In today’s age, technology has flooded our lives with content. Caught in the mire are today’s musicians who champion an artform that’s more widely distributed than any other throughout human history. And we, more often than not, overlook the music created by unfamiliar faces because it’s challenging. We’d rather have an easy listen, a known quantity to skim through while we think about something else.
Hearing is easy, but listening is difficult. Welcome to “Why We Like It”, where we rebuke the trends in favor of thoughtful analysis and underknown sounds.
Dyo – “Arena”
How We Found It:
I first became introduced with London-based Nigerian artist Dyo when her team submitted “Arena” to us through our portal at SubmitHub. It was her first submission and also happens to be her debut single. As I dug, however, I realized that I’d actually been familiar with Dyo’s work for a few years now – but through her work as a songwriter.
Why We Like It:
I need to start this section by saying that I haven’t been able to get this song out of my head for the last 6 hours. It’s honestly hard to decide which part of “Arena” is the most catchy – the pre-hook? The chorus? The melodic verses? As expected from a songwriter with a resume like Dyo, the lyrics are memorable but avoid redundancy and wastefulness. Every word counts. But what goes beyond what you might expect from a longtime ghostwriter’s solo debut is Dyo’s vocal performance. Her voice pours out with clarity, distinctive intonation, and self-assuredness. Dyo may have made a living out of writing for others, but I couldn’t imagine this song and these words being performed by anyone else.
From the Artist:
When I’m writing for myself rather than for someone else, I can make it as personal as I want – there’s no restrictions or limitations. The most challenging part is digging deep and having something interesting to say. I like my songs to be real and meaningful so if it’s not my story I’d like it to be someone else’s and this kind of inspiration doesn’t always come to mind, so it takes a lot more time.” – Dyo