When R&B meets Afrobeat: Edidion presents his new Single ‘Concentration’ in Exclusive Interview: “It’s Now the Time to Challenge Myself.”

The one-named artist and singer, Edidion, brings a whole package of urban styles and influences into his collection of music. Based in London, UK, the British singer with Nigerian roots follows a streak of many other breakout starts from London town: Think about Taio Cruz, for example, where Edidion’s 2015 single “One Life” offers dance flavors similar to Taio’s hit single “Dynamite”. Or Tinchy Stryder, whose electronic hip-hop style aligns with the attitude of Edidion’s “Turnin”. The latter also being the first single release with music video: On the streets of New York City, Edidion communicates with a girl in dance form, while showing moves on quiet streets at night. These kinds of vibes between street attitude and smooth R&B (reminiscent of Usher, one of his idols), build the base of Edidion’s music since releasing debut LP “Statistic” in 2015, known for the beforementioned “One Life”, rough rap-filled “Come with Me” (feat. Trevon Tate), and aggressive club banger “Go Nuts”.

While Edidion likes to experiment and develop to the next level with his content, inspiration was this time carried on from fellow Nigerian artists Tiwa Savage, Wizkid & Davido, which turned his direction into afrobeat music. Not only as afrobeat dominates the airwaves in today’s musical landscape, but also the connection that he has from his own Nigerian background, even his name Edidion originating from Nigeria’s Akwa Ibom area. To that effect, “Concentration” was born: Smooth R&B, tropical beats, and a dash of Africa, mashed with horns and organ sounds. The relaxed and sunny atmosphere that the song brings is going along with Edidion’s rhythmic and eased-up voice (“Girl I think I’m fallin’ for ya / So damn fine I can’t ignore ya / You’re demanding all my attention / I’m losing all my concentration.”).

A turning move, as Edidion previously experimented with trap sounds before in 2019s “I’m the One” and 2020s “Bugatti” – an anthem about greatness that recently created a buzz on social media platform Tik Tok, and being a fan favorite overall. However, the Ransom Beatz-produced “Concentration” makes way for more melody and soul, though sometimes lyric-wise likes to get back to the flashy “Bugatti” attitude, when singing “Diamonds on my grill go shine shine” in the second verse. With the aim to gain an international audience and to solidify his place as one of the new faces of R&B, “Concentration” celebrates its premiere with a heated music video where Edidion and his dancers switch rooms from either yellow, blue, or red, fitting the clothing styles to the room color, and dancing sensually to the floating beats. Instead of ‘losing all my concentration’, it’s rather grabbing all the attention.

“Concentration” Official Music Video

Below, Edidion speaks with The Urban Twist about the process and lyrics of “Concentration”, the switch of styles in his music, the concept of the video, and upcoming future plans.

Can you explain a bit about the writing process and lyrical content of “Concentration”?

The writing process of “Concentration” began in February this year, whenever I decide to release new music I always think “what haven’t I done yet?” and “how can I show my growth as an artist?” There have been several times where I have scrapped songs in fear of how people will perceive me, this time around I decided to get rid of that fear and allow myself to be free creatively. I am definitely a gentleman and a hopeless romantic, haha! but sometimes I do have moments where I become very attracted to someone and thoughts start running through my mind. We are all human beings and we all have those thoughts and feelings so I decided to write about it, and draw from personal experiences and that’s how “Concentration” was born. 

In your last single “Bugatti” you were diving into trap music. Now with your latest release, R&B is filled with afrobeat. What was the inspiration to change up your style in your newest single?

I’m inspired by a lot of musical icons and I admired how Janet Jackson evolved from each album to the next and you never knew what you were going to get every time she came back out. It’s important to me that I show versatility as a songwriter and musician. 

Growing up in a Nigerian household I have always loved afrobeat music and felt that it was now time for me to tap into that sound and challenge myself. “Essence” by Wizkid & Tems, “Crazy Tings” by Tems and the “Celia” album by Tiwa Savage were my main influences while writing this song and creating the melodies. The Afrobeat domination that is happening right now is so cool. 

When listening to your collection of singles that you released throughout the years, each song provides a different style: EDM sounds in “One Life”, R&B ballad in “Where You At?”, street style in “Turnin”, and Afrobeat in “Concentration”. Is this an ongoing theme in your music, offering a mix in your music, or did this happen subconsciously?

I think the key to being an interesting artist and someone that stands out from the pack is pushing yourself to try new things and to make music for everybody. I define myself as an R&B/Soul artist because that is the foundation for me as a singer but I want people who listen to Pop, R&B, Afrobeat, EDM, and Pop/Rock to enjoy my music too. I definitely want my music to impact people around the world and achieve crossover success.

