Omah Lay’s “Soso” Meaning

Omah Lay is a singer from Nigeria, more specifically being from a city found therein known as Port Harcourt. As such stories tend to go, he achieved local notoriety before also catching on in the UK and eventually collaborating with a prominent Western artist, in his case being Justin Bieber, with the two teaming up on a track titled “Attention“. 

That song, as with “Soso”, is featured on Lay’s LP “Boy Alone”, which American label Sire Records, in conjunction with a Nigerian entity known as Keyqaad, put out on 15 July 2022. And whereas the aforenoted “Attention” may be Omah’s biggest international hit to date, into 2023 it is “Soso” – a song written by Lay alongside the track’s producer, another Nigerian up-and-comer named Tempoe – that has been achieving increasing recognition.

Please Soso, come and holla at your Boy

Lay has revealed that “soso” is a term that “could mean anything to you”. In other words, as explained it is a colloquialism with various applications.

But more to the intended point, it is the name of a girl he knows, a friend of his younger sister who, as described, is obviously quite sexy. She is the primary addressee of this piece, the one whom the vocalist is entreating to “take (his) pain away”, presumably through some sexual healing or something of the sort.

So the verses, in which African terminology is notably utilized, centers on Omah being in a less-than-ideal state. This includes him coming off as the victim of disturbing gossip, displaying a troublesome dependency on alcohol and, as it currently stands, suffering from a transient lifestyle. Thus, it is such maladies that he is entreating Soso to come and mitigate.

“Soso take my pain away
Soso take my pain away (Soso, please, come take my pain away)”

In Conclusion

So most simply put, “Soso” is a love song. It doesn’t take the conventional approach of a vocalist gushing over the apple of his eye, delineating her qualities or directly speaking to why he is smitten. Instead, Omah’s focus is on the disheartening challenges he’s facing. And as inferred, he has concluded that it is only Soso who can lift his spirits. That said, as far as the real-life Soso is concerned, she’s obviously a lady that Lay has a major crush on.


Meaning of “I poto, poto my eyes”

“Poto, poto” is a popular phrase in Nigerian Pidgin English which refers to wet mud, often as a result of stagnant water in clayey soils. It is also used to describe something that is chaotic, disorganized, or cluttered. For example, someone might say “This place dey poto, poto” to describe a messy or disorganized environment.

So when Omah Lay says that he has “poto, poto” his eyes, he might be metaphorically talking about not seeing clearly due to the fact that his eyes are filled with wet mud.

But then again, it could be a reference to the idiomatic expression: “here’s mud in your eye”. This idiom, which is an informal one, is often heard said when people gather to enjoy alcohol together. The phrase is said just before or during a toast. Thereafter the alcoholic beverage is consumed.

This is very plausible considering, Omah talks about taking ten shots of an alcoholic beverage right after saying he has “poto, poto” his eyes.

Meaning of “Shibiri, Shibiri”

Shibiri is an Igbo word that is commonly used to describe acts like backbiting, gossiping, and engaging in negative talk. In general, it is used to depict any behavior that has the ability to damage relationships. Igbo is the dialect of the Igbo or Ndi Igbo people, a major ethnic group in Nigeria. They are predominantly found in the southeastern part of the country.      

“Shibiri, shibiri, shibiri
They are talking sh-t shibiri”

What music genre is “SoSo”?

It belongs to the popular genre of African music called Afrobeats. This genre of music was actually pioneered by the legendary Nigerian musician, Fela Kuti. And interesting to note is that in “Soso”, Omah Lay actually references one of Fela’s famous songs from the 1970s titled “Water No Get Enemy”.

The reference in question appears in the following lines (which can be found in the second verse):

“Water no get enemy
‘Til you fall for Oshimiri”

What Fela Kuti meant by “water no get enemy”, he was basically trying to say is that water is so essential to mankind that you can’t hate it or fight it. While Omah Lay agrees with that statement, he believes you’ll change your mind the day you fall into Oshimiri with no way of rescuing yourself. But what really is Oshimiri? It refers to the Oshimiri River, which is one of the largest rivers in southeastern Nigeria.

6 Responses

  1. Rejoice michael says:

    Then why is omah ley na bounding than to that thing ?

  2. Bad Guy says:

    I too need to ask why he is bowing down to that thing

  3. Big money famzy says:

    Not even omah lay’s word can convince me that the song is about a girl.. After watching the video i got goosebumps and since then i haven’t played the song on my phone. Still a catchy song but my doubts ain’t clear

  4. Anonymous says:

    To me, this song has nothing related to a gurl… I feel it is more like a spiritual ceremony or induction.

  5. PerSon says:

    Oshimiri is also a river goddess in some contexts so what he could really mean by “Water no get enemy
    ‘Til you fall for Oshimiri” is that when you fall in love with an oshimiri which is a typically very bad spirit you’d realize water isn’t all that peaceful.

  6. Inno says:

    Yeah that’s some marine or mamaid thing that lives in the water( What Goddess) since he’s referring to a female, but I like it the way it is ( Spiritual)

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