Alari: Her delicate voice caught the attention of Nigerian music superstar Davido late last year, culminating in her signing to his Davido Music Worldwide label, making her the first woman to do so.
Liya‘s first album, Alari, arrives nine months after the release of “Melo,” and sees her push her strong voice in new directions, often at the same time, while giving an update on the topics and emotions that are swirling around her life. Her passionate shrills give the song a cinematic atmosphere in the project’s eponymous opening, in which she professes her desire in a love interest, whatever the cost of her devotion may be.
The next song is “Lakiriboto,” which features Davido and Liya in the opening session, with her ice-cold delivery contrasting with Davido’s fiery expressionism. After suffering through some hardships, Liya’s talent for creative songwriting shines through on “Years Ago,” as she reiterates her dedication to living her best life over groovy guitar riffs. “Melo” the album’s centerpiece, portrays Liya as a rising pop star in sync with the nostalgic mood of 21st-century popular music.
Liya offers supplications to a higher force over ghostly instrumentals in the album’s last tracks, which are as much a call to action as they are sincere pleas. In “Adua,” she encourages herself to be calm and confident in the face of her newfound celebrity, while “Olodumare” concludes with her thanking God for guiding her life and giving her with grace at all times so that she could finish a project that would present her fully developed voice to the world.