Atlanta R&B upstart Gwai Mak is the most mysterious artist in music right now. His new project But, Standing can be read a lot of different ways… but in the context of the music, it appears to be a reply to a woman’s request for sex. Through this lens, the project’s title also hints at a need for an artist like Gwai Mak to always be on the go, since he doesn’t have the time to sit or lay down with her.
The project starts off with Willing, a song that features soundbites from the late and great Malcolm McCormick, or Mac Miller, interview on The Breakfast Club. In the interview, withdrawal from love and withdrawal from drugs are compared, and Gwai comes back in to deliver the second verse. The hit song comes immediately after with 1 Of 1. Hermit is a more drawn back song in the vein of traditional rhythm and blues and is not as accessible as most songs on the album in today’s musical climate, whereas the next song, which is asteriked as a demo, is an up-tempo song that finds the pocket and picks up the pace. A freestyle titled Awful follows, a somewhat messy song that has no real verse structure or direction but rather a stream of consciousness where Gwai is more rapping than singing. The next song Need brings the sound of the project back into the R&B world. The final song, another demo, Awfully High, finds the Atlanta singer toying with his pitch and generally doing whatever he wants over the oriental production.
All seven songs were performed by Gwai Mak and written by Kwaku Mensah which we assume is the artist’s real name. But, Standing is now streaming everywhere on Fallen Rose Records. But, Standing was mixed and mastered by audio engineer Apollo.