Hadaiyah (Yaya) Bey is a splendid R&B artist that resides in New York. Their new album, “Remember Your North Star”, is an unforgettable excursion into the effects of misogyny and failed love.
Bey’s magnetic voice attracts ears like no other. Many tracks are like whispers into the soul, and when they picks up the rhythm I get lost in their encapsulating storytelling
Yaya Bey’s previous work can be found on their Bandcamp and Spotify. They have released a few other albums and EPs over the past couple of years, but this release is getting much deserved love from many music journalists.
Bey is also an art curator and physical art creator. As stated on the album’s Bandcamp page, “[i]n 2019, her work was featured in the District of Columbia Arts Center’s “Reparations Realized” exhibit and Brooklyn’s Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA)’s “Let the Circle Be Unbroken” exhibit”.
I thought it would be harder to pick out some of my favorite tracks on this album, but the way Bey is able to set up certain tracks for emphasis makes the choices more straightforward.
Wow. “keisha” blew me away with its elegance in storytelling and vocals. Bey conveys so many emotions in the short span of 2 minutes and 55 seconds. The warm instrumentals slyly slip us into a fight for love and attempt at understanding the lack of mutual warmth in a relationship.
The music video for this track is super cool. Bey has gorgeous style and there are a few clips that make the song more emotionally impactful too. Also, this song is explicit:
In “street fighter blues”, the opening lyrics, “Love/ Love is a waste of time/ I’m spinning out of my mind”, set us up for an epic exploration of personal grief about love. Finding that beautiful soul after years of iffy and horrible relationships feels impossible. This song is that feeling. It exudes the smothering of hope in finding someone truly wonderful to share your life with.
As “reprise” is the longest track by almost 1 minute and 30 seconds, the instruments and beats that make up the background of the track have the most depth out of any track on the album. The syrupy flow that the horn pushes allows for the hard cutting lyrics and vocal flow of Bey’s voice to slice the air into the perfect bars. The bars are bite-sized and delicious, just like this whole track.
There are so few faults in this album that it doesn’t leave much to be desired. The only thing I could think of is a bit more instrumental depth in a few tracks like “mama loves her son”, but really the simplicity of the beats brings out the beauty of Bey’s voice.
If you’re not listening to this album by the time you get to this point in the article, then you didn’t read the words I have written down. Sure, the emotional and personal focus of this album is hard hitting, but the artistic beauty and perspective that Bey lends the world is more important than a few tears you might shed.
I cannot wait to see where Yaya Bey’s work will lead them. Their voice in the music industry is vital to the future depths that artists will be able to explore in the future. Dancing around diverse genres of art gives artists an appreciation of how much their own sound can develop through the billions of perspectives the world offers, and I think Bey’s “Remember Your North Star” does just that.