NEVAEH is MHYSA’s intimate reflection on the black femme experience from multiple vantage points ranging from sex and sexuality, self-love and self-discovery, black empowerment and lineage, pleasure and lack of it. She describe the album as “a prayer for Black women and femmes to be taken to or find a new and better world away from the apocalypse…NEVAEH is a safe space, a sort of negro heaven.” These ideas are declared from the opening skit where MHYSA reads out Lucille Clifton’s 1994 poem “won’t you celebrate with me”.
The album is deeply personal but easily relatable. The intimacy is heightened by scattered acapella moments, covers of classics such as Nas’ - If I Ruled the World and a reprise of When the Saints; songs that reference black pop culture, interludes and drifts, where MHYSA’s delicate voice is laid bare and enhanced by spacious instrumentals, throwbacks to R and B she was raised on.
However it’s not all melancholic, numerous tracks have made appearances in Kode9’s club sets over the last year such as the lead track, the mischievous Sanaa Lathan, as well as the skeletal w_me, where MHYSA uses her breath and vocals to embellish a live drum instrumental. MHYSA also explores sensuality in the build up to the apocalypse, on tracks like before the world ends.
On NEVAEH’s progression from fantasii, MHYSA says, “I wanted to be more vulnerable with my tracks and experiment with vocal range…I wanted to write more complicated vocal melodies that would be harder for me to do.” MHYSA's production also experiments with new techniques, live sounding digital instrumentation, playing keys, using her voice in new ways - much of which was self taught, in the tradition of the musicians in her family who came before her.
All of the tracks were then recorded in her flat in West Philadelphia, some with the input of lawd knows, a frequent collaborator on their Scraaatch project.