Undoubtedly one of South Africa’s fastest-rising amapiano stars, Aymos (real name Babili Amos Shilihas) has released his highly anticipated debut album, “Yimi Lo”.
“Yimi Lo”, which means “This is who I am”, is inspired by his journey and experiences in the music industry and sees the young star team up with the king of amapiano, Kabza De Small and South African DJ heavyweights Major League DJz, Josiah De Disciple and DBN Gogo.
Aymos started working on the album in 2019.
“The album is inspired by the struggles I went through during lockdown, at a time where I thought I'd break through into the industry because of songs I'd contributed to and made that were booming worldwide, namely eMcimbini and Zaka.
“’Yimi Lo’ is the embodiment of my survival, gaining confidence to rise up again. All the songs are a reflection of who I am and what I stand for.”
The 26-year-old, who was born in Tembisa on the East Rand, said he had a clear idea of what he wanted the entire album to be like when he went into the studio.
“I want people to be able to identify me and my sound. I know that the project might not be for the street or hardcore. I envision listeners playing it daily without skipping a song because every song has a powerful message behind it.
“Above all, I'd like to break the stereotype of people perceiving a great album as one that has topped the charts. I wanted ’Yimi Lo’ to feel like a classic.”
“’Yimi Lo’ reveals the many layers of me, as a person and an artist. Having done a lot of features and collaborations prior to this, I am stepping out on my own and carving my own path. I want people to experience the true musicianship in me.”
The rising star, who is also a farmer, describes the lyrics as relevant to the times.
“The lyrical content is very Afrocentric, thoughtful, and loving with a human factor and less of trends”.
The inclusion of Afro-pop in the album was a challenge for Aymos, who also found sticking to 14 tracks difficult.
“One of the challenges I had while putting this project together was choosing which songs to put on the album. There were so many beautiful songs but I could have only 14 tracks.
“Another challenge was the arrangement of the album as a final product because I incorporated Afro-pop. But it all worked out in the end.”
On working with people like Major League DJz, Focalistic and Josiah De Disciple for the album, he explained: “I teamed up with people who were aligned with the vision of the project, not for popularity but for work ethic and creativity.”
For Aymos, ’Yimi Lo’ is a sign that his hard work was not in vain.
He said hoped that the album would teach people to believe in themselves and to not allow trends to shift their focus from what they really loved.