Naawoj Assembles Underground Avengers for “Playing In The Dark”

One of my favorite up-and-coming producers, Naawoj, has been creating some serious buzz for himself this last year. With collaborations ranging from underground superstar Showjoe, Guardin, and many other promising artists. The 21-year-old producer from New Jersey really did this thing on this album. 

Naawoj recruited some amazing artists for his first ever collaborative album. The 11 track features appearances from Showjoe, IMSICKOFJUN, Mixed Matches, Madd Maks, ChrisTracy, King Theta, That Weird Kid, and Moire Valley. 

The first track “Prologue,” is the perfect introduction for the album. The suspense that Naawoj builds in the two-minute track along with the buildup of excitement really sets the tone. With no vocals being put over the track, it’s a beautiful track that paves the way for the rest of the album.

The second track off the album, MOTW, is one of my personal favorites. With the arrival of IMSICKOFJUN on this track, I just knew that this song was an instant hit. The futuristic melody that Naawoj showcases has always been one of my favorite sounds from him. The hard hitting drums really emphasize how hard these two attack this track. With IMSICKOFJUN getting aggressive on the vocals, he emphasizes the reality of his lifestyle. 

Mixed Matches has never let me down when it comes to his music. He still exceeded my expectations on the third track titled “Meant To Be,” which features Madd Maks. This track has more of a club-feel to it and can put any listener in a trance. 

We’ve covered Showjoe with almost every release he has put out this year. He’s definitely a young superstar and blew my mind when he strayed away from his typical sound on the fourth track “Drag Me Down.” The slow-paced production gives Showjoe the chance to showcase his versatility as well as display Naawoj’s versatility with producing. Showjoe really opens up about his emotions on this track as his lyrics are filled with pain anyone can relate to.

The fifth track is a stand-alone track titled “No Friends at Dusk.” There are no artist appearances on this track but I’d like to consider this song a halftime for the album. The mellow production will put anybody in a trance, no questions asked. At this point in the album, I am highly impressed with Naawoj’s quality of production as well as the quality from the artists. 

ChrisTracy is an artist that has been on my radar this last year/year-and-a-half and has progressively gotten better with each release. He absolutely showed major potential and growth on the sixth track “Mood Swings.” I was very impressed with how ChrisTracy was able to effortlessly float on this cloud-like production. He really opens up about love-struggles on this track where anyone could relate to it.

Another stand-alone, which really has an amazing vibe, is the seventh track titled “Recess.” Although no artists have any appearance on this song, there are faint vocals, singing in the background while Naawoj has a beautiful guitar melody. The vocals really compliment the melody as it gives me a reminiscent vibe about my past personally.

Not only have we had the privilege to hear Showjoe on this album once, but twice as he appears on the eighth track “Darkside.” The light melody mixed with Showjoe’s ability to stretch his vocals really is amazing. Whenever Naawoj and Showjoe link up, it’s a hit. 

An artist that I haven’t been familiar with is King Theta who makes an appearance on the ninthtrack “Fallin Thru.” The production displayed on this track really brings me back to 2014-2015 for some reason. It gives me this happy yet mysterious vibe that I dig. It gives me a feeling I haven’t felt before.

The tenth track, “Find A Way” is a track that I think will be accepted by the hyperpop scene sooner or later. The high-pitched vocals displayed by the artist “That Weird Kid,” really caught my attention off the rip. The way that Naawoj was able to create an intense EDM/hyperpop production without being too much is quite impressive. The build up to the drop was very nostalgic.

To conclude the album, the 11th track titled “Sandcastles,” is the perfect finale. The production really wraps up the successful album. The featured artist, “Moire Valley,” really did amazing on the vocals as it gives a chill vibe all around. The big drop around 1:15 in really gives me the vibe that Naawoj did an amazing compiling a near-flawless album.

Naawoj blew my mind on this album. The artists exceeded all my expectations for their parts but then again, each one of those artists have gotten increasingly better with each of their releases. Naawoj was able to showcase his versatility in the production as each track had their individual niche. Naawoj is still slept on but he took advantage of his connections and friendships and put together an unforgettable album.

Check out “Playing In The Dark,” down below!

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