Don't Let Me Go
The 'Uninhibited' siren has an allure, rare beauty, dynamism and credibility that will garner, not only an inter-gender, but multi-genre klatch.
Don't Let Me Go is available via:
The Uninhibited EP is out now, available at:
Don't Let Me Go
THERE is a great deal of sketchy logic dictating how artists...
perceive their success. It is an issue a lot with the female market: a great deal of post hoc ergo propter hoc rationalisation is attributed to their victories. It is impossible to navigate anywhere within the musical waters, without hitting a frustrating iceberg of stubbornness. If we clear up a few things, before moving on. The issue of religion and proof of God is not something to be argued against: I find it illogical and strange, but do not try to take that faith away from someone. Real problems exist, when associative quasi-philosophy and Straw Man arguments are applied. I, for one, find it aneurysm-inducing, every time I hear of a musician (or actor) describe their career as a 'journey'. It is a nauseating summation. Musical trajectories have no geographical relation or merit, and less still, are not similar to- or worthy of- any larger or more important imagery. It is a horrid buzz-word I would like to stump out, with a flaming kick. As an extension to my point, and when looking at similar reductio ad absurdum phenomenum, I have always loathed such expressions as 'everything happens for a reason', and 'it's destiny'. The former is contingent on their being a God: things literally happen for a reason, as in everything can be explained. There is no greater purpose or 'master-plan' being orchestrated by God: if there is, then I am getting a royal screw-job. I hate every time this phrase is spoken, and is done far too much in music. Similarly, there is no such thing as fate or destiny. No human has a predetermined objective or destination; it is a lazy and naive way of explaining life's events. At worst, it is indicative of a lack of logic, intelligence and a basic thought process. Too many new acts and artist explain and rationalise their success because of these things; as well as using it to explain any set-back or stutter. For new acts that are genuinely ambitious and talented, it takes credit and worthiness out of their hands, and apportions it to some unreal and intangible hokum. For those whom gain success and followers down to positive media focus, and through galvanised social media interaction; it unfairly neglects people whom spend a lot of time and effort promoting the associative acts. I guess a lot of my reticence and anger comes from personal experience: especially with regards to the latter point. I have chosen this subject to focus on, as there are too many musicians and acts, that rather arrogantly put their 'fate' into 'the hands of the gods' assuming that they are going to be on the scene for years to come. Success in the current climate relies on having a relevant sound and a great talent: sales and fans do not arrive just for the hell of it; you have to work hard to be remembered and to inspire. Too many skate by on faulty syllogisms and consequently put in the bare-minimum work effort, with regards to output and publicity. My featured artist today is the epitome of an act whom understand the vital need to back up an incredible talent, by making her presence know. I shall explain more, in good time.
The 'female solo artist' sector is a variable, but oddly immobile and stolid market. It is a similar issue with the male sector, but for all the vast numbers and differing objectives, the resultant sounds are largely variations on a (narrow) theme. Whether this homogeneous myopic hell is due to the fact that it is a harder life being solo, when compared to being in a band; or down to the fact that there is a lack of ambition or talent to be found, can fairly be argued both ways. The issue is more prevalent when you see 20-something talents, with acoustic guitars, each of whom says the same thing, has the same voice, and writes predictably uninspiring lyrics. There is some variation and mobility when referencing the voice: some can elicit some divisive emotion or range, but by and large, there are little surprises to be found. In terms of black females, there are more fascinating moves being made. The likes of Alicia Keys and collegial soul and R 'n' B contemporaries employ more style and passion: stylish and brilliant piano lines, as well as enraptured and captivating vocal turns. At a different avenue of the spectrum, current crop such as Lianne La Havas, mix in a myriad of sounds and beats into the mix, to bolster her songs, and produce something much more fascinating and electrifying. Singers such as Brittany Howard, are recapturing the magic of the soul queens such as Aretha Franklin and Nina Simone, and mixing in a little Janis Joplin: providing inspiration and invigoration to a rather stale scene. For the likes of me- a 30-year-old white songwriter from the Home Counties- there is greater appeal here, to my mind. It is a minority sector, but one that is growing and provides fascination to a wide range of races, sectors and classes in society. For the young black artist, whom is up-and-coming, there is cultural relevance; for rock, metal and indie acts, there are new and unexpected sounds and shades that can be employed into their music: thus improving it greatly. The young black men and women are at the forefront of a vanguard of quality and diversification that has been lacking in music for many years. Of course, there are artists such as Azealia Banks, whom are torpedoing the rest, by possessing a rather repellent personality, and being too forthright and controversial: thus alienating music-lovers and creating a sour taste in many people's mouths. She is a rare exception, and thankfully, is not representative of her peers. Kayla L'ayton, is a young woman is a hard-working, talented and gorgeous young woman, whom can be ranked alongside the likes of Keys, La Havas and Howard. She knows the importance of making things happen, and does not relying solely on her great talent, looks and personality do the talking. She began performing music at a tender age, and the London-born star has worked with a lot of different D.J.'s, grime and garage artists, and has honed her talents and skills, since her 2012 E.P. debut 'This Is Me'. She is a star-in-the-making: possessive of stunning looks, a likeable and affable personality; a fond consideration and love of her fans, and a bold inventiveness and ambition. She is a graduated of the BRIT School, she should have her name associated with the likes of Adele and Leona Lewis, and certainly not Jessie J. It is the intelligence, humour and down-to-Earth nature that comes through strongest on her social media sites, and the music that she is producing is deserving of a lot more attention.
