Imani Wj Wright is one of our generation’s rising stars. And with new single ‘Lately’, it’s clear why Imani shines so brightly.
Imani is no normal 19-year-old from Baltimore. He has been mentored by Grammy-respected greats like Khalid and Bilal, and has even penned an opera. Yes, you read it right – an opera. A talented young artist, Imani’s soulful voice and fresh, thoughtful treatment of difficult themes showcase his ability to write awe-inspiring and cathartic music.
‘Lately’ is laden with sweet serenity. The velvety vocal melodies swathe over you like the warm, welcome embrace of a loved one. The textures created through the balladry of the piano and the romantic guitar riffs make this track one that you can revisit countless times without ever getting enough. Each subsequent listen transports you to a calm, tranquil place from which you never want to depart. But once you truly hear the lyrics, you fully realise how emotional this song really is.
‘Lately’ is a story not often told. It comes from deep inside the mind of someone suffering with mental health issues, but who is worried that they’re hurting a loved one. Lines like “Don’t let my down moments break us apart” reveal a sense of pain that is hard to digest. But what makes ‘Lately’ hopeful is the sheer amount of love and depth that lies in Imani’s vocal delivery. His voice, heavy with guilt and frustration, but also with love and devotion, is a naked display of mental health struggles – the fear of inflicting pain on loved ones, but not being able to make the rain cloud above your head blow away.
The range of Imani’s voice is incredible in this track. Calming, gushing waves of feeling emanate from his performance as they carry us from plain to plateau. We really do lose ourselves in the story of the song.
Heartbreakingly pure, ‘Lately’ shows us how love and pain go hand-in-hand.
Check out the track here
Review by Alicia Carpenter