The joy in listening to Yinka Bernie is not in trying to identify who he sounds like. Instead, it is in just listening patiently and with rapt attention as the whole notes crystalise. In Bernie, if you listen keenly, you will hear multiple voices merging into one another like a mixture of friendly fluids. However, even with a keen listener—able to screen his mind—the game of pinning the similarity of Yinka Bernie’s voice to familiar voices remains dominant.
The singer, songwriter and producer is still searching for his own true voice. The more he searches, the closer he gets to find it. And his latest EP, Façades, when put together side by side with his other projects, becomes a visible proof of this.
With Façades, Yinka Bernie does not even need to try hard to take control of his own sound. All he needs to do is to just put his voice on and everything falls into place.
Façades is a very short project, containing just three songs. Yinka Bernie got support from his contemporaries; Idris King, Amaarae and AYLØ on “Epistles” and “Rockstar” respectively.
The EP opens with the pleading “Again” which sees Bernie in his most romantic moment on the tape. The singer puts his ego aside, recognising that it is the only way he and his lover would ever get back together. The sense of urgency in Bernie’s voice becomes guarded such that it does not sound desperate over the synths, soft drums and well-placed hums: An instrumentation upon which his cruise is established.
This cruise continues on the Idris King and Amaarae-assisted “Epistles”. “She put me out of my misery / all I need is your loving / stroke game like damn! / I’m what you call a real man” King raps over similar drum patterns as found on “Again”. Amaarae also renders smooth and compelling transitions in-between her dreamy falsetto and relaxing melody.
When Bernie announces himself on “Rockstar” it becomes slightly deceiving. While the synths and faint rattles manage to find itself, here again, the thumping drum overshadowed its presence. “Rockstar” leaves the calming territory the earlier two tracks managed to stay within. Yet, it still remains ever so catchy with Bernie firing off the hook on a high note while AYLØ is keen on taking his chances.
“Don’t wanna leave when that nigga has to go,
Talk is cheap but I won’t mind if you talk.”
There was never a time when Yinka Bernie sounded like someone else in Façade more than on “Rockstar”. However, he is quick to transition to another, which is not too different from his original voice. And this gives him the rare ability to be him and many other people at the same time.
Listen to Facades