Note: This is the first of a two-part series yoyo tinz is doing on Mena’s recently released debut album, 57 Mena. The second and final part – a track by track overview of the album’s eleven songs – will be up on this website on Wednesday.

Mena‘s 57 Mena album is inarguably one of the best musical projects to have graced us all year.

The album is packed full with songs that one can effortlessly relate to – a factor attributed to the lyrical content and Mena’s adaptation of indigenous sounds and phrases that subconsciously sets one in a chill mood.
One striking element about 57 Mena that can’t be overlooked is the album cover. Mena’s artistic proficiency doesn’t just lie with sound but also cuts into visuals; having developed the concept and designed it himself. The original photograph was however taken by a photographer named Fabio.

The cover displays the artist’s left palm with an eye (Yup! Where my controversy theorists at? Lol!), outstretched to cover the left side of his face, a ‘7’ exponent to the right top corner of his fingers and a doll pendant hanging on his hand; everything being in grayscale and just the dull in colour.

Intrigued by this, we at yoyo tinz decided to sit down with him for a breakdown of ‘’the whole show.’’
In his words, 57 represents questions around and inside of you. Some of which you can find answers within and others contrary. The questions do not just pertain to the physical but also the spiritual.
On to the graphic presentation; the fingers off the outstretched hand represents the number 5, and together with the ‘’7 exponent’’ comes together to form the number 57.

The eye in the palm symbolizes ‘’The Hand Of Fatima’’ (also known as Hamsa in Arabic circles).The Hand Of Fatima (named after the daughter of Prophet Mohammed) signifies protection, power, strength and is deemed potent in deflecting evil eyes; as malicious stares are believed to be accompanied by bad luck (trials and tribulations). Any eye that wishes evil, can’t look into the eye of Fatima. The use of ‘’The Hand of Fatima’’ in the nutshell means blind the aggressor.

The doll pendant represents the presence of the artist, as with him being awake and in the moment. Leaving footprints with every step he takes and making progress. The presence also connotes to the choice of coloring as grayscales symbolizes the yesteryears, before the invention of colored televisions, flashbacks and color representing the present.

By: Obodai Sonny