For the last couple of years, Victor Pedro has been making some of the coolest grooves in the international R&B underground, and this spring he’s releasing his most searing stuff to date in “Call Me, I Miss Ya!,” a powerful hip-hop ballad that espouses the emotionality of its composer better than anything else he’s ever cut from inside the studio before. Right from the jump, the minimalist melodicism is wrapping around the audience and demanding a physical reaction out of us as well as a mental one, and though this track is hardly a psychedelic-tinged mind-bender in the style of the new surreal rap movement that has been taking the States by storm lately, it’s undeniably one of the more intricately designed and provocatively muscular club jams you’ll hear all year long.

When it comes to making a larger than life melody come alive in a short and sweet pop single, Victor Pedro has a way of constantly making his brand of indie R&B distinguishable from pretty much everyone else in his native country of Nigeria as well as abroad. While avoiding the pitfalls associated with compositional overindulgence, he certainly doesn’t hold anything back from us on the instrumental side of the song in “Call Me, I Miss Ya!,” and I think there’s a case to be made for this being his most balanced release so far – at least in terms of the relationship between the lyrics and the music. The boldly crafted bassline gives the words all of the context that they need to penetrate our hearts and leave a lasting impression, and that’s not something that can be said for the majority of similarly stylized singles that I’ve heard this month.

The synthesizers here are warm and practically the polar opposite of what we get from the stone cold beats that they dance around in the intro as well as the chorus. It’s really rare for me to say as much, but “Call Me, I Miss Ya!” presents us with an exceptional situation with its synth melodies, which are surprisingly organic and even-keeled in the grander scheme of things in the track. They don’t sound robotic, forced or artificial in their tonality; on the contrary, they complement the natural timbre of Pedro’s voice and contribute to the narrative of the song with their own patented variety of elegiac emotion.

Victor Pedro has done a lot of amazing things since first coming to the attention of critics in Africa and around the world over half a decade ago, and from where I sit, it sure doesn’t appear that his momentum is going to be slowing down anytime soon. “Call Me, I Miss Ya!” sees the Nigerian-born crooner getting in touch with his inner experimentalist and bending previously straight and narrow elements within his music to get as surreal a result as he can while staying true to the hook-focused mainstream framework that made his early releases sleeper hits. His is a sound that is hard to get out of your head once you’ve been exposed to it, and I’m looking forward to hearing more of its grandeur in the future.

Sebastian Cole