Kirani Ayat taps into a timeless tradition on Aisha’s Sun, his debut album.
Griots have been present in all the great, past West African Empires since the beginning of the 16th Century. While they were remarkably talented storytellers and musicians, griots were also believed to have an intuitive connection to spiritual and social powers that benefited their society.
They were aware of everything that happened in their community and served as living archives of their people’s traditions. Indeed, many warrior kings refused to make decisions without the presence and vocal contributions of their griots.
On his debut album, aptly titled “Aisha’s Sun” (which is a nod to his function as his mother’s favored child and the pride and joy of his community), Kirani Ayat delivers a virtuoso performance that is reminiscent of the great griots and their masterful work. While he may have presented Aisha’s Sun as a testament to his journey towards adulthood, Aisha’s Sun provides warmth for all and serves up a refreshing dose of clarity and optimism which is sorely needed in thia seemingly dark period we’re living through.
The griots of times past were skillful instrumentalists who played instruments like the Goje, Balanfon and Komsa as part of their performance. Similarly, Kirani Ayat collaborated with 6 different producers (Seluse, Almighty Trei, Kayso, Okai Wav, Nii Quaye) to create a distinct sonic world for Aisha’s Sun. This is a sonic world that is full of crisp production that blends these classic traditional griot instruments with the snares, kicks, hi-hats and melodies that speak to the frequencies of the contemporary pop sounds being generated in and across West Africa.
The 12 tracks on Aisha’s Sun are sequenced in such a way that one song runs seamlessly into the other and this helps creates an immersive listening experience.
Kirani Ayat’s debut album features Worlasi (who is a frequent Ayat collaborator) on song Fada Na, Morell (who Kirani Ayat refered to as an inspiration) on song Duniya and Sarkodie on Mariama.
None of the features on the album are superfluous, with each artist contribution a valuable perspective on the album’s themes of community, family support and staying true to one’s self despite obstacles and unexpected life twists.
In playing the role of a living archive as griots tend to do, Kirani Ayat made purposeful creative choices on Aisha’s Sun in order to tell the story of his community. Some of these creative choices are composing the majority of his song lyrics in Hausa, using typography on his album cover that is influenced by the Arabic language script and including messages of hope from his mother, Aisha.
Dan Kasa, Track 6, which is an ode to the young talented Ghanaian footballer Mohammed Kudus, is more proof that Kirani Ayat is aware of all that goes on in his society. The meteoric success of footballer Mohammed Kudus and his callu0 to the Black Stars is evidence of the power of believing in your dreams and Kudus is currently a shining light to many young people in the Hausa community in Accra and across Ghana.
With the release of Aisha’s Sun, his debut album, Kirani Ayat taps into the timeless and influential griot tradition to position himself as a life-giving celestial body around which his society revolves and also as a source of timeless knowledge and vibes.
Just as the solar sun prompts growth in living things across nature, Aisha’s Sun is a body of work with infinite replay value that is refreshing and uplifting to the soul.
written by NiimoLikesIt
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