Yaya Bey: Ten Fold review – a free-ranging tribute

Estimated read time 2 min read

New York artist Yaya Bey should be far better known than she is. Her 2022 album Remember Your North Star riffled through genres from R&B to reggae with aplomb, packing in nagging hooks, easy humour, and emotional reckonings with exes and her estranged mother. While she was touring it, Bey’s musician father died. “I been changing under all this pressure into something that shines”, Bey sings huskily on The Evidence, one ode about the loss of the mentor who raised her.

Although written in mourning, Ten Fold is just as free-ranging, and as catchy, as North Star. Sir Princess Bad Bitch is a self-affirming dancefloor banger that also finds time to diss the city’s mayor. There’s room for flirting, too, on Carl Thomas Sliding Down the Wall, all squelchy bassline and phone noises.

Ten Fold, though, refers to a story from the Qur’an about a pious man being rewarded many times over; throughout Bey reflects on what she has gained from the hard lessons endured by her father. His voice – via voice notes, and as rapper Grand Daddy IU – appears on tracks such as the dancehall-leaning So Fantastic. Bey’s own candour endures, meanwhile; Crying Through My Teeth reflects on the cold, hard expense of death as an extra dimension of loss.

Source: theguardian.com

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