22-year-old London singer and songwriter Nilüfer Yanya makes music that brings together R&B, jazz and pop in warm, familiar, yet refreshing ways. With several EPs to her credit, Yanya’s emotionally packed nonchalant music brings to mind the songs of Sade and Lianne La Havas.
The effortless charm of “Thanks 4 Nothing” pulls you closely in with a shadowy bossa beat, jazzy guitar chords, and Yanya’s emotions about a failed relationship. “Is this the end?/I don’t think we can be friends.” she sings in the chorus. She continues: “I’m just being honest ’cause I don’t want to make things better / Thanks for nothing, lasts forever / And even when we were together / Well, let’s be honest.” There is a stunning tension in the song between the subtle laid-backness of her singing and the emotional honestly of the lyrics.
Yanya made the BBC’s Sound of 2018 longlist, and was recently added to the 2018 #NPRSlingshot class for good reason: she’s an exciting new singer-songwriter who songs sound wise beyond her years, with a range of musical influences that she draws from to create songs about the complexity of relationships.
Below, listen to “Thanks 4 Nothing.”
Gotta Hear Song Of The Week, Nilufer Yanya, NPR slingshot