Nyashinski is balance, he’s structure, and rhythm, with plenty of musical and metaphysical significance—he seems more attracted to the general idea than the specifics. Clichés persist for a reason, after all: they can be incredibly effective. His mix of secular and spiritual soul has taken him far ever since his come back. But on “The two sides of Nyashinski” he pushes beyond his comfort zone for something a bit more ambitious.
We want to go see a great movie because we want to be moved. We want to laugh, we want to cry, we want to feel something, something we can sing along to, something we can sing to somebody else and feel like we own it. Sure enough, with “Malaika” Nyashinski aims directly towards the hot-blooded centre of our desires – “ukona tabia za kupendeza roho, tabasamu ya kupapasa macho, sauti yako nikiskia pia natulia yanipunguzia hasira nazo, urembo wako ulininasa roho,siku ya kwanza kukuona kwa macho” Such lines stand out drawing the most inclusive and thereby most powerful emotion out of the songs first few seconds. It’s about the nuance that outlines his artistic distinction.
The instrumental arrangements are lush and intriguing matching an oceanic effect to subterranean synths in the lyrics. This happens right before a wash of keys overtake the mix at every chorus, striking a precarious balance. His voice is an elastic thing that’s rarely used to excessive effect: It’s a syrup tenure that can contract into taut staccato or spread out into a drippy vocal run at a moments notice. Such is one of the secrets to the record’s success,
As the he surges forward, we find a peak moment of emotion, “and I feel you in my air when I breathe, I see you in my dreams when I sleep, yo the one I’ve been waiting for all my life deep down in my heart I believe unanifeel nakufeel hii ni real”, He makes it sound so innocent, you can’t help but think: in his hands, even strip club storytelling would come across as a boy’s flirtation rather than a mature man’s lustful interests.
The almost naïve earnestness is married to a preternatural sense of his vocal acrobatics, giving dimension and believability to the songs intent and devotion .
No contemporary R&B singers approximate the elusive stomach-butterfly rush of infatuation as consistently as”malaika” does with every one of it’s chords. Nyash comes off as the instinctive spot often letting his vocals dance around the piano’s periphery giving it a spacey, removed quality. As a whole, the project takes a major step toward streamlining his sound, pushing his voice to the centre and making a bid for a higher level of recognition recruiting new fans.
“Malaika” seems perfectly matched to fit Nyashinski’s strengths and Cedo clearly understands those strengths. Outside the occasional producer’s flourish – like the piano break that opens the verse – his work is primarily devoted to underlining the artist’s cadences for maximum impact. This results to a performance that has a dreamy distance from the physical reality, draped in softly descending washes and muted elongated instrumental lines .
Most of this effects give that sultry warm texture to this awestruck ode, to beauty. “uko sawa na wote malaika na mabawa yao ,wote wanakuiga Weh ndio mama yao,ni wewe nachagua, sisemi no,” The song’s exuberant chorus baits cynical listeners: It works so well as a radio single because, through mild repetition, the hook’s infectious idealism overwhelms any resistance.
The “two sides of Nyash” project is so vast breaking genre boundaries: all-embracing in scope, paradoxically, it becomes ultra-specific to its moment in time. This two pack posesses the tendency to bloom into zeitgeist mile-markers despite not being “about” much of everything.
Listen and watch the video to Malaika below and leave a comment about the song. Enjoy.