Photo Credit: Lawrence Agyei

Yaya Bey is one of R&B’s most exciting storytellers. Using a combination of ancestral forces and her own self-actualization, the singer/songwriter seamlessly navigates life’s hardships and joyful moments through music. Yaya’s new album, ‘Remember Your North Star’, set for release on 17th June via Big Dada, captures this emotional rollercoaster with a fusion of soul, jazz, reggae, afrobeat and hip-hop that feeds the soul. 

I saw a tweet that said, ‘Black women have never seen healthy love or have been loved in a healthy way.’ That’s a deep wound for us. Then I started to think about our responses to that as Black women,” Yaya says of ‘Remember Your North Star’s title inspiration, an entirely self-written project featuring key production from Yaya Bey herself, with assists from Phony Ppl’s Aja Grant and DJ Nativesun.

So this album is kind of my thesis. Even though we need to be all these different types of women, ultimately we do want love: love of self and love from our community. The album is a reminder of that goal.” Her knack for storytelling is best displayed in the album’s lead single, “keisha”–an anthemic embodiment of fed-up women everywhere who have given their all in a relationship, yet their physical body nor spiritual mind could never be enough.

The single comes alongside a video, directed and choreographed by Yaya herself. “This video is my declaration that this is my season to be with me. I am free and sovereign,” Yaya explains. With Director of Photography Chassidy David adding, “It was a pleasure working with Yaya to create a music video that portrays the many caricatures women may feel pressured to perform in the pursuit of love and acceptance but also shows that true love and acceptance can only come from within.

Previous projects such as 2021’s ‘The Things I Can’t Take With Me’ EP–the first release on Big Dada’s relaunch as a label run by Black, POC and minority ethnic people for Black, POC and minority ethnic artists–2020’s ‘Madison Tapes album’ and ‘The Many Alter – Egos of Trill’eta Brown’ (2016) have seen Yaya Bey praised by the likes of Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, NPR, Harper’s Bazaar, Clash, Crack Magazine, Mixmag and more. In 2021, Yaya was also profiled by Rolling Stone for their print magazine to contribute to the publication’s The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list

Yaya Bey’s ability to tap into the emotionally kaleidoscopic nature of women, specifically Black women, is the essence of the entire album. A critically acclaimed multi-disciplinary artist and art curator, with multiple fine art residencies with MoCADA, she draws on themes of misogynoir, unpacking generational trauma, carefree romance, parental relationships, women empowerment and self-love.

‘Remember Your North Star’ continues Yaya Bey’s personal and artistic evolution as she strives to be a soundboard for Black women everywhere. “I feel empowered in music because I can transform anything that happens to me into something that is valuable. Music helps me to see the value in what’s going on in my life,” she explains. “There’s a spirit in music. It’s a culture and I’m in that community, contributing my story which keeps us connected.

Listen to “keisha” and pre-save/order the album ‘Remember Your North Star’  here: yaya-bey.lnk.to/ryn

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