Sandra St. Victor Offers A Breath Of Fresh Air With ‘Oya’s Daughter’ [Review]

Soul vocalist-songwriter Sandra St. Victor is floating in the winds of change. The well-traveled artist (who has worked with The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ziggy Marley, and Curtis Mayfield among others) is dropping her Shanachie Entertainment debut album Oya’s Daughter — its title coming from Nigerian mythology in which St. Victor is claiming herself to be the offspring of Oya, the warrior goddess of the wind. “Oya is the Orisha of change, storms. She is the owner of the winds. Wind is symbolic of the power of thought. My daily movement asks Oya to lift the words of my songs into the breeze, on the air,” St. Victor explained. And what you’ll get on Oya’s Daughter is a breath of that fresh air, which are Sandra’s thoughts put to a jazzy, funky backdrop to be carried by the air currents to your ears for some rather sweet listening.

The set begins with “Is This Thing On,” a tribal welcome as if you’re being greeted by Oya herself and her clan. She then has a chuckle at fate’s expense on “Fate’s Laughter,” a mid-tempo groove, with intermittent laughter. That groove continues with jammin’ synths that’ll make you head to the dance floor on “Grateful,” where Sandra gives thanks for the struggle and the inner strength it provides on an 80’s-inspired partner dance groove reminiscent of a Cheryl Lynn record. Sandra makes use of her outstanding range on her brand of smooth funk in tracks like “What Have We Learned” and the sassy, Parliament-Funkadelic-esque "WTF Opus Pt. 2." The set is full of relatable and social content; take "Stuff Mama Used To Say" where she recalls the life of anyone who was raised by a caring, involved mother. "I Prefer (Oya)" is proposal after proposal of well wishes for society: "I prefer each child grows up knowing their relevance," a line in verse one states.

Sandra St. Victor has been in the game for a minute, although mostly behind the scenes assisting other artists in their awesome stage shows and recordings. “I've always sang my life in my songs. These most recent years, in relative silence, I've raised two beautiful daughters. This time was for me more creative observation at life and my place in it as an artist,” she explained. And Oya’s Daughter certainly does that; through St. Victor’s observations, Oya is like a hearty gumbo on a cold winter evening: it’ll leave you warm, cozy, and satisfied.

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