A Stark Conversation With Nigerian Alternative Artist, Bemyoda

Bemyoda is not your typical Nigerian artist. His sound is a mix between alternative and folk and if you live in Nigeria, you know this is not a genre you hear gracing our radio waves. However, despite having a niche sound – Bemyoda who released his EP ‘Sketch’ a few years ago has remained true to himself in his highly anticipated debut album; ‘Stark The Album’. Originally from Benue State, the artist introduced his latest project with a unique album listening experience. Using multi-media; photography and sound – the talented artist used visuals to put his lyrics into context and bring them to life.

Black and white images of children in their element were captured and framed – lining the walls of the Red Door Gallery in Lagos, beautifully. Guests who came to the exhibition got to listen to the music, along side the photos which were accompanied by song lyrics. The experience was powerful and poetic – quite like the artist himself.

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Alternative Folk Singer, Bemyoda, Drops His Brilliant Debut Album 'Stark'

In 2015, alternative folk singer, Bemyoda, blessed us with a solid re-release of his 2013 debut EP, Sketch: The Reprise – a project he referred to as "a sketch, rough, unfinished, a prelude to something fuller".

Two years and a stunning lead single later, and we finally get that "something fuller" with his debut album, Stark; and it lives up to all the promise he showed on his debut EP and then some.

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The Soulful Vibes of Bemyoda

Not your typical Nigerian artist, Bem Iordaah also known as Bemyoda, is a promising young artist whose music is introducing a different vibe to the industry.  The artist, who grew up in both Enugu and Makurdi, studied civil engineering at the University of Minna.  He moved to Lagos in 2009 to work as a digital marketing consultant. Although he wrote his first song at the age of 14, his journey officially began after he joined a choir and he lost a group member. He explains,  “I think I came to the realisation that I could do it by myself after my friend and group member died and I figured, you know, you have just one life to live, you should use the gifts you’ve been blessed with, to whatever extent you can.”

Iordaah’s music can be described as soulful and reflective compared to the more hyper West African tunes currently out. Perhaps it’s time for a breath of fresh air in the industry. Guardian Life had a short chat with Iordaah on his alternative sound and challenges faced as a musician in Nigeria.

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Bemyoda’s ‘Stark’ Is Aiming For Your Soul

If you know as at all, then you know we have been stanning for Bemyoda since forever! We’ve celebrated the release of every single, kept our fingers on the replay button of his previously released (and re-released) EP, gushed over every video, cried over heart-wrenching song lyrics, and greatly anticipated (and by this I mean we’ve held our collective breaths, shamelessly begged, offered bribes) the release of his LP. We are, without question, unapologetic Bemyoda fans! And with good reason.

A few days ago, Bemyoda’s Stark, the album, finally dropped, and oh my, was this worth the wait! Recorded in 4 cities: Lagos, Abuja, Cleveland, and Nashville, Stark, the 10-track album is everything we want from our music. It is joy, and sadness, and peace, and hope, and love, and breath. From the folkloric melodies of Long Way from Home, to the tears-inducing lyrics of Burn, and the foot-stomping, finger-snapping rhythms of The Other Side of Fear, Bemyoda takes us on a journey through life’s many detours. We love every moment of it.

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With The Stark Exhibition, Bemyoda Creates An Immersive Multimedia Experience

After announcing that his debut album, which has been in recording purgatory for five long years, finally getting a well deserved roll out on the 9th of June 2017, singer Bemyoda announced that in collaboration with Red Door Gallery, he was organizing an immersive multimedia exhibition of sorts, featuring memorabilia from the making of the album. Artists often use these catchphrases to drum up anticipation for their projects, so when I decided to go see the exhibition for myself over the course of the three days it held, I went with some skepticism.

For Bemyoda, Stark is in many ways a passion project. It features a sound that many Nigerian music pundits would argue is not commercially viable, and its songs littered with lyrics either inspired by personal anecdotes and actual autofiction set to music. There was already a lot laid out for us to ruminate on, but with the Stark exhibition, Bemyoda peels off another layer, to allow us see beyond the music to the actual experiences that have inspired the album.

Full report on The Native Mag

Meet Bemyoda, The Self-Assured Alternative Folk Singer

Alternative folk singer Bemyoda is definitely an anomaly in the Nigerian music scene. I mean, even for an indie singer, his singles are few and very far between.

While it sucks that such a gifted artiste doesn't bless us with his talents more often, we are glad that when he does the result is as beautiful and thoughtful as his most recent release, "I Told You" – a stunner off his upcoming album, Stark.

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Bemyoda's "I Told You" Is A Little Ditty With Outsize Emotions

Alt folk singer Bemyoda doesn’t put out much music, which is a crying shame because his music is so personal and the themes he explores universal that he could put a song every day and it would find a loving home in our hearts. But he has spoken at length about being all about the craft instead of volume. The droughts between mean that when he does release music, they come from an intensely personal place.

Bemyoda has just released “I Told You”, announcing via Instagram that it is going to be the first single from his long anticipated debut album Stark.

Full report on The Native Mag

Ones To Watch

Following in the soulful footsteps of Bez and Asa comes Bemyoda. The Nigerian singer songwriter grew up training his pipes in choirs and listening to India Arie. He made his first move with the 2013 EP Sketch and now he’s back with new songs Forever and Always. The accompanying video for Always features adorable cartoon characters acting out a story of long lost friendships over lamenting, scratchy guitars. Expect an album soon.

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Bemyoda - 'Always'

Bemyoda seems to go a little deeper into his feelings than other people.

The rising songwriter goes that little bit further, resulting in material that is poetic, autobiographical and flagrantly emotive.

New cut 'Always' lingers on the impact each relationship makes - people come, make a difference to your life and then leave, but it all adds to the experience.

Bemyoda: "People come into our lives, some stay forever, others leave. Of the ones who leave, some affect us immensely, so greatly we can see how our lives are better because of them. 'Always' is for everyone who misses someone, someone who made a difference large enough to be remembered. And it doesn't matter how they left, only how much of a difference they made".

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