Afroplastique - Niasony

Membran/Sony

Corporate branding, buzz words and positioning statements rule when we consume the written word in 140 characters. Fortunately for musicians, composition includes coming up with snappy song and album titles. Niasony Okomo has debuted with something of more consequence, a title that defines both the music and the message. In the liner notes of Afroplastique, Niasony explains “AFRO represents my roots and PLASTIQUE the poverty I’ll never forget. My first pair of child’s sandals was plastic and I was very proud of it.” Transitioning from African life to European at age 13, the soulful diva has the perspective of seeing life trough both lenses; a functioning Europe and the poverty and matriarchal violence of her homeland. It’s plenty of fodder for this conscious collection of hip-swaying, afrosoul and drop beat grooves, honey-dripped in the throaty, earthly delivery Niasony brings to her songs. Songs like Bana Ndeke or Orphans, a sensuous reggae chant that belies a tale of injustice, corruption and exploitation are powerful and pleasurable. Another favorite, Ponanini or Why asks why Africans abroad should hide their feelings when there is still war in their homeland.  BTW, the liner notes are worth the price of the physical package, if not for the pristine recording quality, plus the gorgeously fearsome cover photo is the best selfie I’ve seen. Afroplastique is a keepsake.