C’nky Siwela – My Name Is In the Echo
Slices of pure pop bliss like this seldom come along anymore. In the post-Internet, post-Napster, post-record industry world, music fans have increasingly parried with their diminishing expectations as increasingly desperate performers and the remaining gatekeepers pander for any remaining attention. Artists like C’nky Siwela are a direct rebuke to that decline. It’s nothing less than heartening that, from the apparent ashes of a world anyone over thirty once knew, vital artists like this can cut against the headwinds of public misfortune and find their place in an ever remote firmament of stars. His latest single, “My Name Is in the Echo”, has style to burn and coolly confident sophistication more commonly heard in much more experienced performers. The production presents his voice and songwriting in such a way that it works on multiple levels.
Siwela’s jazz influences give him a fresh, unorthodox approach to melody that imbues his vocal lines with gentle swells of emotion. He weaves his voice around an assortment of shimmering guitar fills and provides a melodic counterpoint to the imaginative six string work. His phrasing has an intensely rhythmic quality and his African stress patterns differ enough from their English and American counterparts that it creates an interesting musical contrast. Unexpected things happen listening to “My Name Is in the Echo” thanks to Siwela’s steady, but unobtrusive, guidance. He chooses his moments to shine wisely and otherwise plays to the song’s strengths.
The lyrical content is a combination of standard pop song fare coupled with a few moments of genuine insight, but Siwela’s vocal interpretation transforms it into something greater. “My Name is in the Echo” has a pronounced anthemic quality, but it isn’t cheesy AOR targeted clichés piled on top of some quasi-orchestral pop rock skeleton. Instead, Siwela’s intimate style as a performer elevates the lyric and conjures its drama from the sweat and marrow of life itself. The musicians, particularly the guitarist, turn in a first class performance. The aforementioned fills give the song an added propulsive thrust and often embody the song’s emotions. Other moments come, however, when the guitar is unleashed for longer phrases that shoot across the song’s surface like bolts of electricity. Keyboards and synthesizers play a significant role in the song, but they bring much color to the track and the irresistible tempo is certain to make the track a club favorite anywhere it’s played.
“My Name is in the Echo” has substance and entertainment value in equal measure thanks to its well-rounded conception and C’nky Siwela’s flawless execution. This is a rare bit of electronic dance pop capable of maintaining a toehold in a variety of genres while nevertheless meeting all the standards of its own. If you are adverse, for reasons of personal bias, towards giving the genre a sincere try, purchasing C’nky Siwela’s latest single is a good introduction to its possibilities. For Siwela, the future is full of possibility.