Existing to no longer survive, but to live is one of the most transformational gifts one can obtain and to, hopefully, pass along its value. It’s this ideology which Tolü Makay pens from and creates an inspirative journey backed by organic productions of Pop, Soul, and R&B. Makay not only discovers self on her debut Being, but utilizes an overlooked power we all possess: words.
The Afro-Irish artist’s debut is a compelling and touching introduction that celebrates that the first point of love, confidence, and belief is within yourself. It’s a significant and cohesive flow for the artist, but not surprising considering past singles such as “REFLECTION.” Makay delivers truth, philosophical moments, and balances it with candid lines that aid the authenticity of the EP.
“Being means ‘essence’, one’s entity. I chose it as the title of the project because it captures my journey to self-discovery,” says Makay. “This journey to knowing who you are was vital in order to grow and attain a greater sense of self. My love for psychology and advocacy for mental health is what truly influences why I question the mind, myself and ways to live. This translates into how I write about my experiences.”
Being presents itself naturally and motivates without the overflow of “false positivity.” Tracks like “V.N.“, which read as a voice note, is a timeless recording that is filled with affirmations and realistic hurdles, comforted by a long, lost friend: “I don’t have the fucking answers to everything, and maybe that’s ok… you just have to keep going.”
Opening with “Hello, Are You Awake” and its theatrical performance that explores the sensory reassurance of a new day, cautiously, to the anthemic and marching, confident closer “You Are Enough,” Makay’s flexible range is a key component that tells the story of Being.
“Don’t Let Go” showcases a silky, and soulful midnight wish with Makay’s vocals at their most robust and is a personal favorite alongside the jazzy cut “Wild Thang.” Then there’s bubbles of hope against an acoustic which “Assumptions” guides into “Me, Myself and I.” The vivacious hook is a warm hug of self-love where Makay’s high notes sweetly rest against the contemporary pop production. And always with a light dosage of raw truth, “…because I got me, bitch” ends the track with a smile.
Makay’s earnest and unshakable drive for herself is contagious throughout the 18 minute project. A range of one-liners appear after each listen and its potency bounces between artist and listener.
There’s room for reality, but hope for a new day on Being. Better yet, there’s no shame in starting over, grateful for the chirps of a new day. Reminding us all to live, Being reignited something in this writer’s blood.
“My hope with this project is that it helps anyone who is lacking self-love or going through a transition to better themselves and need the encouragement from within. Because it’s a long but rewarding journey.”
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