Speakea5y Circles Album Cover
The cover for musician Speakea5y’s retro-synth-trap-rock-hip-hop-R&B debut album, ‘Circles.’

Band: Speakea5y

Album: ‘Circles’

The fundamental issues in modern, everyday life can at times prevent people from reaching their maximum potential. Emerging Miami and Brooklyn-based alt-R&B-hip-hop artist, Speakea5y, has admirably decided to powerfully decided to not preach about the wrongs of society in his music, and instead use his provocative lyrics to unify everyone beyond their petty differences, and recognize their common systemic enemy. With his newly released seven-track debut album, ‘Circles,’ which is now available on all streaming platforms, the musician stunningly draws in the solar system as a metaphor for incisive social commentary and revolutionary messaging.

Speakea5y’s attention to the cyclicality of life and focus to the stars on his engaging songs serves as a vital symbol of political awakening, social consciousness and an understanding of people’s place in the cycles that shape their lives. The purpose of ‘Circles’ is to open the eyes of the listener to the injustices they overlook or take for granted, including income inequality, accomplice capitalism, sexism, racism, religious fanaticism and war. The record is a revolution, as it encourages the audience to be the light that escapes the gravity of those transgressions, and fearlessly trek into the dark unknown to fight those inequalities.

‘Circles,’ which features an interesting high-concept retro-synth-trap fusion, is a ambitious and profound celebration of how people fight back against prejudice. Speakea5y, who’s one of the Millennial generation’s most endearing and vital activists, proves that he won’t ignore the toxic patterns that drive modern society in his newly released songs, which he has been working on for almost five years.

The artist proves that he’s a true voice of change and revolution with the soothing opening entry on ‘Circles,’ which is titled ‘Apollo.’ The song’s narrative begins to take the album’s listeners from the sun through the darkness of the solar system. The R&B-trap-inspired track perfectly blends pulsating beats with Speakea5y’s melodic vocals.

‘Apollo’s compelling lyrics focus on how people can become paralyzed by fear and depression, and must contend with only having a slim chance of escaping the oppression that culture places on them. The lyrics also question why everything in life seems to be complicated. Speakea5y also points out that freedom isn’t truly free, as the government’s propaganda tries to hold people down. However, he’s determined to overcome the status quo, and reclaim his, and his generation’s independence.

‘Apollo’ then transitions into Speakea5y’s debut record’s sophomore track, ‘Mercury,’ which features BluLine, and is one of the LP’s best entries. Named for both the first planet and the god of communication and messaging, ‘Mercury’ features pulsating rhythm that feature a thriving bassline and sleek percussion. The retro synth instrumentation and hip-hop-rap beats, which are reminiscent of Kendrick Lamar, drive the exploration of how the media affects society, as well as the way society consumes the news.

While Speakea5y powerfully notes on ‘Mercury’ that the public can’t always change the rules or the powers that be, he declares that he wants to find a way for Millennials to overcome the older generations that haven’t let them dream. Instead of continuously living vicariously through internet and propaganda, the artist urges young adults to push for their freedom, and lead a culture war.

Another notable tune on ‘Circles’ is its fourth entry, ‘Terra,’ which features Keith Johns. The ingeniously gritty song chronicles the way the Earth formed and evolved, especially the emergence and potential demise of the human civilization. Opening with a creatively unique computerized voice, the track’s surreal lyrics encourage its listeners to go to that place where their mind is free, and to chase their dreams.

Speakea5y’s debut album begins to wind down with its penultimate tune, the hip-hop-driven ‘Mars,’ which was written about his 24th birthday, and serves as a way for him to explain how his passion helped him transcend the grind of a day job. He powerfully proclaims that even on his birthday, he wants to aim higher for himself than just making money, which people who didn’t support his dream told him is the sole object worth striving for in life. In an R&B-driven melody, the song also impressively notes how the continuous cycle of making money keeps people complacent in a society that thrives on exploiting its workers.

‘Circles’ ends with another one of its most memorable entries, ‘Terminus,’ which features Chidlet Pierre.’ Driven by a slower instrumentation and soulful beats, the track, which only clocks in at one minute and 44 seconds, features Speakea5y’s emoting intriguing hip-hop vocals. He passionately croons about his discontent that people are trying to hold him back, as he doesn’t want to be shackled to society’s expectations. Destined to be a commercial hit if the artist expands it as a remix, the tune is his final declaration of independence as a forward thinker and activist on his debut LP.

Speakea5y’s intellectual debut record is a thought-provoking, dynamic compilation of seven tracks that view life from the human and divine perspectives. The musician’s honest and brazen insight into the philosophical and soulful need for people to overcome society’s push to hold them down and pursue their dreams encourages them to maximize their full potential.

‘Circles’ is full of hypnotic instrumentation, as well as impressive harmonies and rhythms, that perfectly blend together to drive the creative vocals. The unique lyricism proves how perceptive and rational Speakea5y is, especially when it comes to questioning people’s existence in a seemingly existential euphoria, as he ponders society’s modern reality. He powerfully encourages his listeners to take charge of their own fate, so that they don’t become controlled by the fate imposed upon them.

For more information on Speakea5y, visit his official website, as well as his Spotify, Apple Music, SoundCloud, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

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By Karen Benardello

As a graduate of LIU Post with a B.F.A in Journalism, Print and Electronic, Karen Benardello serves as ShockYa's Senior Movies & Television Editor. Her duties include interviewing filmmakers and musicians, and scribing movie, television and music reviews and news articles. As a New York City-area based journalist, she's a member of the guilds, New York Film Critics Online and the Women Film Critics Circle.

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