Ady Suleiman has always been significant to me. I’ve been a fan since I first became obsessed with his debut single “So Lost” back in 2015.
The feel good banger (though a juxtaposed one when taking into consideration the lyrical content) has a jolty groove and a simple but fat and comforting brass section – it’s kind of like a warm, home-cooked but also somehow sexy shepherd’s pie of a song. However, it is also an eloquent and cultivated one as we are introduced to Suleiman’s soulful and jazz influenced vocals for the first time.
“So Lost”, with the wonderfully cheeky and heartfelt “Need Somebody To Love“, plus two more tracks have been taken from earlier EPs and combined with more recent ones to create Suleiman’s long-awaited debut album Memories, which was released on the 9th of March via Kartel Records.
I was initially suspicious about whether the decision to include the old tunes on the record was made due to Suleiman lacking new material that matched the superiority of his old ones, but I was put at ease when I discovered that the new songs are just as solid, (the fact Suleiman told The Independent he had “f**king loads of material” also helped).
A new repeated play for me is “Say So“, which has an instrumental very similar to that of “So Lost”. In other cases, this might make me tut but in Suleiman’s circumstance, I can’t criticize because I listened to the album for a week and didn’t realize the comparison until listening in depth for this review.
Anyway “Say So” manipulates backing vocals to add an electronic element, Suleiman’s other harmonies emphasise the cuter tones within his voice, and his lyrics do the same but in regards to his endearing personality – “need to find my confidence but I don’t have it at the moment, where did it go, I’m only like this when I see you“.
Another favorite newcomer of mine is the gorgeous and surprisingly sunny sounding “If I Die“, the waltz-like rhythm is dreamy with a quick repetitive guitar movement and a jazzy string part.
In this emotion-filled message to his mother, Suleiman again takes advantage of his ability to create heart fluttering vocal layers, this is particularly evident towards the end of the second verse with an adlib reminiscent of Marverick Sabre, followed by angelic falsetto harmonies on the lyrics “there’s no need to cry, thank you for giving me life“.
In light of his newfound confidence in speaking out about the mental health issues he has struggled with, plus becoming an advocate for the charity CALM, Suleiman’s debut is lyrically relatable and honest – especially “So Lost”.
The album is structured to consecutively contrast the vibes of each song, reflecting the reality of the emotional turbulence we all experience throughout our lives – alongside making the album truly enjoyable to listen to as a record itself with no need to fragment it into our own playlists or for skips.
Suleiman selects characteristics from all the coolest genres such as soul and reggae, then throws a bit of pop in the mix to produce edgy yet harmless and accessible music which is appealing to many.
With the songs on Memories being composed from when he was 18 to his current age of 24, he described the album to Urban Soul as “the greatest hits of that period of *his* life“. His patient fans and I think they’re better than great. Purchase Ady Suleiman’s Memories album on iTunes here, and stream it below.
Words by Hannah Rodriguez