Alex Boye's Paradise: Song Analysis

789 Words 4 Pages
The song “Paradise” is originally an English pop song by Coldplay, a British rock band. It was released on 12th September 2011 while the cover version of this song, “Peponi” was released 3 years later on 9th January 2012 by a crossover band - The Piano Guys. The Piano Guys had included some African folk-like elements into the original version of “Paradise” by adding some African traditional instruments, costumes and the language. I observed that The Piano Guys and Alex Boye have utilized their Bi-musical knowledge in their collaboration to create “Peponi”.

Bi-musicality is the concept of not only researching music from other culture, but to also play-said music in order to further understand the cross-cultural differences. The Piano Guys is
…show more content…
“Peponi” was unique as they took an African approach to the song instead of their usual classical-contemporary approach. African traditional percussion instruments were used to collaborate with western instruments. The instruments used were cello, electric cello, piano, Djembe, Agogo bell, Udu, Guiro, Djabarra, Rain Stick and Pangi seed shaker called unas. The main melody of the song was played on piano, cello and sung by the vocalist while African percussion instruments played an important role as core rhythm in “Peponi” to accompany the melody. The highlight of the song was the “bridge” section in 3:21 until 3:48 that captured the African culture life as the whole section only contained African percussion instruments and the tribal voices of the African language. It was able to give a clear scenery of the African tribal singing and dancing in their rituals and religious ceremonies. One of the prominent features of the African instrumental style called “Interlocking” was applied in this section. Interlocking rhythm happens when many different short rhythmic parts comes together to form a whole. So, we were able to listen all the African percussion instruments that were used in this song …show more content…
The traditional instruments were played and recorded by The Piano Guys, but for visual purposes, Alex Boye was the one who played those instruments in the music video. I believe that this is because Alex Boye is more used to express with instruments, which is evident from his body language and his movements in the music video, allowing him to bring out an African atmosphere based on his body language and his movements. I presume that Alex Boye suggested The Piano Guys to use call-and-response and interlocking in Peponi, since he has both a Nigerian background and a pop background, and he knew that these features existed in African folk songs and he thought that these features could fit into English pop songs based on his knowledge of pop music. Those elements were then included in the music arrangement of Peponi by Al van der Beek and Steven Sharp Nelson and I can see them in the bridge section of the song from 3.21 until 3.48. In addition, the ability of The Piano Guys and Alex Boye to weave in four different languages into one song which had a different lyric rhythm compared to the one originally in English amazed

Related Documents