Saràyah, “Feel the Vibe” (Basin Street Records)

New Orleans is known for the diverse cultures that comprise the pulse of the city. That diversity transfers over to the rich musical tapestry of the city as well, with the sounds of Africa, Europe and Latin America blending together into the jazz and brass band sounds the city is best known for. On singer Saràyah’s Basin Street Records debut, Feel the Vibe, she draws on the city’s connection to the Caribbean, creating a sound that lies at the intersection between pop, dance, dancehall and reggaeton.


Feel the Vibe is sure to draw comparisons to early works of Rihanna, which makes sense considering that she counts both the Bajan beauty and Bob Marley amongst her musical influences. However, Saràyah quickly establishes her own voice thanks to her self-penned lyrics. Over the course of the album’s nine tracks, she displays a sunny and optimistic outlook, even when delving into a failed relationship like on “Fire & Ice.” Despite issuing a stern warning to her wayward lover, she comes across as more a triumphant survivor who is determined to move on than the bitter and scorned victim.

“Start to Finish” is a dance-pop tune that serves as a pep talk to anyone in need of an extra push. Meanwhile, songs like “Blaze It Up” and “Celebrate” provide the perfect soundtrack for a night out with friends. If you’re searching for music to drown your sorrows in, then this album ain’t it. In Saràyah’s world, it’s all about living life to the fullest, self-empowerment and love.