To become a superstar in the pop genre, you’ve got to have the fabled ‘it’ factor. Between charisma and attitude, there’s something special about the way AJ Smith sings when he steps up to the microphone, and in his new single “Nobody,” he presents as a pop singer who isn’t as concerned with swagger as he is putting some oomph into his verses. He’s all about the delivery here, whether he’s pummeling us with the chorus or getting there through the main verses, and although some might accuse him of being quite indulgent – and rightly so – there’s nothing wrong with his style when it produces content as smooth as this song is.
AJ Smith has a lot of charm when he’s firing on all cylinders, and I think he’s looking to exploit this by going as hard after the lyrics as he can in the studio. “Nobody” has a rigid groove that allows him to get on a set path and stick with it for the duration of the entire chorus, and whether he’s backing up against the bass or using the percussion as a springboard, he’s always got the bottom end incorporated as part of his signature harmony. That’s quite soulful, and not what I expected to hear in this single at all.
The youthful exuberance that this player has when he’s laying down a lyric is another appealing factor in his profile, but I don’t think he’s trying to play this element up too much in “Nobody.” He’s got a bit of cosmetic hesitancy as far as the instrumentation in this mix is concerned, and I don’t believe we can call him overly complex when it comes to his arranging – all in all, he wants to be humble, and the very fact that he’s still got the kind of inviting sound he does here is incidental.
I do think this production quality is a lot grittier than it needed to be, and in some respects, I get the idea that “Nobody” was meant to be mixed like a rock n’ roll song more than a pop single. This isn’t a deal-breaker though, and if anything it puts another hurdle for AJ Smith to vault over like it’s nothing. He gets the opportunity to show off a lot in this performance, which initially seems like something he was behind from the get-go, but in either case, he takes advantage of it excellently.
There is a ton of hot pop music trending in the underground right now, but if you aren’t listening to AJ Smith then you aren’t keeping up with some of the best talent coming through the indie channels in 2022. He’s slowly but surely building a steady following, and at the rate he’s growing with songs like “Nobody,” I don’t think it would be too farfetched to assume that Smith is going to make an appearance in some mainstream collaboration before the year is over. It would do his career well to experiment with others, and that’s another main takeaway from this single.
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