It is safe to say that the last few years have been good for Ny’a. Her debut album Embrace sold over half a million records, she had two number one singles on the R&B and club charts and she gathered an army of fans to her from all over the world. She now returns with a new single, Mend, a soulful slice of sensual pop and groove-some R&B which also featuring the smooth tones of Kenny Black.
“Mend” leans back towards a more old school pop-soul vibe, more late night sensuality and unreconstructed romantic heart string plucking than perhaps artists such as Mary J Blige and the like who are more about finding new ways to deliver the same universal messages. But there is comfort in familiarity and Ny’a knows just how to play to that audience. Classic staccato stabs balance the ultra smooth vocals and bubbling musical lines, and the result is a song that is either retrospectively cool or breaking new ground in that cyclical way that music fashion connects the future with the past. Probably both.
Either way Ny’a is a slick proposition and if you return to last year’s You Don’t Know, you get a taste of her operating very much in the here and now. Sassy beats, modern sonic textures and a dance floor filler made for the moment. When you take the two tracks together you realise that rather than trying to fit her into any label of our own making, we should just accept that she fits effortlessly into any style or era she choses to embrace.