Ibibio Sound Machine is a clash of African and electronic elements inspired in equal measure by the golden era of West African funk, disco, modern post-punk, and electro. Since their self-titled debut in 2014, the band has forged a reputation as a high-energy live act. New album Uyai (pronounced ‘you eye') means "beauty" in Ibibio language and refers to the strength and free spirit of women in general and in particular, the courage of the women in lead singer Eno Williams' family, to whom she often refers in her writing..."The songs are based more around themes of empowerment, freedom, and the liberation of dance for women, and people in general."
The album opens with "Give Me a Reason," a song about the 276 Chibok girls who were abducted in northern Nigeria in 2014 and remain missing to this day. Eno challenges, "Why should girls be denied the right to education, and why should people in general not be free to be who they want to be in their life?" "The Pot Is On Fire" is a food dance celebrating the "happy place" when the food will be ready soon. "It's also metaphorical," Eno writes. "Something is brewing which will soon bear fruit."
Folk stories, recounted to Eno by her family as a child in her mother's Ibibio tongue, form the creative fabric from which the band's unique musical tapestry is woven. Evocative poetic imagery and empowering messages set against an edgy, Afro-Electro soundscape give the band a unique space within the current wave of modern Afrocentric sounds sweeping across the globe.