“Call Me I Need Ya” is the latest single from Nigerian born R&B/Afrobeat performer Victor Pedro. Pedro, now based out of South Africa, has chased musical fame and self expression since his pre-teen years and has already experienced real success in his professional career, but the latest single promises to elevate his global profile like nothing else preceding it. The latest single benefits from five star production strengths and a sound far from confined to the African continent – “Call Me I Need Ya” has a sound sure to play with the same effectiveness in the clubs of Johannesburg as it will in New York City, Paris, or London. It is, likewise, a laser focused effort lacking even an ounce of fat to drag down its impact for listeners. The track goes only a few seconds past the three and a half minute mark but, yet, doesn’t even seem to go that long. Instead, Pedro comes off as a performer intent on entertaining audiences from the outset and does so with immense skill.
I’m particularly taken with the lyrics. A lot of R&B songs, in my experience, avoid sensitivity unless they are outright love songs, but you don’t find it here with “Call Me I Need Ya”. Despite Pedro needing the subject of the songwriting, the subject of the song is really Pedro’s longing. He explores his desire with almost surgical precision, but there’s nothing false or forced in the writing. Instead, he comes into this song completely sure of exactly how to frame the nature of his longing and shares it with listeners with an openness we do not often hear in this style. It allows Pedro to frame the core of the song for listeners in such a way I immediately connected with the track. He never pushes too hard with the writing and it makes all the difference.
The drumming and other electronic instruments powering the arrangement make a great difference as well. Pedro orchestrates the song’s musical elements in such a way they have a natural inevitability – we can feel each change in the song’s progression as they come, but the predictability is entertaining and satisfying rather than letting listeners down. It’s a pleasure to hear his confidence in both the vocal and music alike. The singing has cool assurance rolling through the performance, but also bubbles with a light suggestiveness certain to draw listeners deeper into the track. His phrasing has a completeness that even much older and experienced vocalists would likely struggle to reach.
“Call Me I Need Ya” is the best single yet from Victor Pedro, but it is far from the peak for this young performer. Pedro has many higher mountains to scale in his future and, with each new release, will undoubtedly garner more followers to accompany him with those additional ascents. The fact his music cuts across every cultural line and national border and seems ideally suited for a world stage is likely his most impressive accomplishment of all and I can’t wait to hear what comes next.