Nigeria-born, Canada-based R&B artist Nonso Amadi took a break from music in 2019 after dropping his EP Free, unaware that a global pandemic was right around the corner about to make his hiatus a lengthy one. Now, he’s making a loud and triumphant return with his Afro-R&B track “Foreigner,” his first release since stepping away.

Amadi explains that the process of the track coming together was to create something that spoke to his patterns of crafting tumultuous love songs while simultaneously announcing his return. He reveals he was “driven by the idea of making a song that addressed both my disappearance from the music scene and the typical love drama my R&B-self is typically drawn to making.” 

Nonso Amadi in a silver necklace and black jacket
Image via TSE

“The way I achieved this was by having the song feel like it has emphatic highs and lows,” he tells Complex Canada. “It starts heavy with the drums and chant but then it breathes a little in the verses; allowing me to sing calmly about the topics I mentioned earlier before going back to a heavily drum-laid chorus.”  

The blend of the crisp drums and the jazzy horns highlight Amadi’s soulful vocals. He toys with the idea of being in love with a foreigner, giving a nod to his Nigerian roots while also maintaining a soundscape that merges R&B with bouncing, tropical textures. 

“I felt like I needed such a pronounced yet groovy re-entry to the scene to express all the pent-up feelings I’ve held in while keeping it light and easily palatable for listeners,” he says of his danceable foray into 2022.