Naomi Wachira is aware of the negativity around the World; from the constant attacks on her homeland of Kenya, to the police brutality sweeping across her new home in the states, she makes no mistake of hiding her disdain. Throughout her archive, you’ll find her contempt for xenophobia as she analyzes the beauty of human diversity. Her 2014 self-titled debut started this trend for her, deploring her frustration, with the folk twist on reggae that she carried on into her 2015 acoustic EP ‘I am Because You Are’.
Named best folk singer by Seattle Weekly, in 2013, Wachira’s now sophomore album – ‘Songs of Lament’ – again finds the relaxed reggae beat as she illustrates the hopelessness found in today’s society, with an all-inclusive promise of diversity’s virtue. Kenyan at heart and Seattle-residing, she features both of these aspects of herself in the song released so far – ‘Beautifully Human’ – recorded at the famous London Bridge studio in Washington.
With such a heavy topic, Wachira employs a pretty happy beat to accompany her sunny voice, buoyant atop of the inexplicably ignorant hatred that fuelled this song. You’d almost be fooled to think this is just another catchy folk song until her radiant tones call forward the goose bumps on your arms and send a shiver down your spine. She leaves her message reverberating in your mind, and her honest vocals a soft, comforting memory.
The album, she says, was “born out of the many tragic losses we’ve witnessed globally”, as she uses her vexation to bring the survivors together. She begins the song with a heartbreakingly simple notion, “I wish the World could believe, that my brothers and my sisters, we are meant to be.”
“We are human too”, she sings, abhorring the need to prove who she is, and why she is, with her lyrics against the beautifully antithetical blithe melody. Wachira laces each song with her hope for a better future and her positivity beams through the darkness of society’s fragmentation.
Yet another beautiful portrayal of the dystopian we live in can be found on her 2015 EP ‘I am Because You Are’ – ‘Up In Flames’. You can find it on her SoundCloud.
Author: Megan Matthews