December 6, 2021

Within the diversified musical field that is the Nigerian music industry, Maryah has found a niche potent for its relaxing-yet-groovy vibe…

By Chinonso Ihekire

Can anything good come out of Maiduguri? The question might have rented spaces in most minds, as this same city which has become a mass burial ground for insurgency victims now boasts of birthing one of Nigeria’s most vivacious voices.

For a 19-year-old, Sandra Samson holds an uncommon superpower: when she sings, everyone listens. After debuting on the Nigerian music scene last year with her enchanting single, “Fool For U,” Samson who is professionally known as Aisé Maryah, has returned with another soul-stirring record dubbed, “Wish,” laying a sturdy foundation for an outstanding discography.

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Credit: Aisé Maryah

While Maryah’s “Wish,” as does “Fool For U” croons on the themes of love and affection, in “Wish,” she stretches it differently with a pensive and submissive vibe. The record is also laced with the same poetic songwriting that powers her entire music. “The way you talk to me nice, I cannot forget it/ I wish I was on your mind,” she sings softly. These, alongside the stellar-production that dotes the record, becomes a cherry on a well-whipped cake.

The cake itself is Maryah’s silky voice. The young singer combines a vocal energy that resembles a rough blend of Nigeria’s Tems and Jamaica’s Koffee. Within the diversified musical field that is the Nigerian music industry, Maryah has found a niche potent for its relaxing-yet-groovy vibe.

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Credit: Aisé Maryah

Apart from being a fresh secondary school graduate, Maryah seems to have also graduated in a different school – that of self-confidence. While her Instagram feed is replete with stellar covers of smashing hits such as Ladipoe’s “Feeling,” Stefflon Don’s “Can’t Let You Go,” Giveon’s “Heartbreak Anniversary,” and Oxlade’s “Dis Kain Thing,” among others, Maryah’s self-affirmation of being a “Unicorn” tops the list of the most astonishing things you’d find out about this adventurous young adult from Maiduguri. And she stands true to her words.

Chinonso Ihekire is a music critic, journalist and filmmaker based in Lagos, Nigeria. He believes in the power of using art to positively radicalise society. Reach out on Instagram @Chinonsotherevolutionary and Twitter @ChinonsoIhekire

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