Review

Naye Ayla’s new hip hop-rooted EP, Every Feeling, lends a soft, but fierce feminine edge to her introspective offering

For the past four years, South African singer-songwriter and soul goddess Naye Ayla has been breathing feelings (the premise of her sound) into each song of her eight-track sophomore album, Every Feeling which opens its eyes to the world today.

Collabing with Naye on his debut EP, Exile, Johannesburg-based rapper Nele Worldwide described her as bringing a “necessary celestial feminine cadence” to the work. A more fitting description of the songstress’s latest oeuvre there is not, which is hemmed with a haunting gentleness.

Working with a variety of producers to nurture the soul baby, “Soso’s Interlude” is my favourite. A nod to a wider conversation, Naye is heard chatting to her little niece imploring her to never let anyone trample her dreams. In a nostalgic reverb Naye asks Soso: “Do you believe you?” and I can’t help but wonder if this is a note to Naye’s younger self, or to women at large.

Naye Ayla – ‘the might of the moon’ is cultivating a mesmerising impression on the contemporary soul scene with her gentle yet bewitching melodies and heady lyrics.