Yinka Davies and 5&6: Black Chiffon – The album

Posted on 09/07/2011

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Delectable, diminutive, eclectic, crazy, multi-talented, passionate, intense, diva, rare, beautiful. Words that many have used over the years to describe this amazing black pearl. If you have listened to Ms. Yinka Davies, ‘Black Chiffon; you could just as easily have substituted each track on the album with any one of those words. I fell in love with Yinka Davies many moons ago. Serious! Sadly it couldn’t be, so I fell in love with her music instead. I was at every live performance she had – music, art or drama, so I guess I qualify to be called a “Yinkanophile.”

If you have never ever listened to Yinka’s music, well you probably really wouldn’t fully appreciate what she’s putting on offer here. I have followed Yinka’s entire career, right from the beginning, through the ‘shaky’ period, the ‘Nation Africa’ years, the accident that would’ve ended any lesser determined personalities career, the multi-talents – actress, stage, singer, right through a ‘diva’ period, the comedy and drama, and the woman that was always lurking somewhere beneath this hard, protective exterior – the beautiful African woman.

‘Black Chiffon’ is a true life story – Yinka Davies is telling us, nay showing, making us feel what she’s been through – the pain, the attachment, the struggle, the childhood, the growth, the changing phases, the woman she is today. And she takes us on a journey through deep-rooted jazz themes, traditional beats and influences, afrobeat-infusions, spiritual chants and, well, just plain being herself, having fun times! It would be a bit overblown to say that nobody else does what Yinka can do with her voice, but no one else can do it like Yinka can! There is only one Yinka Davies, and with ‘Black Chiffon’ she finally outdone herself!

‘Schizophrenia’ is master class – the art, the drama and the artiste in her bursts into a marvellous grand prix performance – you can picture it in your mind, the fire, the passion, the debauchery, and the climax – the madness of it all as everything happens all at once – my best song yet! Add to that ‘Children of Nigeria,’ ‘Dedicate,’ ‘Dem Go Hear,’ ‘Kii S’ebi ‘Re,’ ‘Won Gbe Bo’ and ‘Owo’ – in that order.

It’s good to know that she’s still giving her best – Yinka; she’s always been that giving person, anyway – her protégée, Asa, has since gone on to worldwide stardom. Does this album mean that Yinka is finally going commercial? I don’t think so, actually wherever Yinka takes her music to becomes her commercial stage, pure, natural, black chiffon! We are the ones who have to adapt! What? Do I still love her? Actually, I never stopped!

~ Femi Sowoolu

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