Watch : Shay Lia scorns an ex lover in the visuals for the Sango produced ‘The Cycle

Following tracks such as ‘Blue’, ‘What’s Your Problem?’ and ‘Funky Thang’, as well as collaborating with the likes of KAYTRANADA, STWO, BADBADNOTGOOD and XO, French-Djiboutian singer Shay Lia has returned with ‘The Cycle’, a new collaboration with acclaimed US producer SANGO. A refreshing change of pace for Shay Lia, ‘The Cycle’ sees Shay Lia try her hand at a more experimental tone, leaving the pop inspired bounce of previous singles on the dancefloor for something more emotionally affecting.

Opening to swathes of atmospheric textures, the Montreal native soulfully ruminates on a love turned sour. Feeling more and more delicate with each word, Shay Lia’s vocal floats and weaves between breathy synths, before making way for ominous, 808-heavy rhythmics from Sango that perfectly offset Lia’s heartfelt delivery. Exploring themes of rising above the actions of an ex-lover, ‘The Cycle’ is an unorthodox anthem of empowerment, exulting yourself from toxic situations and living a better life. The track’s intimate visual allows Shay’s vocal to take centre stage too, performing the track seductively while obscuring herself behind curtains or underwater. Co-directed and co-produced by Shay Lia herself, the visuals give an intriguing insight into the breadth of Shay Lia’s talent; a set of skills that extend far beyond the landscape of music.

Only a hint at the breadth of sonics that Shay Lia is capable of, ‘The Cycle’ takes everything expected of the young artist’s sound and flips it upside down. A contemplative, unconventionally warm track, ‘The Cycle’ places the dynamic talent of Shay Lia on centre stage. Stripping back the production to its raw elements to allow her unique voice to shine through, the track is a startling example of the kind of progressive takes on modern R&B that are set to help propel Shay Lia further into the soul stratosphere throughout 2019.