Ayo – You can Be Joyful
Are you allowed to call music beautiful? Who cares. Ayo’s music is beautiful. From the opening track to the last one, nothing is missing in my opinion. I have had this album for over a year now but recently, I have been listening to it more than usual. They say songs grow on you but that’s not the case with this album. I was high listening to each track. It is an album that can stand on its own and anywhere. For me, she is right up there with the likes of Lauryn Hill, Ledisi, India Arie, Erykah Badu among other neo-soul artists. However, I would not classify her music as neo-soul.
Ayo was born in Germany to a Nigerian father and a Romanian Gpsy mother. So, you can hear the cultural influences in her music. From the likes of Fela to Pink Floyd and Bob Marley, artists she counts as her influences, hence the Reggae, folk, soul and African influences in this album.
This self titled debut album, Ayo which translates as joy is joyful for many reasons. What Is Love is deeply haunting and defines love for all its varied definitions. “I love you is so easy to say but so many times it doesn’t mean a thing.” Is she on point or is she on point? I say she is on point! She then goes on to say, “Love can be good, love can be bad, love can make you happy and love can make you sad, love can BREAK you and love can HEAL your soul, love can die and love can grow.” I think it would be wrong of me to try and explain those words to you. For I know you are smart and can break them down for yourself. Its Supposed To be Love, stands out because you can feel the Caribbean vibes coming through and then the lyrics are true and emotional.
My favourite track is Life Is Real. It is a song I can identify with because life is so real. I understand her desire to tell her story and talk about herself, and her life. But as you know, people’s minds can become twisted and they may well want to use that information against you. However, I think you must stay true to yourself and live yourself, which is what she communicates with this track.
It is an eclectic collection of songs and sounds, stringed together, to create pleasant melodies for the ears. There is nothing fake about this artist. She is as natural as you can’t get and there is no way you can fake that. There is nothing plastic about Ayo, she is real from head to toe and has a magnetic voice.
Overall, this album is deeply moving. Ayo is not afraid to bare her soul and the intensity of her passion as a human being comes trough. It is obvious she is not worried about presenting herself as fragile through her songs. Which we are as human beings when love comes our way or things we are passionate about; for they have the ability to make us childlike with giddiness and an intense fragility. It is also sometimes teary and brutally honest…this is beautiful soul music, you can’t deny it.
I can’t wait to listen to Gravity At Last, her second album. In the meantime, enjoy this video of Life Is Real.