Nigeria's ethnic and language diversity is directly reflected in their myriad musical traditions and styles. Sonia Aimy is a singer/songwriter from Benin City, in Nigeria's southern region; raised in a musical environment, she relocated to Italy for serious studies in theater and music, leading to jazz appreciation and performance, which influences her compositions. Wrapped in imaginative lyrics amidst layers of instrumentation, Nigerian Spirit is an incantation for hope, presented with a versatile afro-jazz attitude, blended with highlife, juju music, and traces of gospel.
Aimy is currently based out of Toronto, Ontario, where half of this record was recorded, the remaining sessions were produced in Lagos, Nigeria, and Cotonou, Benin Republic, both on the West African coast. The Africa sessions begin with "Light My Way Mother," hand drum rhythm and flashes of palm wine guitar lines introduce bi-lingual lyrics about maternal guidance in difficult times. Fluent in English and Italian, as well as a score of native African languages, Aimy can seamlessly flow through local dialects and vocal nuances, as on "Chotima," sung in the Obamba language of Gabon.
From the Canadian studio, the title track is Aimys' musical and lyrical outrage at the kidnapping of young Nigerian girls by the Boko Haram terrorists, as the entire world watched, but did nothing. She traces her heritage to the Yoruba people and sings ancestral praises in "Voices Of Orisa." The Yoruban current continues on "Ase," a prayer for peace and love on earth. Aimys' most poignant composition is "Lampedusa," named for the small Italian island in the Mediterranean, where scores of refugees attempt to reach, many dying, in hopes of a better life. In spite of the overwhelming stress it causes the local island residents, the island continues to accept refugees.
The African sessions continue with the afro-pop influenced "Dreaming," and the more serious "Dream For Somaliya," which raises awareness and concern about the struggles and plight of that beleaguered country. As if to end the record on a light-hearted note, "Husband In Canada," is a humorous take on an African woman looking for a husband, comically comparing the men back home to the ones available in Canada.
Sonia Aimy comes from a proud lineage of African women singers, descendants of the griots. She, as those who came before, honor a personal obligation to carry the message for those left behind, back in their homeland, who cannot speak for themselves. Her music is not intended for simple entertainment, it is a shout for justice against human trafficking, famine, war, and a quest for human dignity in a world gone mad. She is the voice of Africa.
Track Listing: Light My Way Mother; Chotima; Nigerian Spirit; Voices Of Orisa;
Dreaming; A Dream For Somaliya; Ase’; Lampedusa; Husband In
Canada; Ase’ Radio Edit; Nigerian Spirit – Radio Edit.
The best show I ever attended was the Zawinul Syndicate at the Blue Note in 1997. Being the youngest kids in the room, the host put us right in front of the band. The afro-beat electric set blew the roof off the building, an unforgettable sound
The best show I ever attended was the Zawinul Syndicate at the Blue Note in 1997. Being the youngest kids in the room, the host put us right in front of the band. The afro-beat electric set blew the roof off the building, an unforgettable sound. After, my girlfriend and I just sauntered up the stairs to the green room to meet the
band. I posed for a picture with Joe, after talking a little bit about boxing and how to stay healthy while the other guys in the band tore through a bucket of fried