Album in Focus: The Gift By Aurah Ariko

Aurah Ariko is a Zimbabwean-born singer/songwriter who currently resides in Edmonton Alberta, Canada and she has been described as having her music deeply rooted in storytelling and creating stories that people can relate to in their life. She hasn't been officially in the music industry for long but she's put a few impressive singles in recent times that have culminated in her debut project "The Gift". 

The Gift is my very first Album, it’s a body of work I poured my all into. I really pushed myself out of my comfort zone and touched on issues that were close to my heart, and also issues I know everyone can relate to.

The Gift is a 7 track album, which might've been longer but some singles initially said to be on the project didn't make the final cut. Yet right the first listen, "The Gift" is indeed a gift. The very first striking thing is Aurah's vocal talent. The Gift is an RnB project at heart and Aurah is soulful in her delivery which gives the feeling of just a tender care for the art.

Honestly pursuing your dream in Music and Art in general starting out it’s really a labour of Love, it’s hard in the beginning people will ask when ur next song is out you can’t tell them I’m out of money and can’t afford studio time or videos. But what I have learned is your Gift doesn’t wait for Money. The Gift is given, you come into this world with it, all you have to do is BELIEVE and the rest will fall into place. Someone once said break down the word believe into BE” and “LIVE”. Thats all I did I began to Be Aurah Ariko and Live her Dream and all I had was a dream no money but all fell in place and we’re here now. Hope this inspires someone out there to go for their Dreams and Goals.

Besides Ohhh Baby which features Oozeela, Aurah goes at it alone. The relatable storytelling and vocal delivery make for compelling sound. Kufema is the opening track on the project and it is a rich and soulful tune that talks about how being alive is the most important thing. It talks about how we shouldn't get too lost in the everyday struggles because every breath we can still take is a victory.

Unondifunga asks the question do you think about me or do you miss me? This is a question often everyone has asked at one point in time. How the everyday is blended into Aurah's storytelling is one of the things that makes her music so beautiful. Back To Our Love is slightly up tempo with Aurah's same smooth vocals. "I want to go back just like Bonnie & Clyde..." The Gift has so much for everyone but a lot for the lovers and it doesn't get too caught up in the highs or the lows.

Misodzi is a journey down memory lane and it talks about the pain of past love. Aurah speaks about how it's only tears in her life because of the pain love has brought her. She wishes she had known better and this makes for a poignant song.

Ohhh Baby has a soft tempo that sounds almost West African in nature but then those Zimbabwean and Dominican influences are dominant. The track was produced by Tatenda Viya under Vialy Studios who also worked on a lot of the album and it's a perfect matching of vocals and sound. Oozeela is described as one of Dominica’s treasures with his fresh sound and a soberse voice and it's clear why he's held in such high regard.

Rima is beautifully poignant and Ngoma all bring amazing African sounds that bring this project together. Aurah Ariko has put together a solid body of sound for a first album. It's a project you can listen to with no skips and it has so much replay value.

Greedysouth rating: 7.2/10

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