Yinka Bernie doesn’t complicate himself at all, appearing only when necessary. The simplicity of his personality reflects in his airy music and relatable writing.
Nigerian music is known to be bold and vibrant. Either through layered choruses or upbeat production, the idea is always to make the listener move. But music is experienced in different moods and under different circumstances. Couple years back, the rise of the famed alté scene was accompanied with innovation that added a different dynamic and variety to our music. This variety includes smooth, nostalgic sounds.
Since 2017, we have come across several interesting artists that have emerged from this scene, crafting music for people who wish to experience different feelings — feelings that go beyond parties and touch things closer to home. One artist capable of evoking these feelings is none other than Yinka Bernie.
The last time I came across Yinka Bernie was at a supermarket in Ilupeju. Clad in a WFLSNCREAM tanktop, some shorts, and slides, he went about his business unceremoniously. He doesn’t complicate himself at all, appearing only when necessary. The simplicity of his personality reflects in his airy music and relatable writing. He made waves for production work on Amaarae’s The Angel You Don’t Know, but even more so for the heartfelt “It’s Okay to Cry” which features Joyce Olong.
“It’s Okay to Cry” made it on his newest project, Something New. This project came after he teased Your Canvas, and judging by the project title, he aims to appease his fans with new music to occupy them in the meantime. Across the project’s 12 minutes, Yinka Bernie keeps us in a smooth serenade accompanied by simple guitar riffs, drums, and keys. This provides a sweet spot where his voice can exist as he drowsily relays his vocals.
Records like “Very Simple” and “Smile Before You Sleep” relay simple emotions in plain ways. Feelings that populate the human condition — love, vulnerability, trust — are easily picked up from his songwriting. This ability is what sets Yinka Bernie apart from everyone else. He seems like your neighborhood friend who speaks your mind where you can’t, and this relatability is his superpower as seen in the “YB Why? Interlude”.