The Nigerian recording artist and singer-songwriter Y.X.L. Ayo highlights the meaningful intro track, "G.R.A.," off his latest 6-track EP, 'IBUKUN.'
Leader of the creative group Young and Living, YXL Ayo prides himself on his artistic versatility that offers a nod to his Nigerian heritage through British r&b and hip-hop. Through various features on BBC Introducing, Reprezent Radio, West Side Radio, and many others, YXL Ayo is truly making his way around the music industry without an end in sight.
Regarding his latest 6-track EP, 'IBUKUN,' which translates to 'blessed/blessing' in Yoruba, YXL Ayo goes back to his Nigerian roots with the project's afro-fusion sonic inspiration. Highlighting the EP's intro track, "G.R.A.," YXL Ayo mentioned that the song is a tribute to his late grandmother, who unfortunately passed away from Covid-19.
"G.R.A." opens with a gentle array of guitars that swoon our ears with their lush and chilling sounds. As a mid-tempo and groovy afrobeat drum arrangement begins kicking its way through our speakers, YXL Ayo enters the track and begins to enlighten us on the many blessings that life has granted him while inviting his brothers and sisters to relish life's peaks.
As he jumps into the first verse, YXL Ayo pays a sweet tribute to his late grandmother, who's shining brighter than ever in the heavens. Through his meaningful and heartfelt lyrics, YXL Ayo truly makes the entire listening experience incredibly savory while allowing the listeners to realize the blessings that we're gifted with each and every day.
Allow YXL Ayo's latest single, "G.R.A.," to remind you to never take anything for granted. Find the single on all digital streaming platforms.
Welcome to BuzzMusic YXL Ayo, we adore the optimism and heart you've placed into your recent single, "G.R.A." What inspired you to pay tribute to your late grandmother through song?
I couldn’t not pay tribute to my Grandmother, she was an amazing selfless woman who touched the hearts of many. I learned so many life lessons from her. A lot of people could learn a lot from her life.
Even though "G.R.A." is a tribute to your grandmother who's passed on, why did you choose to keep the rest of your lyrics so optimistic and positive? Rather than offering a sadder and more emotional lyrical theme?
The reason why I kept the lyrics positive was because that's how my Grandmother was as a person. I also wanted the listeners to feel warm and feel like they are at home.
Did you create the production for "G.R.A.?" Why did you want the sonics within the song to be so warm, uplifting, and groovy?
JBJ produced the track. I connected with the beat instantly! And the lyrics just flowed out of me! It was almost as if my Grandmother was singing through me. It was a very different experience.
How does "G.R.A." set the tone for the rest of the EP, 'IBUKUN?' Why did you choose to place this song at the beginning of the project?
My last project was quite toxic so I wanted to start this project with a positive vibe to let people know that I have healed and that I am in a better place mentally.
I want to do more shows and hopefully do a tour!