Calgary alternative R&B artist Uyemi drifts into the recesses of her mind to contemplate first love on her latest video for “Moving Quietly.” The track will appear on the artist’s forthcoming EP, Butterfly Effect, slated for release on December 8, 2021.
On “Moving Quietly,” Uyemi evokes a sensual, surreptitious world. Swirling cameras and her hushed vocals move to hypnotic beats. Inspired by memories of first love, the video layers moments of reflection in vibrant cinematic snapshots. From a boldly-hued bedroom to a rooftop at sunset and a neon-lit garage, Uyemi’s deep moods about the object of her affection are expressed through color. Traversing flashes of youthful innocence and her blossoming sexual awareness, each scene is like poetry in motion.
“There were moments in my first serious relationship where I felt like I wanted to protect it from the outside world by keeping it private,” said Uyemi. “While it brought so much joy, it also brought a lot of drama with family and friends. It got to a point where it felt best to just keep our relationship to ourselves and move quietly about our love. When everything was spiraling in other aspects of my life, everything felt peaceful when we were together. After that experience, the idea of ‘moving quietly’ sort of became a mantra for how I wanted to live my life.”
Born in Nigeria and raised in Canada, the enigmatic singer-songwriter found her voice listening to the outliers of neo-soul and contemporary R&B, from Erykah Badu and SZA to Frank Ocean and Jhené Aiko. Her debut EP, Butterfly Effect, excavates the depths of love, heartbreak, sexuality, and the battle of self. Emerging from isolation, Uyemi releases the trauma and pain of the past few years through her diaristic narratives and effortless vocal flow.
I grew up in Alberta, but spent most of my life in British Columbia – I also spent a lot of my summers in Britain as I was lucky enough to have immigrant parents with the capital to go visit our relatives. The amount of time I spent overseas makes it hard for me to say I feel fully Canadian, but it does make me feel typically Canadian as so many of us have mixed parentage. My parents defined another divide in me as I feel inexorably pulled to both science and the art; my father being a doctor and my mother being a school teacher. I studied both in university and now work on making healthcare software during the day, then write/read/draw/paint/dance in my evenings. My global wanderings, my education, and the fact that my appetite for media could be described as ‘voracious’ means my frame of reference is pretty varied. It’s hard to say that I have a favourite music genre, rather I am always seeking sounds that convey a sense earnestness an honesty.