I'm late. I'll be the first to admit that. I'm very late. But I stumbled across this song, and I DIG it. And the video, it's like watching "Charlie's Angels" meets "The Six Million Dollar Man" meets "Hart to Hart." In other words, GREATEST VIDEO EVER.

Okay, okay, that may be a bit of overkill. But I dig the song, and I really dig the video. I mean, I woke up singing this song this morning. Which led me to scour youtube for other songs and Amazon for the CD (which I'm still yet to find).

It also motivated this post. Thanks Flight Faclities. I'm tweeting ...

Published in Reviews
Thursday, 24 July 2014 22:13

Arika Kane

Arika Kane is an artist on the verge! She has charted on Billboard, her music has been played in heavy rotation on VH1, and she has performed on the stage with artists like Babyface. Now she is busy promoting her very popular (and very hot) new single. But she took time out of her busy schedule to get "Up Close and Personal."

Ten Questions w/Arika Kane

1. Your sound is decidedly R&B. Are there other blue-eyed soul singers (Teena
Marie, Lisa Stansfied, Annie Lennox, for example) that have influenced you? And
what is it about R&B that moves you?

Singers like Mariah Carey, Aaliyah, Alicia Keys were strong influences on me growing up. I was also influenced by the greats like Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Donna Summer. I am moved most by R&B because it combines rhythm & blues and always equates to a feeling in your soul that we can all relate to.

2. If you could duet with any singer, who would it be?

Alicia Keys. I feel her soul, luv her!

3. What is something that your fans would find surprising about you?

That I love sports, and I'm a competitive person. I grew up with an older brother so I had
no choice but to hold my own. Lol

4. What accomplishment are you most proud of?

Staying true to who I am, my beliefs and my music is my most proud accomplishment ;-)

5. Ifyou had your choice between a career of 10 Grammys but no Gold or Platinum recordings or 10 Gold and Platinum recordings but no Grammys, which would you choose? And why?

Both would be nice! Lol. I would say 10 Gold & Platinum records
because that means the Fans love and actually bought my music. The Grammy
Awards aren't based on sales. But again, both would be nice! ;-)

6. How old were you when you first stood in front of an audience and sang? Were you nervous then and do you ever get nervous now?

I was in 6th grade, it was my school talent show called "pops night" Yes I was nervous the whole time and cried after. Yes I still always get butterflies right before I hit the stage. Though the difference now is that I don't let it overwhelm me. After the 1st few notes, I just relax & enjoy my time on the stage ;-) ...feeeeew

7. Male artists have groupies. Do female artists have groupies as well? (Or in the words of TLC, do they just have "Scrubs?")

Lol!! That was funny. Well I would say the scrubs are the guys around the way you just bump into when your out & about & don't really care who you are. The other level would be theportion of actual respectful male fans. And then of course there is the total
opposite of that where you run into the scary ones! lol

8. Singing is your first choice. But if you had to do something else, what would it be?

Probablydesigning clothes, building brands that support & encourage women. However,
My music career will be a good bridge to still also fulfill those dreams!
Looking forward to the future..

9. Twitter has a 140 character limitation. Does that make it the best place for a "battle" because words have to be selected carefully and to the point? Or is it theworst place because that's not enough characters for a full thought?

Oh it is the best! Being simple & selective is right up my alley, so it's perfect
and also helps me to respond/interact with more of my fans. It also seems more
personal when it's shorter.

10. Tell us about your latest project: Favorite song? Inspiration? Where available?


"It's There" is my latest Single. One of my favorite projects to date. It is
featuring the talented Brian McKnight. The inspiration for the lyrics came from
the strings & the pianos. It's a magical, motion picture ready duet that
speaks to any soulful partnership that has overcome life's obstacles. It's
available now on Itunes, Amazon, Google Play.

Published in Interviews
Saturday, 17 May 2014 15:53

"Sunny Day" - Christopher Blake

Christopher Blake released his album and we had the opportunity to listen to 2 cuts: "Falling Into Your Arms" and the lead single "Sunny Day."

"Falling in Your Arms" shows a smoky and tender side of Christopher Blake. It holds the eerie, nostalgic reality that we all face when once sweet love turns sour – or, at least, stale. The concept alluded to in "Falling" is that of a song being a retaliation weapon or an artful touche to an old lover. As such, the song and its theme are compelling. Christopher does a responsible job in marrying the lyric, vocal delivery, and musical arrangement in a way that helps one feel his pain, longing, and (oh so subtle) revenge.

