“The “Queen of Duality” takes us deeper into the labyrinth of her mind. Its building motion erects the fortress of sound as it climbs ever so higher. Angelic and dark all in one. We enjoyed the trip this took us on very much. ”

Onyda has released their new 5-track EP, ‘Queen of Duality’. The new EP, backed by veteran producer Ben Hillier (Blur, Doves, Elbow) tells Onyda’s story as a young person reflecting on various stages in their life. The ‘Queen of Duality’ EP lands with Onyda’s latest single from the project of the same name.

The EP is inspired by Onyda’s own stories of emerging from personal struggles, discovering inner strength as well as being triumphant in embracing the chaos in being truly themselves. ‘Queen of Duality’ exemplifies the complexity and deep- thinking nature of Onyda’s creativity and art. It explores beneath the surface of moments of personal adversity in order to discover beauty and to find relief. Sonically, a gorgeous duality is created throughout the EP with a nonchalant swagger across the production, creating a poignant sparsity which also finds a richness in evoking cinematic soundscapes.

The EP arrives with Onyda’s latest single of the same name which is released with a black and white video depicting scenes from Onyda’s hometown of Stoke and sees them laying bare their vulnerabilities.

Speaking on the concept of their new EP, Onyda said, "My therapist called me the ‘Queen of Duality’ in a session we had a few years ago and it stuck with me. Nothing is black and white, there’s never just one simple answer to a question and I’m always fighting between inner chaos and inner peace. I’m an existential thinker. This EP is about that internal struggle and what that has meant for my life as a young, queer person just trying to get stable. I’m in a much better place now and this body of work is a clear reflection of how far I’ve come! It’s very personal but there’s a power that comes with being so comfortable in your vulnerabilities and being able to share that, I hope listeners can follow the story and take something from it that might help them with their own lives.”

Inspired by their home town of Stoke which includes post-industrial concrete expanses, Onyda (real name Shae Rhiannon) has descended like a dystopian cowboy clad in jewel-hued velvet, embracing the queerness of life through an acid-soaked lens. An obsessive creator, Onyda works with music, visuals, film, fashion and artwork, and draws upon a wide range of influences from the beats of Tyler the Creator to the songs of Peggy Lee and Tame Impala whilst being visually inspired by scenes of Boogie Nights as well as The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

In the run up to the release of their new EP, Queen of Duality, Onyda received radio support from 6 Music, Radio 1 and 1Xtra, while their recent single ‘Like A Dog’ was added to Vevo’s Emerging Artist Playlist and chosen by BBC Introducing as their ‘Single Of The Week and ‘I Want A War’ has had support from Nemone at 6 Music. A purveyor of enticing alt-pop, Onyda is a truly unique talent and an exciting name to watch for 2022.

Reviewed by Nagamag on 
May 28, 2022

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