KeiyaA, one of the breakout stars of 2020 has made her first appearance on NPR’s traveling Tiny Desk (Home) series. With golden eyeshadow, fresh cornrows, and a glowing aura, the singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist presents a magical set.
Recorded at Brooklyn’s Electric Garden, KeiyaA takes viewers on a memory-ridden, musical experience as she shares a few staple tracks on her breakout album Forever Ya Girl. The release saw KeiyaA stand in her uniqueness while divulging intimate moments and tribulations. Beyond that the acclaimed album pushed her to the forefront of the indie music scene.
For her live performance, she begins with “Do Yourself a Favor,” recalling a love lost. The lush harmonies blend stunningly well with the all-Black live band. Up next is “Hvnli,” a soulful cut featuring recollections of moving through feelings of isolation and loneliness. When she dips into these lines, to put it plainly she does this quite effortlessly: “My soul loves carelessly, my God is always there for me / My love is heavenly.”
To break up the set, she shares, “Most of the work that has carried me has been the writings of Black women.” Here she mentions Jayne Cortez and Ntozake Shange as sources of inspiration for her debut album. “Finesse Without A Trace” is the whirlwind that follows. KeiyaA’s voice during this track switches up, but it’s still brilliant to watch her shift back and forth from producer to singer.
“Rectifiya” is the perfect closing track as it’s a summation of her expansive, exploratory artistry. In the wake of the woes of the world, KeiyaA’s remarkable set was healing and arrived at the perfect time.
Watch KeiyaA’s entire Tiny Desk (Home) concert below.
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