Her 6-track E.P., Uninhibited is available, and showcases a range of sounds and themes, as well as tableuxs of love-gone-wrong and personal need for space. Song titles such as Had Enough, Release Me and Love Drunk, may hint at a young woman, whom wants to escape and has seen her fair share of pain, where as Cash Money and Inside Out vary their prophecies and ambitions; it is hard to escape the fact that there is great value for money. At 6 tracks long, it is a full and tight E.P., and its 2nd track, Don't Let Me Go, is out in the ether. It is the assimilation of her past history, perseverance and attention to detail that makes the song stand out, and capture so. Beginning with a wordless chorus of emotion and sex appeal,, the initial moments have their heart rooted in soul, as well as modern pop as well. There is a little of Christina Aguilera's tones in the sound, but the weight and timbre can be closer associated with Leona Lewis and Alicia Keys: there is that authoritative sense of passion and conviction. The vocal structure continues, but is accompanied by- at first a soft piano line- a rumbling drum coda. If you watch the official video to the song, it depicts our heroine, saddened and- at times- shackled. There is loneliness, emptiness, constriction and sadness initially apparent from both song, and visuals. The musical backbones keeps strong and propulsive- sprinkling in ethereal twinkling, here and there. Stories of "Reaching for the heavens" portray a woman, whom wants to "break free". One would imagine figuratively-speaking (although in the video she is literally tied up) L'ayton is imprisoned and bound: unable to break away; as she is in a battle for control "over (my) mind". There is tension and stress: she is running short of time, and whether the song is inspired by a relationship she wishes to extricate herself from, or pressures of her life; are open for initial interpretation. The vocalisations should appeal beyond fans of Keys, Aguilera, Lewis and even Mariah Carey. There are elements of their range, power and purpose, but has more soulful and softer edges: there are fewer needless screams, rises, over-indulgences and ululation- it is pure and measured. The lyrics, too, are a step away from what you may expect: personal heartache-cum-man-done-wrong-hate; with too many phrases reminding you of 'motivational photos' on Facebook. L'ayton has a sharper pen, and manages to deviate away from lyrical Dead Sea; mixing typical emotional imagery and metaphors, with something harder and more edgy. This is evidences clearly when her vocal rises (around 1:26). The lungs open, the voice rises and backing it up is the sound of something more carnivorous and indebted to the street- this is augmented during the chorus, where sharper beats and slams inject the mood. Following the chorus's invocation that our heroin is not let go, and held onto, imagery- both lyrical and visual- projects her state of mind: burdened by tears and her entire soul is close to being submerged and nullified. There are plenty of words that will appeal to the teen and 20-something female: resilience in the face of heartache, as well as an inner motivation. The lyrics employ imagery of webs, water, broken spirits and a soul in need of fixing. The chorus, to my ear, has a flavour of En Vogue as well; something that pleased me. There is a band that could appeal to all ages, genders, sectors and societies: there was universal appeal; L'ayton has the same lift and resonance throughout a lot of the song, but especially in the choruses. In the way that the song combines heavier and epic voice-and-music combinations are similar to contemporaries such as Beyonce. Perhaps she is a more relatable companion: there is a similar edge of softer-side I Am...Sasha Fierce. It is the combination of Beyonce, En Vogue, as well as Lewis, that infuses the remainder of the song. The protagonist breaks her shackles (in the video), and is running for freedom, and the repetition of the song title through to the end of the song, reinforces her need for safety and security.
I do hope that the Uninhibited E.P. does solid business. The solo market is a vast and crowded one, and there are too few genuine talents, whom are able to vary their sound and keep fresh: choosing to be motionless, creatively. L'ayton has the pedigree to separate herself from a lot of her contemporaries, whom may share the same heartache, and write similar songs. In Don't Let Me Go, and the E.P. as a whole, there is a range and genre-spanning appeal, that can win undecided voters and a wide audience. If you keep going as she has done: innovating her creativity; experimenting with sound, as well as employing hints of influences and other voices (just a little bit), then she will acquire a foothold near the summit of an expanding mountain. She is restless and ever-changing, and in a climate where many solo female tend to be of a certain class, background, culture- with little diversity in terms of sound or ethnicity, L'ayton is going about business the same way as the likes of La Havas and- to a degree- Emile Sande: creating music that can unite those whom would not usually be huge fans, by being fresh, innovative and bold. She knows that she has to work hard and keep going strong in order to obtain glory: not simply believing the universe will put things in order for her. She has a personality and dedication to fans that adds an additional layer of appeal to her core; and her themes, words, mandate and independence will appeal, not only to the young black woman, but every woman. The musical diversity and range will draw in plenty of male attention (taking obvious beauty and sex appeal out of the equation); and the songs on her E.P. (as well as her debut), will ignite excitement those whom would not usually listen to this type of music. When it comes down to it, success and longevity impinges on three main facets: a relevant sound that is indelible; a talent that is not static, but growing; and a winning personality and creative and business intelligence that understands what people need...
THREE out of three ain't bad.