Best New Music: Maya Amolo Explores The Tenderness Of Love on “Cotton Candy”
Best New Music: Maya Amolo Explores The Tenderness Of Love on “Cotton Candy”

Best New Music: Maya Amolo Explores The Tenderness Of Love on “Cotton Candy”

a cross of the familiar and the experimental

In her 2020 debut EP ‘Leave Me At the Pregame,’ Maya Amolo introduced her style of sultry, contemplative R&B/Soul chock-full with lyrics that dug up relatable emotions from the dark corners. From the pained awareness of “Puddles” to the realisation of a lies-filled love on “Jokes,” the Kenyan act showed herself as an artist willing to draw inspiration from her experiences. On her 2022 debut album ‘Asali,’ the dark emotions gave way to brighter aspirations.

She retains those happy moments on her newest single “Cotton Candy,” as well as the producers that greatly impacted ‘Asali.’ SirBastien, one of the producers on ‘Asali,’ replicates his role as the other, Lukorito, takes on mixing and mastering duties. On “Cotton Candy,” Maya Amolo is the lover who wants to soak up all the stress of her beloved and leave them free of whatever pain disturbs them.

Don’t know what’s behind those eyes/The way they watching me/It’s the way/It’s the way you move I know you’ll give me anything/And everything,” Amolo sings on “Cotton Candy.” On “Drama Kwa Base” from ‘Asali,’ she contemplates her choices and her dissatisfaction with her lover. On that song, Lukorito, who also provides a verse, provides a fuller perspective as he accuses Amolo of certain wrongdoing. Here, on “Cotton Candy,” there are no conversations as Amolo is fully committed to tending to her lover’s faults and inadequacies. 


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The production on “Cotton Candy” feels familiar yet carries experimentation. Amolo has been open about the influence of SirBastien on her career, citing that “…he sent me all these beats that were just so full of joy. So just by the strength of his music I was kind of forced to be in a happier space. I couldn’t write sad lyrics to the music that he was sending me.” In her NATIVE Exclusive, Amolo delved deeper into her process as a creative.

“Cotton Candy” is undeniably R&B but SirBastien goes for a Dancehall-esque bounce buoyed by log drums that keep the track alive. Amolo’s vocals glide over the production as its solid base assists with the heavy lifting. There are also small splashes of percussion to make things as interesting as possible. With “Cotton Candy,” Amolo and SirBastien’s synergy, which began from his ‘Mango Island’ project, shows no signs of rust or weakness.

Throughout “Cotton Candy,” the optimism in Mayo Amolo’s voice never wanes. That delicate touch in her music is one of her winning powers. There’s an understanding that emotions are a universal commodity, and it is this commodity that Amolo trades with as she paints, for the listener, a picture of the care and tenderness of a person in love.