I Am Laycon Offers No Ringside View

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Vanessa Obioha

Since his emergence as the winner of the Big Brother Naija Lockdown season last year, the Laycon brand has been emotionally and mentally associated with humility, affability, and tenacity. The writers of ‘I AM Laycon’, the first Showmax original Nigerian reality TV series, laboriously kept to this message in the five-episode series.

Fans are likely not to see anything mind-blowing or entirely new about their icon: he is the humble guy who never forgets those who stood by him before BBNaija; he is the easy-going and carefree guy who embraces fans; he is still music-driven and motivated.

But in all of this is a young guy who is still figuring out how to travel the new road of fame. Almost everyone has one or two pieces of advice for him. We catch a glimpse of this from the first episode when he is mulling over his relationship status.

As if in a hurry to address the elephant in the room, his controversial affair with Erica, the disqualified housemate of the season, rears up — and perhaps, to avoid fuelling another drama, her name is deliberately muted. His older brother and personal manager Yomi, who nearly stole the spotlight, offers him advice on how to handle his feelings regarding his ex-girlfriend. It is not the only time Yomi will offer his counselling services for free. In the last episode, he convinced Laycon to go on a blind date.

The league of advisers stretched from his brother, his team, his record label owner, fellow housemates down to the King of Ipokia, a small town his mother is linked to.

The only time Laycon wears the counsellor’s cap is when he is advising Vee, a friend and fellow housemate, to stay focused on her music career.

His pursuit for music is sprinkled all around the first part of the series. We see him attending singer Joeboy’s video shoot, recording in his bedroom with Echo, a friend and producer, and working with recording producer Pheelz in the studio.

‘I Am Laycon’ attempts to highlight the grass-to-grace journey of the artiste born Lekan Agbeleshe. The title sequence gives a hint of this, navigating visuals from Lagos’ lowbrow communities to the city’s highbrow areas.

While not too visually striking, the series manages to sustain one’s interest till the end credit. It does this by expanding Laycon’s story world, bringing in friends, family and fans to advance the story of an underdog artiste balancing life and fame.

The series is not void of queer moments. It is difficult to ignore the characters’ amateurish acting, particularly when they drift their eyeballs away from the camera, giving a hint of taking instructions from the director. The looks of surprise from the characters are also unconvincing. Nonetheless, it manages to squeeze in a little dose of humour with the badinages between Laycon and his friends.

‘I Am Laycon’ offers no ringside view of the BBNaija winner’s life but will certainly elicit admiration from fans, especially, news about his debut album.