It’s no secret that this period of unrest in Nigeria has brought musicians who were previously lurking to the surface. In her stunning essay for The Nation in 2015, Toni Morrison, in reference to the Black Lives Matter movement implored artists to wield their creativity as a tool to battle oppression. Her words stuck and have since become a mantra for artists to chant in trying times. Niyola, who has been behind the scene for years now hinges on these words to share her bit on the state of Nigeria. On a single titled The World Is On Fire, Niyola stands on the frontline of this challenge, wielding her vocals and passion for the movement as her own tools of protest.
She teams up with budding media company, UduX for a sweeping performance that capitalizes on the spiritedness of percussions and acoustics as she questions in her native dialect, Yoruba “ni bo la n lo?”. Like the thousands of Nigerians calling for change, she chants “burn it down, burn it down” asking for an overhaul of oppressive and corrupt systems.
Niyola’s stance is as strong as her vocals are grounded. The world is indeed on fire and with vibrant acoustics giving life to Niyola’s pensive lyrics, we can almost taste the sorrow she projects.
Photo credit: @___tse