Eklipse. Widely known on the grime scene… but in between all those bars lies his alter ego. Barry. What started off as banter amongst friends, due to his evidently deep voice, paved way for him to explore other sounds and vibes and ultimately, appeal to the gyal dem too. 2015 – The “Intimate Affairs” journey had begun. Fast forward to 13th Feb 2019, Eklipse headlined at Boondocks with the 3rd I.A release “Intimate Affairs: Behind the Scenes”. Having followed this movement from the start, I was intrigued to speak to the man himself about what inspired him to turn this project into a trilogy and how he felt about it after completion.
Eklipse: “I really didn’t wanna get boxed in as like… the guy that can only do the gritty stuff ya get me? As I really did enjoy doing the soulful stuff, wholesome tracks and choons about other things other than greez and the roads, whatever so… I released Intimate Affairs (1) based on that and the love that I got from it, it was like ‘Rah, I really enjoyed that!’. So then I did Intimate Affairs 2 but I didn’t really like how I did it. I felt like I rushed it. I felt like I didn’t work with the correct people on it… and now I was like ‘Let me do a proper installment on this’. ‘Ebony’ was a part of I.A 2 and because of everything surrounding that, I didn’t feel like I pushed it hard enough and I really wanted Ebony to get some light. So it was like, I could put it out as a single or I could close the installment and do the final part, the trilogy, slap it on Spotify – which Intimate Affairs hasn’t been on before and just let the world have it as the final package. If you don’t know me already then this is the INITIAL package because it does exactly what I wanted it to do in both aspects.
So that was the plan and hopefully it’s been executed. And hopefully ya’know there’s grounds to appeal to my female audience and let them know they’re appreciated as well. In terms of the performance, the feedback has been craaazy! Some people have told me that is the best performance they have seen me do! And some have been consistent in coming to shows so it’s been something different but still packaged up in a familiar way. People have been hitting me up with their favourites in terms of the tracklist so I feel like the project is just solid as a whole and I really am happy that it represents me as an individual.”
Personally, this latest edition is by far the most seasoned, raw, sexy, unapologetic and creative. Featuring spoken word poetry, voice notes and vocals – this LP really captures the poetic side of Eklipse (he started writing poetry aged 9) and the grown man that is Barry. Now… a typical review will go through each track and rate accordingly right? Me?! I don’t always follow the rules sooo… I’m going to breakdown the tracks I actually was BTS with and the ones I fux with the most and let you lot vibe to the rest and make up your own mind.
INTIMATE (prod. by Wonda)
I was actually in the studio when he recorded this… madness. When I first heard the voice note I told him off (“IS THIS HOW YA GOING ON?!”) but when all the verses were put down… OOIIII! Lituation! “Opposites attract and at times it might surprise you / the party’s in their body, they’re just waiting to invite you.” This track is all about the build up, the chase, the game, the anticipation, the climax and the extra bass drops at 1:25 and 2:30 mirrors the mood perfectly. If you’ve heard the other two I.A’s then you will clock that the outro of this song is a nod to those.
SHE’S SOCIAL (prod. by Wonda)
My BTS part 2. I vibed so hard to this one. At the time, I was most excited for people to hear this song. The instrumental is too saucy and the chorus is cheeky nuh blooooodclaart! On this one, E.K is clearly the leading guy as my girl wants no parts of anyone else but the East Manna Man himself! We’ve all been there… right?! That one person… I digress. This track outros with a sultry drunken booty call… which made me wanna dial up someone my damn self! This track is naughty! Out of all the tracks on the LP, this one is the most upbeat. Wonda uses futuristic sounds, punchy bass lines and seductive chords that marry so well with the lyrics that each songs story really comes to life.
MUSE (prod. by Luke Pryde)
I’ll be honest… this one leaves me lost for words. Every time. It takes me on a journey. I’m even struggling to find the words right now. It’s beautifully poetic… which is fitting as that tends to be the feeling when someone or something becomes your muse. The chords and the sample are haunting and really draws you in. Once again, this dynamic works so well with Eklipse’s bassy tone. I feel, of all the tracks on the LP, this one is the most open, the most relatable and heartfelt. It is incredibly emotive. For me, I could have this on repeat for hours. Happily.
TEMPTED ft. Nic Da Kid (Prod. by King Thriller)
Whew chile! This one here? Put it this way… If Netflix is on you definitely are NOT watching. This one will have you all becoming parents. The first verse goes so damn hard, word play on a thousand! You will have certainly pictured the whole thing in your head by the time the chorus drops. Then Nic Da Kid pushes you over the edge with emotional R’n’B vocals; “And ya body’s lying all across this bed, I should be at home… but I’m here instead! You got me tempted Baby…”. The voice note, the “Intimate Affairs” salute outro… perfect way to wrap up this latest release.
Overall, every single element of this LP (the producers, the features, the visuals) was carefully selected, understood and implemented. He intimately seduced and finessed the panties off this affair! Eklipse said to me last year, “This is the last one still” and I was so annoyed to hear that. I even argued. Now… I hold my hands up. He was right. The Intimate Affairs journey is complete. Maybe we’ll hear his alter ego Barry on something fresh real soon.
Stream/Download Intimate Affairs: BTS here.
Visuals: A Rare Void