Today’s album is one of the most multicolored releases I’ve listened to in connection to writing. Not only is it full of brilliantly crafted songs that feel airy and natural, but they’re also full of stories and thoughts on some very impactful topics.
Nigerian-born and now based in Toronto, Canada, Sonia Aimy is a singer-songwriter and actress with a sound that joins jazz with traditional African cultures. She found her passion in singing at the age of 11 and her mother taught her about the folklore of the Bini, their people. Later as the young artist left for Italy, she learned everything she could about jazz as well as theatre arts. Bridging two distinct musical worlds to create a burst of visceral energy, Sonia Aimy’s music feels free like a bird, twirling in soundscapes that feel most natural and pure. Her soulful smooth voice that is often compared to the finest velvet speaks stories coming from her heart. Themes of motherhood, being in tune with yourself as well as societal issues find their way into her lyrics most often. Speaking of society and the problems it’s riddled with, Sonia Aimy is also a devoted activist involved in many humanitarian projects seeking to end human trafficking among many other targets for the better tomorrow.
Her newest release is a full-length album “Reconnect”, which immediately enamored with a heartwarming jazz-influenced sound effortlessly dancing along with elements from African traditional music. Blend so wonderfully created the resulting free-flowing feels like they’re meant to be together.
“Live Nah Jeje” begins the album. As the release was written during the lockdown, this song tells us how the suddenly imposed halt in the artist’s otherwise busy life gave her an opportunity for self-care. It’s also the song that perked my ears with tastefully combined elements as soon as I hit play on the album. The gentle brass melody going in unison with the rhythm provided by many traditional instruments builds such a great-feeling atmosphere. The next song is “Woman Mwanamke”, beginning with a lovely thought: “A woman is a box of life”. Twirling melodies of piano and string provide a backdrop in honor for all the powerful women who manage to care for their families and raise children even in limited circumstances.
Next comes “Do Your Best”, which as the title suggests inspires you to be the best of yourself and be kind to everyone, especially those in need. Her powerful voice along with backing vocals seep right into your core, the dancy sparkling rhythms bring a wiggle to your feet. The song was written in response to a young black man, who was beaten up for not having a mask on. He couldn’t afford one, and upon hearing this the artist initiated a project producing 12 thousand masks and giving them to the community.
“No Color” offers almost Latino-like sounds in a powerful song hitting a stake into the heart of racism. It’s a reminder that no matter what color or size we are, all of us are the same within. That is followed by the title track “Reconnect”, a smooth tune full of traditional rhythms in a modern key. The festive song speaks about the multicultural spirit released and felt when all the different religious and ethnic groups of Nigeria together in celebration.
Next is “Kolanut”, an incredibly smooth-sounding tune. And while the song feels like a celebration too, its lyrics speak sternly about racism and degrading immigrants in Italy. “Are you matured enough” is a particularly interesting lyrical line in the song, as it’s kind of what I feel when I read about racist incidents, unable to understand why this is even happening. “Mama” comes next, written with love and appreciation for the artist’s mom and all mothers who raise their children with love, patching the wounds and bringing out the best in them.
“Manaka Kamala” is a song full of incredibly warm and melodious sounds, dedicated to Kamala Harris, vice president of the United States. This colorful positive song seeks to blow the feeling of empowerment into the hearts of women, especially those of African roots. The next song “Sandra” is one of the most painful and darkest songs on the album. It speaks a tale of a woman who has lost her dreams and who’s now succumbed to control by a man. A heartbreaking cry out from a woman who no longer has a life of her own, and instead it’s been replaced by fear.
“Abbascà la marina” brings back the festive sound with an endless supply of fresh summery warmth and heartfelt positivity. This romantic song holds flowery melodies and the beat of a heart in love. “Felicitation” follows with a more upbeat continuation, warm support for a loved one moving on with their life, and an encouragement to seek for the skies.
The last song of this journey is “Salaam Alaikum Baba”, a song featuring french and Arabic lyrics, and a whole lot of irresistible rhythms. It’s a rhythmic tune influencing the feeling of unity and love between people from different cultures. Those special connections will bring forth a lot more color and meaningfulness, as friends from different cultures represent the best of their inheritance. Finishing on this uplifting note, it’s worth mentioning the song is titled aptly for the ending, too – “Salaam Aikum” means “peace be upon you”
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