I really like the visuals of the music video. Sensual dances with fluorescent lamps, and different colored rooms with matching colored clothes, like red, blue, or yellow. How did you come up with the concept of the video?

When I finished recording “Concentration” in the studio I sat with the song for a while and decided that I couldn’t release it without a visual, the song itself is so energetic, loud and theatrical. I knew for sure that if I were to shoot a video for “Concentration” it had to be colourful, fashion-forward and dance-heavy.

The live instruments in “Concentration” reminded me of “Déjà Vu” by Beyoncé, the music video brought the song to life and I loved Beyoncé’s high-energy performance from beginning to end.

 I also took inspiration from one of my favourite music videos of all time “Crush On You” by Lil’ Kim, the way Kim and her dancers matched the colour of their outfits to each different coloured set in the video was so creative and unique.

Edidion and his dance crew during the making of the “Concentration” video.

Your last video “Turnin” was made on the streets, on a New York City night. The “Concentration” video has a very different vibe in comparison. What was the main thing that you wanted to do differently this time around?

This time around I wanted to show growth and evolution through my fashion, dancing, and vocal delivery. I did street dancing in the “Turnin” video, the moves were aggressive, sharp, and military-like. In “Concentration” you still see some hard dance moves but it’s mixed with a lot more fluid movement. It is important to me as a dancer that I challenge myself and become good at doing different styles of dance so I wanted to combine African dancing with street dancing which I have never done before in a music video or live on stage. Shoutout to Nackie who choreographed the music video, she did an amazing job.

The video also reminds me of Sean Paul’s “Temperature” from 2006. There, Sean is also in different color-shaped rooms (focused on seasons of the year). Was it also your idea to bring out different feels for each color concept?

Absolutely! In rehearsals, Nackie came up with the idea of having different dancers in each scene in the video to give each section its own feel. I also noticed that when I put on the different looks for the video I felt different in each one. For example in the yellow scene, the dancers and I were in streetwear, I felt really comfortable and the outfit is something I would wear on a day-to-day basis around my neighbourhood. In the blue scene, the look was inspired by something I would wear to the club on a Friday night so the attitude in that scene was a lot more confident, suave, and sexy. In the red scene, the concept of my look was red-carpet/off-the-runway attire, something that I would wear if I was attending fashion week or something, haha! so I approached that scene with confidence and elegance. 

Another video it reminds me of is Destiny’s Child’s “Say My Name” (2000). Would you say it’s a nod to videos from that era of music?

The “Concentration” video was definitely a nod to the 90s era with a hint of the 80s era too. 

I loved the simplicity of Bobby Brown’s “Every Little Step” music video, the choreography, the fashion, the video models, and the set design. I strive to recapture the magic of the golden era of R&B but in my own unique way. I truly am a student of the greats and I take my craft very seriously. 

On a side note, shoutout to the dancers in “Concentration”! They did a great job! I also feel that you were more comfortable in your own zone. Were there also some improv scenes in there?

I want to give a big shoutout to the dancers Elsa, Ronke, Beth and Nackie! There were a few parts in the song where we all freestyled and did what came naturally. I didn’t want the video to look too choreographed and robotic. Nackie was so helpful on set because she coached me and brought out a more relaxed and fun side to me and you see that on film. The dancers were also super supportive and gave me a boost when I needed it.

In a few weeks, I will be releasing behind-the-scenes footage on my YouTube channel and my fans will get to see the making of the video.

From left to right: Beth, Elsa, Edidion, Nackie, and Ronke.

Concentration” was performed during your live set at Unity Link Up’s pop-up event in Piccadilly Circus in London, in late August of this year. How was the audience’s reaction, and was it your idea to check out the response first?

I actually performed “Concentration” for the first time back in April, I performed in Brixton and the reception was good! I saw people singing along to the hook of the song which was a good sign. When I performed it again recently in Piccadilly Circus the reception felt even stronger, I think it was due to me being more comfortable with the song and I had already shot the video by that time. I wanted to take a different approach with this single, usually, I keep everything under wraps until release day but “Concentration” is so different and I’ve never done a song like this before so I wanted to test the waters with people before I officially release the song. I have seen other artists do this before at their shows and it’s exciting because you get a taste of what’s to come.

Last but not least, what else can we expect from you? More performances, an album, EP, or more music soon?

There is definitely an EP coming next year, in fact, it’s a part of my creative project for my third semester of University. I am going to record 3-4 songs possibly and shoot a music video for one of the songs. I love performing live so whenever there is an opportunity to do that I will definitely take it. I want to give a quick shoutout to all of my fans #TeamEdidion I appreciate you all and thank you for your continued support. To stay updated with me visit my website www.edidionmusic.com.

“Concentration” is out on all digital platforms. You can stream the single on Spotify here.

“Concentration” Single Cover

You can also follow Edidion here:

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