Wednesday, 7 March 2018


It’s an added bonus when a piece of music sounds like its title, or more correctly evokes its title with sound, and that is the case with Nigerian artist Nelyland. His track ‘Sunrise’ is a nod to the subtle feeling of pre-dawn, the muted sky washed in a gradual brightening and lightening of colour, dark clouds becoming white, purple skies becoming blue – the soft synth rising up in the subtle afrobeat rhythm of the track represent that tone, those dark pastel shades when day still cannot yet shake the night, nor take the sleep from its eyes.

Speaking of that afrobeat rhythm, it’s a sparse semblance of a beat that propels this track forward, with robust thudding kicks like a gradual step towards the proverbial light, and softer percussion popping alongside in an angular, fragmented cluster of beats that gets smooth shaker and hi-hat accents. Nelyland’s soulful vocal itself calls out fringed with autotuned brightness, telling his story: “I been through the storm and the hurricane / Searching for love but it never came.” These lamenting yet determined verses are contrasted with the gradual hope that rises up in the hook: “Sunrise, sunrise, they pray for my downfall but I’m praying for my sunrise…”

It represents that dark side of hope, when you realise that by the very act of living in hope you are without something, struggling, and could be on a long journey to realise your dreams. And yet the slow, steady pace of ‘Sunrise’ feels like a march, a tenacious beeline set for what Nelyland wants to achieve: tell his story to the world.

  • πŸ”” The description for 'Sunrise', a track written by Nelyland following the loss of his mother, reads as follows:

    "I'm sure there are a couple of people out there still trying to find the light. I want to help you realize that your light is already within you and that you should just let it shine! RISE UP LIKE THE SUN !"

    The track is out now courtesy of Afrocentric independent label Sufferings & Offerings and you can listen to it on SoundCloud as above, or via Spotify if you like.

Nelyland Internet Presence ☟

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