At a time when the UK has needed to be able to look towards those in power for guidance, help and reassurance, it’s been made repeatedly clear that the only people we can rely on when we most need it are those closest to us. This is something that Rhyl’s Oli Kenway understands perfectly.
Exploring ideas of morality and the real fact it feels like one rule for us, and one for those in power, his latest single ‘Permission to Speak’ is something of a departure from his previous releases and draws from a wealth influences as diverse as Scroobius Pip and Newton Faulkner.
It’s the former that feels most prevalent, especially as the track progresses and the rhyme scheme becomes a little more complex. For his first foray into the world of spoken word, you have to commend him. And while it does feel a little more rapped than spoken at times, there’s little to complain about, especially when the message is as salient as it is.
One thing that could be improved upon however, is the chorus. While it serves its purpose of providing ‘‘Permission to Speak’ with a sense of melody to flesh out its more rhythmic backbone, Kenway’s vocal could be delivered with more confidence. While it’s clear that this is an important message to him, it lacks the fire in the belly conviction to really hit home.
That said, ‘‘Permission to Speak’ is a catchy enough song, and given a bit more fuel on the fire, it could come off feeling not dissimilar to some of Plan B’s more acoustically driven offerings. As it stands, however, it’s a fine first effort at diversifying for the Welsh singer songwriter.