The world of music most often opens the listener to experiences that are deeply personal to the artist – a world that is at once memorable and exciting, a world you encounter and want to tell others about.
South African musician Aymos creates one such world with his debut LP, “Yimi Lo.” Translated from the Zulu, and according to the singer himself, the phrase means “this is who I am.” And it is a reflection of his musical journey so far.
The artwork of the project shows the singer standing sideways; a blanket was thrown on his shoulders. His hair was dyed orange, and from the look of it, the dye was dripping down his face, with the songster himself looking confidently on.
A lot is latent in that artwork, including the fact that the project resulted from fevered experiences, symbolized by the dye streaming down the singer’s face.
“Yimi Lo” might be taken for an inclusive project in that not only did Aymos work with amapiano musicians, including the de facto king of the genre Kabza De Small, he also tapped the vocal resources of Zakes Bantwini of the “Osama” fame. Zakes is a notable voice in the afro-tech/ house universe. Not amapiano.
Other notable guests on the project are Boohle, Mas Musiq, DBN Gogo, Josiah De Disciple, Focalistic, and the two-person band Major League DJz – easily some of the most resonant voices in South Africa’s amapiano orbit.
Aymos has got several songs out there. But on his debut “Yimi Lo” album, he fuses elements of piano and pop for a musical experience that is patently exciting and memorable.
You might think of the project as the sum of the singer’s experiences. But then, as you probably already know, experiences are seldom unique. What one experiences “here,” another might experience somewhere else on the material plane.
From the importance of time to the vitality of embracing a good day and having a good time, Aymos takes you through many planes, which incidentally also includes the world of power and love – you may say relationship.
The Songs and the Big Winners
“Yimi Lo” album sports 14 songs that play for exactly one hour and twenty minutes. The compilation begins with “Jemeni” and ends on a timely note with “iXesha.” Then, somewhere in the middle of the compilation, the songster lets fans have an eponymous track.
Eponymous tracks, as we know, they usually occupy first place on the tracklist. However, Aymos chooses to go his own way. One cannot begrudge him that, nor how he chooses to space the guests on the songs.
The compilation has several winning numbers. But if you should ask us, we would pick “iXesha” and “iParty Yami” among our favourites.
Elsewhere in the world, artists take time to clue their fans in on the producers behind their projects. This is rarely the case here in South Africa. And although Aymos followed the same path, not to mention his producers, the overall production speaks for itself.
It is pretty clean. The songs are beautifully cadenced, with only a few occasional bumps along the way. He has a fine project for a debut, overall.
The language is crisp and not something that will make you hide under the bed when your pastor knocks at the door.
Aymos originally started as an afro-pop artist, and although it is doubtful he has renounced his afro-pop roots, his fame rests in his amapiano production. The idea was if you can’t beat the amapiano wave, why not join it?
Therein lies his triumph. His latest project is a winner to be embraced.