September 2, 2017
#Music | Aya Nakamura, an afro-centered vibe into French-style grooves

Fresh out of a French hot pocket, Aya Nakamura is just another indicator of what RnB is about nowadays. Back 2 years ago, this French-Malian songstress planted her flag with stunningly poised and an afro-centered vibe into French-style grooves.

Her recent music releases, from her "Journal Intime" album, are both dazzlingly underground and furiously fresh. From building on a mellow afro-pop background as in “Angela” to posing low notes over a fluid rhythm on “Problèmes” feauturng MHD, Aya already imposed her signature input.

On "Comportement," through a sonically dense cream, she weaves in and out of a pounding polyrhythmic background. Other tracks bring enough texture to congratulate Nakamura for this freshman push. We still can’t say she is the next “Oumou Sangare”. Aya might have excelled on this fab track, which wears well the name of the legendary Malian diva as title, a proud dedication to Bambara music as a whole, with rich Kora rifts melting over bluesy intervals. But with such a beautiful voice, Aya doesn’t take any vocal risk and we wonder whether she’d rather rap-sing than really sing her ass out. We were expecting savage R&B climaxes. But it was just half-assed and brought out no certain emotion.



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