Before Nigerian music broke into the world like we see these days, there was a time when the signs of good music was all we had. Yes, we could talk about the 2faces and the D’banjs but TY Bello is one artist who contributed her own piece of classic music. “Land is green” was a major hit when it was released in 2007 and she made herself a lady who makes only classic music. Today, trying pick a song to write about after a long time away from blogging, the former Kush music group member’s album is the album that I picked.
Although TY have been facing her other profession which is photograpy, she has also kept making music. Especially with her Instagram live shows which has featured the likes of Tope Alabi. In this Album titled “Awake Africa” she makes a contemporary Album that cuts across gospel and inspirational messages. The album is a mature playlist of music hence I will not prescribe it for someone who wants to party.
The sounds created by TY Bello and her team of producers could be said to be a blend of soul music with a touch of Afropop and Afrobeats weaved together. In some songs she explores her skills in soul music, while in some other songs she tries to incorporated some Nigeria’s popular sounds. What makes the album unique is the quality of African heritage in the sound as it plays. Songs like Africa Awake blends some elements of Ballad to soul aided by a play of horn instruments. This gives the album an orchestral feel but with some element of gospel in it.
Applauds must be given to the Engineers and Choir coordinator who worked on the harmonies of the choir and the orchestral tunes of the album. Songs like “in your Majesty”, “Bring us together” and “who is like you” are made with a very well-coordinated vocals with a solemn play of a grand piano and some other instruments.
One notable part of this album is the way TY Bello and Monica Emil works together. Emil is a musician who vocals the way Lengendary Enya vocals. And because of her opera and classical music strength, TY Bello added her skills to the Nigerian Afropop ponpon sound when they created “As a Lion”
As stated above the songs on this album are majorly gospel. But there is a kind of silver linen on it because she tries very heard to not sound too gospel. She tries to keep herself in-between the lines such that a gospel believer could listen to her song just as a non-believer will love it.
One of the songs that gets me is the song that she features one of Nigerian’s best in the person of Nosa in “Only Praise”. This song is a pledge to the creator of the heavens to always praise him as long as she is breathing. This song is spiritual and soaks one’s soul especially if you are a Christian like I am. Working another Nigeria proven gospel musician in the person of Nathaniel Bassey, they made another soul music jam. They created a song titled “Africa Awake” which doubles as the title of the album. Unlike the song she made with Nosa, this song is a wakeup call to Africa (by that I mean the citizens) to stand up and shine to the world.
Working with Eygptian gospel music maker Raed Mounir, Nayer Samir, Monica and Jean Emil, they created an Afrobeats song titled “Antakowa”, although I do not know what it means, “Antakowa” sounds nice. Just listen to the album via the link and tell us what you think about it.
TY Bello Africa Awake Album Review