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Read "Rebirth" by Maya Huyana (Album Review by Jhantu Randall)

Read More by Jhantu Randall

In a world that is under the spell of ratchet decadence where shock value is a profitable selling strategy, sincere creativity tends to be overshadowed far too often. Not to say there aren’t other options available, for every Cardi B a Rhapsody or Snow Tha Product exists, so to say there’s no good music is disingenuous. There’s plenty of undiscovered talent out there and thanks to streaming it’s widely available, you just have to be willing to search for it.

It’s with this in mind that I found myself giving a listen to an artist I had never heard of, Maya Huyuna. Something about the simplicity of her Rebirth cover just drew me in. There was a vulnerability and a strong confidence that came across as beautiful. Upon the first listen of Rebirth, it is clear that this woman has something to say and she won’t stop until she’s heard!

Between jazzy, neo soul sounding beats and rhythms and a raw delivery fused with melodic vocals, there’s no way to box her in when it comes to genre. While that may be seen as a challenge it’s precisely that which holds my attention. The anticipation of wondering what’s coming next is a welcomed feeling. Without trying to classify what she does, if I had to describe her in any sort of way I’d say she strikes a sound that draws from Lauren Hill and fuses it with the poetry of Gil Scott Heron. This is most evident on the opening track, “Rebirth” where Maya starts with a rhythmic flow that get accompanied by a fuller singing voice about 20 second in.

“Inner City Dialogue” is one of my favorite tracks as it just chills you out and allows you to take in the moment as you reflect on what it took to get you there. Painting pictures with her words she creates images that play in your mind with intricate cinematography. “Come Home (Dreamin’)” gives vibes of coming home after a long day to reconnect with a woman who is celebrating that natural essence. Invoking imagery of feeling the best parts of true love. “Maya’s Jam” is pure creativity constructed to a track without doing too much, the natural feeling of it all makes it a track that deserves a repeated listen. “Say Yeah/The Calm” is a track I would play on a carefree summer day as the sun is beginning to set just beyond the horizon. It’s the perfect transition into “Soul food” which accompanies a drive at dusk with the windows down as you feel a warm summers breeze. “One of Us” is a modern take on “What if God was one of Us” which is a good way to bring it down while at the same time ending the album on a positive note.

My only real complaint about Rebirth is its length. At only 7 tracks all under 5 minutes, it left me wanting more to feel fully complete. On the flip side it’s definitely lead me to wanting more music from Maya Huyuna in the near future. Do yourself a favor and give Rebirth a listen as you bring in Summer as its a slow burn that will ultimately stick with you for some time.

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