Nigeria that year with Sauce Kid’s ‘Carolina’ featuring Davido, before going on to executive produce Wande Coal’s second album ‘WANTED’ in 2015.
Maleek’s debut as a solo artist saw him enlisting the talents of UK rap artist Sneakbo on the popular ‘For My People’ (2015) which paved the way for last year’s ‘Last Daze of Summer’ EP which has amassed a staggering 70 million combined streams and thrust him firmly into the international spotlight. He recently whetted the appetite of the huge fanbase he has garnered over the past two years, with the release of the breath-taking visuals for his track ‘On Fire’, which was shot on the streets of Shitta, Surulere in Lagos, and has supporters old and new eagerly anticipating the promise of more new tracks and visuals following the release of future hit ‘Been Calling’!