This article originally appeared on IMMAI
Written by Clay Burton
“Sheer sonic magic…Sensy Girl is darkly decadent – a white-hot slice of R&B.”
Gino McKoy blends elements of melodic hip-hop with a funky club beat
RENO, NV: In “Sensy Girl,” the cornerstone track of the all-new extended play Lumina, Gino McKoy blends elements of melodic hip-hop with a funky club beat and a fluid rap from guest star Diamond to produce sheer sonic magic in a summer that has been leaving a lot to be desired among fans of urban pop. McKoy comes out of the gate hard in this single and its accompanying music video, but his vocal delivery is anything but rushed or unfocused; on the contrary, he exudes a relaxed, confident demeanor that adds to the mood of his harmonies tremendously.
The dual-attack of soft serenades and fierce, spitfire rapping that McKoy and Diamond offer up in “Sensy Girl” creates a lot of exciting tension that is slowly released over the course of the song. Although this track is built on the foundation of the melodic verses that our star is dishing out so effortlessly, his performance never overshadows that of his collaborator here; their chemistry is genuine, unforced and exactly what this single needed to be more than just another sweet groove with a scooped mix. The physicality element is there on the instrumental side, but without these two masters of the mic up front, “Sensy Girl” wouldn’t be nearly as engaging as it ultimately is.
I found the percussive backbone in this track to be just as expressive a component as the lyrical content is. There’s a lot of texture to these beats, more than I’ve heard out of the mainstream this season for sure, and they echo the emotionality that we’re getting in the verses beautifully. There’s no unutilized space in this mix, and from a compositional perspective, “Sensy Girl” is definitely among the smarter crossover R&B/hip-hop singles that I’ve had the pleasure of taking a look at this July.
There’s an argument to be made that this song was built for the club crowd just as much as it was the casual pop fan, and personally I think that it satisfies both parties quite sufficiently. A remix with a slightly beefier bass might make for better dancefloor fodder, but in general, McKoy’s sizzling vocal vibes combined with the throttling drum pattern in the background should be enough to seduce most listeners into swinging their hips (particularly in the chorus) in cadence with the beat. The darkly decadent music video for “Sensy Girl” is a bit artsier by contrast with its slickly-produced source material, but I actually found it to be a more concisely-designed interpretation of its song’s lyrics than similarly-stylized videos have been in recent years.
Gino McKoy delivers the goods in the white-hot slice of R&B that is “Sensy Girl,” and I have a feeling that it’s only a taste of what’s to come next in his burgeoning young career.Lumina, much like the independent film that it soundtracks, is a daring EP that pushes a lot of aesthetical boundaries that other artists in McKoy’s peer group have shied away from experimenting with, and if he can continue to expand upon the blueprint that he’s set forth in his debut and this stunning single/video combo, he’s going to be in for a long and successful career to say the least.