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    1. #1
      XXPANTHAXX's Avatar
      XXPANTHAXX is offline Organizer

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      Arrow Ayo's "Joyful" Debut Makes Positive Contribution to the Music Scene


      0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
      German-born singer Ayo's 'Joyful' debut tinged with the sadness of a
      painful childhood


      NEW YORK (AP)-Even on a cold and rainy afternoon, Ayo, whose first name
      means joy in the African Yoruba language, radiates warmth. She smiles
      genuinely and laughs often. Yet sadness permeates her debut disc
      "Joyful" _ a somberness that comes from a turbulent upbringing.

      "Music to me is like therapy," the 27-year-old singer-songwriter says
      over lunch at a small bistro in New York City's West Village.

      "(Through music) I'm trying to help myself and my family," she says
      later.

      Ayo, whose last name is Ogunmakin but simply goes by her first name, was
      born to a Romanian mother and Nigerian father. She describes her mother
      as a heroin addict who came in and out of her life; her parents divorced
      when Ayo was seven.

      But her father, a mechanical engineer, was not allowed to raise Ayo and
      her three older siblings _ social services declared him unfit to raise
      his kids as a single parent. Ayo, who says it took years for him to
      regain custody, blames the racial climate in Germany for that decision.

      "Sometimes I lived in little villages with my Dad because we had to move
      with him, and there were all these old people looking at (me) like (I
      was) a monkey," she recalls of her biracial childhood in Germany.

      Ayo bittersweet memories are found on her debut, released this month, in
      songs like the touching "Without You," dedicated to her father, and
      "Help is Coming," a plaintive plea to her mother.

      "I hope one day I can sit with my mother and find a way through to her.
      With music I have a feeling I can reach her," she says in an accent that
      alternately reflects both her Nigerian and German roots.

      Ayo credits her father, who was also a part-time DJ, with introducing
      her to music; she remembers him playing classic Stax soul records when
      she was young. He encouraged her to pursue music as a career, and by 19,
      she was already garnering interest from different record labels. One
      wanted her to go in a more pop direction and turn her into the black
      Britney Spears _ another wanted her to be a reggae artist.

      Instead, Ayo, whose earnest lyrics, raspy vocals and self-taught
      acoustic guitar playing have earned her comparisons to Tracy Chapman and
      Joan Armatrading, rejected the offers and decided to leave her hometown
      of Cologne. She moved to Hamburg, then left Germany altogether for
      London when she was 22. As a parting gift to herself, Ayo purchased a
      steel string guitar that she named Billy.

      "When I went to London, I didn't have friends but I had this guitar,"
      says Ayo. "It was like the guitar was talking to me. The chords gave me
      a sense of what I wanted to say."

      Ever the nomad, Ayo moved to Paris a year later. There, she became an
      unsigned hype who quickly graduated from playing in bars to headlining a
      sold-out show at the prestigious Olympia Theater.

      "That's where I felt at home for the first time," Ayo says while trying
      to feed her two-year old son bites of ravioli dipped in ketchup. "I went
      to Paris and didn't speak the language, but I felt like this was a place
      for me. I was not the colored girl anymore."

      The stunning singer says Parisians appreciate "good acoustic music," and
      word of mouth kept Ayo in the French press; she got a record deal with
      Universal/Polydor in 2003.

      "Joyful," however, wasn't released until 2006. During that three-year
      period, she looked for the right producer and reunited with a former
      boyfriend, who inspired the reggae-tinged "Down on My Knees," and
      together they had their son, Nile. The reflective "These Days," where
      she ponders, "Where should I go when earth's the only place I know?" is
      about that uncertain period.

      "Today I try to be optimistic, but I don't know if it's always
      possible," says Ayo. "Sometimes you have to allow yourself to be
      pessimistic. There's a power in tragedy."

      Norah Jones' producer Jay Newland recorded "Joyful" with Ayo and a live
      band over five days in New York City. He describes her music as "full of
      life and love."

      Event producer Jill Newman, who hired Ayo to open for Sly & the Family
      Stone in New York City, calls her "a unique musician and vocalist."

      (She) weaves her stories set to her glorious music leaving you deeply
      feeling and thinking long after the song is sung.
      Ayo is now on a nationwide tour with Babyface and is featured on a new
      PBS concert special. She recently settled in Manhattan and finally has
      the stable family life she's craved.

      "I moved around so much and it's tiring. Now it's exciting (having a
      real home),"she says with a laugh. "It's the first time I worry about
      finding the bed I want. I want to make the space beautiful."

      On the Net
      http://www.ayomusic.com
      Nov 2, 2015 "Assata Shakur Liberation Day" marks 36 yrs of freedom for our Comrade Assata Shakur, Our Warrior was liberated from a NJ prison by Comrades In The Black Liberation Army click here to read more or here www.assatashakur.com

    2. #2
      rebelAfrika's Avatar
      rebelAfrika is offline Pan-Africanism or Perish!

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      I got a comrade named Ayo *smile*.

    3. #3
      Elisa Keisha's Avatar
      Elisa Keisha is offline Moderator

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      OMG She's absolutely wonderfull!! I just check some of her videos on youtube.
      including the video for "down on my knees". I heard this song somewhere and been tryin to find out who she was forever!! Medase!!!


      omg she gives me chills with her simplicity

      Elisa Marvena Nyarai




      SANKOFA Asociación Cultural
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      http://sankofacultura.blogspot.com

    4. #4
      Elisa Keisha's Avatar
      Elisa Keisha is offline Moderator

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      Quote Originally Posted by rebelAfrika View Post
      I got a comrade named Ayo *smile*.
      she's my friend too! (on myspace, hahaha)

      Elisa Marvena Nyarai




      SANKOFA Asociación Cultural
      www.myspace.com/sankofacultura
      http://sankofacultura.blogspot.com

    5. #5
      Elisa Keisha's Avatar
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      also check "Life is Real". there's a video on youtube too!

      Thats funny, I like her! they also say i am too open... she's too real!

      Elisa Marvena Nyarai




      SANKOFA Asociación Cultural
      www.myspace.com/sankofacultura
      http://sankofacultura.blogspot.com

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