A good torch song requires a fair bit of wallowing. a willingness to delve into the depths of the despair that threaten to choke the life out of you and leave you catatonic. It requires an obscene amount of vulnerability and a willingness to stare your emotions in the face and allow them wash over you, something that singer Sosa Yande seems able to conjure. Yande is better known in Lagos’s creative circles as a photographer, model and muse, collaborating with many of the new generation of artists defining 010’s art scene. So a segue into music, while not unexpected, is a delightful surprise.
Sosa Yande’s debut single ‘Solitary’, is all entirely her idea, she writes and composes, only relinquishing control of her vision to producers Novo and T-Skillz. Together, they weave an instrumental that swells with angst characterized by an ominous electronic organ that churns out minor riffs, layered over a finger light piano melody. Insistent guitar licks provide a sense of urgency heightened by the song’s sparse percussion, understated for most of the song, but most prominent in the chorus’s needy runs, as present as a heart beat.
Its in this vista that Sosa Yande considers her impending solitude, the aftermath of what seems a catastrophic relationship. She never tells us if the relationship is a platonic one or a romantic one, but it seems to matter little in the face of the future Yande envisions for herself without this person in her life. She hints at a betrayal one so monumental she cannot bring herself to face it, so instead she revels in self imposed solitude, she embraces the darkness. The dark is delicious, forgiving of weakness.
‘Solitary’ is a strong debut, and while it might be too soon to tell, Yande just might be a interesting one to watch.
Stream ‘Solitary’ here.