Review: Niyorah – Rising Sun

Niyorah Olivacce showed an interest in music at a young age, whilst listening to his father and uncle’s roots reggae collection. By age 16, he was performing in the streets of Savan. At the age 18, Niyorah explains, “Reggae was one of the greatest influences on my life. I cling to the music for some mystical reason.” Niyorah was arguably born into music and would always hold a passion for it. His grandfather was an award-winning vocalist who sang gospel and Negro spirituals, while his aunt, Ophelia Olivacce Marie, continues to be heralded as “Dominica’s Songbird” for her vocal prowess. 

Niyorah has put in the miles and performed at events and festivals throughout the USA, Caribbean, Hawaii, Venezuela and Guam. Performing at events such as Reggae Rising, the Baltimore African American Heritage Music festival and the Sierra Nevada World Music festival, Niyorah has shared the stage with such artists as Bunny Wailer, Marcia Griffiths, Erika Badu, Buju Banton, Sizzla, Capleton, Junior Reid, Junior Kelly, Eve, Glen Washington and Midnite Band. Niyorah is back with ‘Rising Sun’ and ive picked a few songs to review.

First Track off the album, interesting start! The riddim although clearly a roots reggae construction, is very unique with what sounds like a piano and I-Three’s style harmonies. Niyorahs voice is raw and gritty and has a comfortable flow throughout the reggae and delivers his messages well. A nice way to start the album

Rising Sun – With house of Shem
Title track, very roots undertones here with what sounds like an Augustus Pablo melodica in the distance. Positive lyrics are chanted throughout with clear rastafari positivity. A good wandering bassline sounds weighty if you listen on a good sound system! ‘Jah is like the rising sun’. I particularly like the horn line in this record, it drives home that authentic sounds of reggae.

Rastafari Is My Guide
A revamped ‘Real Rock’ Riddim mixed with funky 80’s guitar sounds along with strong percussion instrumentals. There is quite a lot going on which makes it difficult to concentrate on the messages of Niyorah. The delivery of vocals from Niyorah is clean and could give many rappers a run for their money.

Niyorah Rising SunMedia Portray
Probably my favorite record on the album, mainly because I agree with the premise of the record and how Niyorah paints us a picture. “life is what the media portray, bad vibes is what the media portray” I am glad an artist has finally tackled the issue of a media controlled society and how the media can effect young people. A very simple riddim with nice harmonies to accompany.

War Is Not The Answer
Another social issue is addressed in this record, towards to back of the album the records are more striped back with nice brass and use of the likes of the saxophone, simple constructed drum sequences and also nice bouncy basslines really give the right platform for Niyorah to deliver his messages. Seriously think Nioryah should team up with the likes of Kabaka Pyramid and do a Rap record, his carefully crafted lines are not intimidating for all ears to hear and keep the listener interested in the record.

Here To Serve You
I particularly like this record because its very different from what weve experienced on the album already, its more of a Dub Record. Rippling vibrations of bass and echoes of the drums as the symbols clatter, A delay/echo would have polished the tune off in a King Tubby style.  More positive messages from Niyorah, a consistently positive album throughout.

Medical Ganja
Many reggae-based songs contain some form of reference to ‘Blazing’ or promoting weed. Admittedly it can become tedious with the constant preaching from some artists who don’t talk about anything else, however, with the world becoming more accepting of Marijuana and some places legalising it, Niyorah has created a song which discusses medical Cannabis and lists the benefits. Although this is one persons belief its ultimately refreshing from some artists who’s message is just ‘ Smoke Weed… go.. Do it now’.  “There are people dying with cancer, marijuana has proven to be an answer, yet farmer man cant get no sponsor from the political monster

Dirty Streets
To finish the album something even more different, a riddim that reminds me of some Bashment style riddim, the complexity of the record is focused in a hyped up Bashment/Dancehall feel. “walk away from shedding Blood” is the key quote from this record.

The 13-track album is very varied and is difficult to pigeonhole Niyorah into one specific sound/genre. An incredibly positive album with constant positivity and chants of Rasta makes easy listening. As mentioned, some of the riddims are a bit ‘Out Deh’ and crazy but non-the less, interesting and keeps you hooked throughout.

Released: 4/21/2015

01. Calculate
02. Workday
03. Rising Sun feat. House of Shem
04. Mosquito Ah Bite Me
05. Here To Serve You
06. Media Portray
07. Let Love Flow
08. Rainforesst
09. Love You Same Way
10. Medical Ganja feat. Ickarus
11. War Is Not The Answer
12. Rastafari Is My Guide
13. Dirty Streets (Bonus Track)