Since 2020’s Madison Tapes, Yaya Bey has been one of R&B’s most vital and bright storytellers. Today the New York-based artist has announced Ten Fold, the follow-up to her acclaimed breakthrough LP Remember Your North Star. It will arrive on Ninja Tune offshoot Big Dada on May 10th. The record’s first single, “chasing the bus” brandishes Yaya Bey’s impressive multi-layered songwriting talents, each word and melody carefully weighed and attuned to whomever listens on the other side.
“‘chasing the bus’ has a double meaning,”Bey says of her new single. “On the surface, it’s about being taken for granted in a romantic relationship. Being slept on and underestimated. But beyond the surface, it’s a metaphor for how I feel in so many spaces in the industry and it’s sort of an affirmation for myself or a reminder to let go of validation or the lack thereof. To exist regardless because I have to.”
On Ten Fold, Bey stretches her dynamics as a vocalist and wordsmith even further, turning new pages on her identity, her desires and her search for inner truth. In equal measure, her sharp commentary on community and the world at large are more incisive than ever. If first impressions mean anything, it seems as if Ten Fold finds that sweet spot between the sprawling documentary style of Madison Tapes and the musical self-portrait in the vein of Remember Your North Star. Bey: “I usually try to have this whole thematic thing when I go into albums. But this album I just made as life was happening.”