Afro-pop aficionado Wiyaala first sprang onto the scene in 2013 after emerging as a winner on the Vodafone Icons reality show in Accra. Since then, she’s been building up a fervent fan-base across the globe by making high-profile appearances on the likes of BBC’s Global Beats and CNN’s African Voices. Having dropped her debut record at home in Ghana in 2014, she’s now eager to unleash the thirteen track undertaking upon the rest of the planet.
“Tinambanyi (Here We Come!)” commences the compilation in a wonderfully rousing way with verses which vivify amid incredibly captivating choruses. It gets things off to an extremely enlivening start ahead of the laid-back ambience of “Africa”. This chirpy tune trots cheerfully through vivacious vocals and merry music, absorbing absolutely as it unfolds. “Siiko (Come, Let’s Go)” races urgently out of its wake, showcasing quick and compelling electronics alongside a spirited serenade.
“Leno (This Place)” is a much lighter addition that’s brought to life by vibrant vocals atop touching instrumentation. “Bunsun (Good Things)” heads down a dancier direction when it’s done, sounding slick and exotic as it skips sanguinely forward. “Tuma (No Food for the Lazy Man)” is a soft and soothing effort afterwards, relaxing with its calm music and intoxicating singing.
“Kandibanye (Had I Known)” opens with subtle bass, building anticipation before beginning to accelerate engrossingly without compromising its cool character. “Dunne Il Pla (That’s How the World Is)” re-establishes a fun feel next as it jogs jovially towards the poignant pianos of “IDunne (You Alone)”. The emotional offering that follows makes a powerful impact ahead of the equally affecting “Sun & Moon”.
“Peace” is a brilliantly bright mixture of tropical stanzas and hard-hitting choruses that acts a pressing preface to the sobering synths of “Arijanah (Heaven. I Don’t Want to Die to Go There)”. “Angel” chimes in then to put an appropriately passionate cap on the proceedings.
Wiyaala has forged an entrancing assortment of Afro-pop pieces that serve as a delightful departure from the norm. Packed full of mesmerising melodies and uplifting instrumentation, it’s a fantastically refreshing record that’s guaranteed to go down well with a wide audience. You can experience it for yourself on iTunes now.