With Let’s Get Romantic, Yinka captures an endearing love story, and shamelessly admits to being a die-hard romantic, while navigating the project’s simplistic production…
By Hope Ibiale
Five years after her debut EP, Story, Nigerian-American RnB singer/songwriter, Yinka, formerly Olayinka Ehi, has finally released her long-awaited sophomore project, Let’s Get Romantic. With this project, Yinka captures an endearing love story and shamelessly admits to being a die-hard romantic, while navigating the project’s simplistic production. In a world where most people don’t believe in true love, Yinka advocates for its existence.
In 2016, Yinka was thrust into the limelight when she released a cover of Nina Simone’s “Don’t Let me be Misunderstood.” Since then, the RnB act has consistently released music. Despite spending most of her adult years in the United States, Yinka was born and raised in Nigeria. Through her music, Yinka showcases her African culture, which is evident in the way she weaves pidgin and English in her lyrics, as well as the African percussive elements often embedded in her music. While describing her music to VoyageLA, she said, “I write music about love and life. It could be my life or inspired by other people’s stories.” This passion for telling love stories through her career guides Yinka’s latest work.
(Read also: Rexxie Shines Brightly Alongside Featured Artists on the Enjoyable Big Time_LP)
Let’s Get Romantic, opens up with the 50-second “Intro,” a dreamy eclectic number. Here, Yinka seeks someone, anybody, to love her. With this opener, the artiste creates a somewhat oceanic atmosphere, a calm spot listeners can relax and get lost in her voice. Smooth harmonies swim around your ears, preparing you for what’s to come. “Intro” bleeds into “Two weeks,” a song that explores the first few weeks of a love affair. The first stage of a budding relationship is usually the most intoxicating part. It feels endless, all-consuming, and delightful. Yinka sings, “I don’t want to do anything if it’s not with you. Your breath is my energy. I’m weak without you.”
On “Let’s Get Romantic,” Yinka is grounded by her determination to experience romance. The heavy bass and drums in the song give the artiste’s request an aggressive push. There should be no doubt that Yinka gets what she wants when she says, “Call me crazy and fine, then we end up in bed. Do you see it? You’re falling, falling in love, baby.” Her confidence is reminiscent of others who often straddle the line between reckless and dedicated lovers. Ultimately, this track is for anyone who wants steamy romance and isn’t afraid to ask for it.
If the movie, Lady Chatterley’s Lover, ever made a sequel, this interlude from Yinka’s project deserves a spot as one of its soundtrack. When Yinka says, “What am I? Unrealistic? Reckless? Shameless? A romantic,” it describes Lady Chatterley and her chaotic love affair. Even the scribbling sounds at the song’s beginning paint the scenario of someone writing a love letter. Yinka maintains her sultry composure throughout, allowing the song’s production to support what should be moments of intimacy. She’s calm and collected because she isn’t new to romance.
With “Die for You,” Yinka continues to make sweet promises to her lover. As we dive into the project, listeners prone to dwelling less on love might become uninterested in listening to Yinka’s repetitive singing about her lover. But instead of reifying the theme of love, she wears it like a cloak and finds refuge in it. She sings, “Even when there is darkness, you’re the light. I will love you till the end of my life. I wanna die loving you.”
(Read also: Lojay’s Gangsta Romantic EP is 2023 Project of the Year Material)
“Red Dress” is an upbeat R&B offering, and the intoxicating lyrics are guaranteed to pull listeners into Yinka’s world. “He love me in my little red dress, but I don’t let him see nothing yet. I like the way I got him obsessed,” she sings, reaffirming a soft yet firm hold on her lover. The character in this song is well aware of her sex appeal, and she boldly embraces it, “He love me in my little red dress.”
On “Flowers,” the last track of Let’s Get Romantic, Yinka takes a different route. Here, she sings about the predicament common in most relationships where one party wants more but knowingly settles for less. One question crosses the mind: why do they stay? Perhaps it is fear of being alone, or they believe they will be rewarded for denying themselves something better. “You don’t give flowers, you don’t give cards. But you keep on falling, I keep on loving,” she sings, recklessly hinged on the belief in the power of love to conquer all. “Flowers” makes a case for relationships that offer nothing. This ties to the whole essence of the project; Yinka is a hopeless romantic no matter what. And when she says, “Even in my loneliest hour, doesn’t scare me at all,” you know she is putting in all her love. The piano chords and twittering birds at the beginning of the song feel like a scene from a movie. These effects add to the song’s cinematic feel. In its shades of love, Let’s Get Romantic asks us to embrace the power of love, whether for good or ill.
(Read also: Enkay Ogboruche’s Declaration Wields the Scepter of Praise)
Overall, Yinka’s Let’s Get Romantic is an accomplished project that exhibits the artiste in her element. Here, Yinka’s artistry and penmanship shine. However, as much as the project pulls its strength from intentionality, it falls short on production quality. Across the seven tracks, there are general elements like the harmonies that are repeated. Its resemblance sticks out so much that even when new elements like the twittering birds and bass are introduced, they still follow the direction of the previous songs. While the project is a good listen, the production may not leave a memorable effect on the listeners.
With each song, Yinka paints different stories with the same happy ending, and communicates emotion with intentionality. Songs like “Flowers,” “Red Dress,” and the interlude would work perfectly as movie scores. Let’s Get Romantic flows through one central theme. They put Yinka in the minds of old and new listeners while capturing real human emotions and complications about love. In an Instagram post, Yinka stated, “This EP came from my entire being. I got tired of everyone saying ‘fuck love’ and acting like we didn’t care because of our valid experiences. I wanted to write about changing that and being intentional with love and romance so I did,” and she did just that. The intentionality of Let’s Get Romantic stands out and adds to its reply value.
Lyricism – 1.2
Tracklisting – 1.1
Sound Engineering – 1
Vocalisation – 1.2
Listening Experience – 1.3
Rating – 5.8/10
Hope Ibiale is a writer and a book lover. She is currently a student of Communication and Language Arts at the University of Ibadan.