Artist and producer 169 links up with the legend Wretch 32 for ‘No Fears’.
When you see 169 and Wretch 32, I don’t know what you’d expect but it certainly wasn’t ‘No Fears’. It’s more so the Wretch feature that had me imagining something different. Considering 169 has produced for the lyrically talented Dave, seeing his name next to Wretch’s just instantly created an idea of a super lyrical track. Instead ‘No Fears’ is closer to a dancehall track than anything else.
From the production, patois, and delivery the Jamaican influence is there, loud and proud on. ‘No Fears’ feels like the continuation of dancehalls resurgence within the UK that has been brought about by artists like Alicia Harley and Stefflon Don. It’s also interesting to see in the context of 169 who has set himself on the path of a vocalist yet much like with his production has hit us with different styles and genres on each of his releases.
At 21 to have such a diverse repertoire across both vocals and production is impressive. His production has had him secure multiple number ones for other artists and on his current trajectory, he might just be able to do it for himself. He still has a long way to go as an artist but the potential is clear to see, and ‘No Fear’ is a testament to why we should be so excited about him as an artist. Who knows, 169 might be responsible for whatever the dancehall equivalent of afro-swing is, with the Caribbean element taking prominence this time.
We can’t forget that Wretch 32 is on the track, however. After having released a stellar album in Upon Reflection there seems to be no slowing down for the man of the moment. On ‘No Fears’ he offers a melodically infused 16 – think Wretch on ‘Tell Me’. A slick verse echoing the message of 169 sensible decisions, particularly in business.
‘No Fear’ is an interesting one, from its island influences to the mature content of making savvy decisions within the industry. It shows 169 is diverse and is already garnering the respects of legends like Wretch. It is a nice teaser of what 169 can be but equally gives no clues as to what we can expect from him in the future.