Symphani Soto’s Debut EP “I Am” Brings Back Lyrical Transparency to the Heart of Music

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 Photo: MEFeater, Jermain Asiedu

Photo: MEFeater, Jermain Asiedu

Symphani Soto’s self-made journey began by flipping her talent of makeup artistry to building a following of over 300,000 subscribers on YouTube.

But, before her popular beauty videos she created song covers back in 2009. After pushing past initial fear and insecurities of her singing, the 25-year-old has now stepped back to her first passion of music. Behind the months of creating her debut while balancing being a beauty influencer, I Am came to life in the midst of it all.

For over a year, Soto has worked alongside Grammy-nominated producer Bizness Boi. He has produced for Swae Lee, PartyNextDoor, 6LACK and now executive produced am. Soto is also the first artist signed to his label, Bizness Boi Music Group. The beginning of a dynamic duo.

 Photo: Getty Entertainment  

Photo: Getty Entertainment  

                 Z’s Top 3 Tracks

                 “All I Know”

Soto’s lead single “All I Know” is a story that we all know too well. This is the point of a relationship where you find yourself stuck in between being fed up with a lover and hoping for them to finally change their ways.

The production is effortlessly crafted around Soto’s melodic voice in that the track rides smoothly as a fun bop that has hints of Bizness Boi’s hip-hop influence. There are countless tracks from artists about a lover being a f*ck up, but Soto’s clear vocal assertion behind her lyrics is what makes it a standout track that bumps and connects instantly with listeners.

”I've been there, no questions, I rode for you/ Was patient, I learned my lesson, not to wait on you”

                  “Feelings” 

This is the perfect opening track for the EP that explores Soto’s feelings from falling in love to the resentment of a breakup. “Feelings” explores the almost childlike wonder of your mind running tirelessly with questions to know whether your feelings for someone is being reciprocated. 

Soto shared on Instagram that she wrote the song a year ago about her boyfriend, Jae Richards.

              “Way We Are”

The upbeat production with pop undertones contrasts with Soto’s questioning of whether or not a relationship has reached its ending. “Way We Are” may be the deepest into Soto’s vulnerable side that we get to see throughout the EP. The track also shows that she isn’t limited to one way that R&B can sound. “Way We Are” and “All I Know” are completely different sonically, but still are apart of Soto’s layered R&B project that in its entirety form her introduction into the industry.

 Photo: MEFeater, Jermain Asiedu

Photo: MEFeater, Jermain Asiedu

Through six tracks, Soto takes listeners into her past relationships and experiences that initially broke her, but in turn she grew and pieced her back to who she is now hence the EP’s artwork. You can feel her bottled up years of yearning to release her inner thoughts and emotions through music in the transparency of her lyrics.

The stripped-back simplicity of the EP’s production allows Soto to not only shine vocally, but also takes away any distraction from her ultimate intention of connecting on a personal level with her listeners. They are both hearing and understanding what she’s singing because the heart of her music doesn’t get lost in hi-hats and 808s.

In the oversaturation of music, am is a rare case of a project that requires no skips because an actual story is being conveyed which has been missing in many releases of 2018.

I am is a solid debut for Soto and it’s only the beginning of her path as a new artist. The EP is merely foreshadowing the future of the Soto & Biz duo and what else they have in store to shake up R&B.

 Rating: 8/10

What are your favorite songs on the album? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!