ON HEALING & GRATITUDE : YAAYAA & MS.ABA

Raise your right hand up if you’re one of those people who, when sad, purposely seeks out sad songs so you can wallow well in your pit of sadness? Are your hands up? Okay, I got a question for you. Why do you do that? Is it meant to squeeze all the sadness out? Is it to keep your sadness company? I need to know. 

I’m not one to particularly avoid sad emotions, but I’m not sure I want to nurse them either. I love sad songs but I prefer hopeful songs when I’m sad. I think the thing about sentimental songs are their relatability. We’ve all been through some kind of shit. We’ve all been sad as fuck, we’ve all had said sadness linger around for far too long, and we’ve all clung to hope like second skin. Whoever you are, however your life is or may have been, sadness and hope are familiar things. And this is one of the reasons why the first few lines of YaaYaa’s song “Time Will Heal Us All’ off her debut album Agoo, instantly snags at your heart. 

I know somebody is praying tonight/tryna find a way/tryna get to a place
I know somebody is singing tonight/ to the Lord most high/to show the way

Girl. It’s me. No lies detected.

This is her debut album, but YaaYaa isn’t new to the Ghanaian music scene. Our introduction to her was when she won the 2009 edition of Stars of the Future, she has gone on to release a couple of singles and work with other artists. Time will heal us all is the 3rd track on her album – Agoo.

The song begins with a gentle strum of an acoustic guitar, followed by YaaYaa’s deep and full singing. The first thirty seconds of the song feels like the way your hand shoots up in excitement when you know you have the correct answer to a question in class. And it might as well be, because right after her crooning, the tempo switches up from the gentle strum to head-bopping-shoulder-raising electric guitar cum soft drumming, with matching energetic tone, laced with harmonious melodies. The cadence of the song follows this formula. The song is a lifter-upper for anyone who is lost or in a period of waiting – not to give in to despair, for good old Time will heal you. 

When it feels like the darkness is caving in on you
And you really don’t know what to do
Don’t fear, one day your light will shine

YaaYaa is aiming for a soothing assuredness. And she nails it. 

I do wonder, though, if time will heal us all. Let me rephrase that – I wonder if time will heal everything we want or need to be healed. Maybe some things are meant to remain wounds. And maybe some things just don’t heal well. Reminds me of Joy Harjo’s sturdy poem Perhaps the World Ends here 

“We have given birth on this table, and have prepared our parents for burial here. 

At this table we sing with joy, with sorrow. We pray of suffering and remorse. We give thanks” 

Despite these wounds we have to find a way to love ourselves through the pain. And one way to do that is to be deliberate about gratitude. Kind ‘a Love is a funky danceable song by MS.ABA that does just that.

What kind of love be dis
The one who thinks I’m special
His love is over me
He thinks I am to die for

First of all, I love that more and more women are fusing pidgin into their songs. MS.ABA has branded herself as an afrocentric r&b/soul singer/songwriter with a gospel foundation. 

Kind ‘a Love, is an afropop song. Not only does the song have a swang to it right from the beginning, MS.ABA seamlessly switches from singing to afrofunk rapping and then back to singing. Her singing has attitude, she sings the word “special” like she’s singing it with three exclamation marks interspersed with random $ and @ signs for added emphasis.  She’s definitely one to bookmark.

Written by @asantewawith1a

Lit and black is a product of Black Girls Glow, we’re building community for women artists to create and collaborate. You can learn more at blackgirlsglow.org. If you’d like to support us please go to our patreon, there’s different levels and you can support at a level as low as $1. Thank you, and support black women artists. 

Let’s Grow Together!
Join our mailing list today

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: