By Jordan Grammer | May 30, 2024

Last week at Elsewhere, New York Native, Yaya Bey, (and her opener Saint Mela) brought the good vibes and got the crowd groovin’, blending her R&B set together with elements of funk, house music, neo-soul, and even a couple rap verses. The recent Tiny Desk performer kept us all captive for her entire time on stage. Despite admitting she has been battling the symptoms of long Covid and needing to stop momentarily at times, she gave an incredible performance that gave us chills.

The backing band was absolutely incredible and had no issues warming the crowd up, seeing Bey off, or accompanying her throughout the intimate performance. Though the live performance had a lot more jazz influence than her new album Ten Fold, it all fit together very cohesively. As for the album itself, Yaya Bey (who is widely known for her vulnerability with the listener) opens her heart up and gets closer than ever, sharing her highs and lows and making you feel like a friend catching up with her after time apart. The music is centered around the tragic loss of her father and deals with themes of grief and sadness, but that doesn’t mean that her performance was somber or melancholy in the slightest. Her own friends and family were in the building, and we felt the entire crowd come together to celebrate the life of someone near and dear to the New York music community.

Bey just kicked off a national tour, and her stellar opener, Saint Mela, announced that she has a few local shows coming up. You know the groovement will be there!

Connect with Yaya Bey on Spotify, Instagram, and her Twitter.

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