“All the Time” by Kechi Okwuchi
There’s nothing quite like young love, and in “All the Time,” the first cut off of her debut album, pop singer and songwriter Kechi weaves a melodic patchwork of poetry and grooves together capable of stirring up much of the same chills a budding romance can induce. Kechi’s inspirational story won over countless hearts on America’s Got Talent, but “All the Time” isn’t a hit simply because of the natural warmth its creator brings to the table; it’s backed up by a skillset in this young woman that is mostly unmatched on the indie level in 2021. She’s got a voice that could part oceans if given the right stage, and in this single, she makes her eminence as a rising star in pop virtually undebatable among critics and fans the same.
This lead vocal is supple but doesn’t fail to make a big impression right out of the gate thanks to the slick manner in which Kechi harmonizes with the instrumentation in her opening verses. Rather than hesitating ahead of the beat, as has become trendy among alternative pop singers, she takes a slightly more straightforward approach and lets the ensuing melody colorize the verses – and the rhythm they’re being sewn into. The formula blends some of the simplest parts of both retro and contemporary pop songcraft without getting too ambitious with her poetic structure, but first and foremost it allows for her to get virtuosic with her singing to a degree that would have been overindulgent otherwise.
You can’t beat the richness of the harmony in the chorus here, and while it could have been coupled with a thicker bassline, I don’t know that the beat is any less entrancing in this scenario – just a little slimmer in the mix. Kechi really knows how to grab onto a hook and take it somewhere we’re initially not anticipating for it to go, and although she wears some old-school influences on her sleeve, they do more to spotlight her natural charisma than they do anything else. It’s hard not to fall in love with the combination of lyrical wit and unforced melodic charm “All the Time” is created upon, and upon my first sit down with the track I instantly knew I was listening to a summer hit.
One of the most talented players in America’s Got Talent history struts her stuff in this fantastic addition to the season’s soundtrack, and whether you’re familiar with her talent or not, “All the Time” just might be the best way to get acquainted with her artistic profile at its most unrestrained. There haven’t been many singers with the vocal depth Kechi has to make a big statement on the mainstream side of the dial in 2021, but with the release of this stylish lead single, she sets the bar awfully high for both herself and her contemporaries going into the rest of the year. I like how this illustrates her personality and the potential she’s got as a songwriter, and with some FM radio exposure, I believe it’s going to bring her a lot of well-deserved praise from critics and fans around the globe.