While I enjoyed "Falling," I didn't enjoy "Sunny Day" quite as much. "Sunny Day" attempts to leverage the good feelings of carefree living. It underscores a hope that the world-at-large should experience such good feelings. And while the musical score – the bouncy track – (guest rap intact) succeed at conveying happiness, I wanted more from Christopher. I was hoping for a better display of his vocal chops – more range, more clarity, more expression. Unfortunately, they aren't there. Consequently the song sounds more like an attempt to score a hit than an expression of Chris's soul.

Had it been up to me, "Falling" would've been Chris's lead single. It shines far longer than his "Sunny Day."

Special Contribution by Tony Johnson

Published in Reviews
Thursday, 01 May 2014 11:36

"It's There"- Arika Kane

Independent artist Arika Kane serves up a warm love song on her latest single "It's There." As duet with Brian McKnight, it's a lush arrangement, a POP song over a R&B structure.

Arika Kane has made lots of in-roads into the music scene. She's charted on Billboard and Amazon and has been featured on VH1, to name but a few. There's no doubt that coupling with Brian McKnight can only serve to further her cause. As a matter-of-fact, the song reminded me of another piano Pop/R&B love song McKnight did early in his career - "Love Is" with Vanessa Williams. It was a pretty song that hit the top ten on the POP charts.

As sweet as "It's There" is, I prefer when Ms Kane is doing something that is decidedly more R&B and has more "flava." Her song "Here with Me," is a great example.

So here's my suggestion: after you give "It's There" a listen, check out YouTube for her amazing tribute to Aaliyah's "Rock the Boat." You'll like it. 

Published in Reviews
Wednesday, 16 April 2014 23:17

"Stay with Me" Sam Smith

Blue-eyed soul - it's a term that's used to describe white artists who embody the rich spirit of R&B vocals. And many have appropriately been given the moniker over the years - Teena Marie (RIP), Lisa Stansfield, Annie Lennox, and Hall & Oates, to name but a few. More recently Justin Timberlake, Robin Thicke, and Ed Sheeran have all shown their ability to master the soulful sounds of rhythm and blues. Add to that list Sam Smith.

The way Sam Smith weaves in and out of falsetto is impressive. Perhaps even more impressive is that he seems to have the same amount of power in his higher and lower register. His voice is rich, colorful, but not showy. He breathes life into his songs.

"Stay with Me" is nothing short of beautiful sadness. It's a poignant song about needing love from someone, even when the love isn't returned. The song is gospel - choir in tact - and the arrangement is plush ... and moving. The song is a emotional knockout.

I've been waiting for a full length album from Sam Smith since I heard his vocals on Disclosure's UK hit "Latch." Sounds like the wait is almost over, and based on what I've heard so far, the product will be well worth it. 

Published in Reviews
Saturday, 22 March 2014 03:03

Last Kings - IAMNAYAH

I'm not sure how Nayah does it. The girl is in school full time, she recently released a video directed by Dallas video auteur Jeff Adair,  she's endeavoring to make a name for herself in the music scene, and now she's finished another song: Last Kings.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Nayah has a vocal quality akin to Rihanna. And her sister - Nayah's not Rihanna's - wisely writes songs that feature and compliment Nayah's voice and vocal style extremely well. Kudos to both of them for creating songs so radio-friendly. 

In this love song, Nayah proclaims, "If you put me on a pedastal, please, promise you'll never let me go."

A word to the wise: Having the object of your affection put you on a pedastal can feel damn good. But it hurts like hell, if they ever take you off that pedestal. But hey! I'm jaded and I'm not going to spoil the fun here. LOL

The song is nice addition to Nayah's growing repetoire of songs, and along with "BLVD" is one of my personal favorites from her.

Nayah is searching for her Last King on this song. When she finds him, I'm sure he'll claim her as his Last Queen.

(See ... I do have a romantic side in this old soul!)

Published in Reviews
Saturday, 15 February 2014 04:54

"Baby Luv" - Jade

I have a soft spot in my heart for 80's and 90's R&B. Those two decades were rife with big voices, smooth soul, and a bevy of beautiful and talented female groups: En Vogue, SWV, Xscape, TLC, and Jade.

In the early 90's, Jade racked up their fair share of Gold and Platinum, while appearing in movies, on talk shows, and television. As a matter-of-fact, they own the sole distinction of being the only artist to release a BET "Listening Party" album - an album that garnered them rave reviews.

Alas as it happens far too often to beautiful girl groups, (need I reference the list above again?), Jade's reign on the charts ended too soon admist rumours of internal turmoil.

Fast forward twenty years later and Jade returns to the music scene with a new song called "Baby Luv."

The question for artists who have been away from the music scene for a while is: How do you say true to yourself while still sounding relevant and current? How do you step back into a genre you've led?

Jade has chosen to do it by offering the bouncy "Baby Luv" that is a current as it is retro. Profoundly in "girl group" form, this song is fun and frolic.  It's an ode to Martha and the Vandellas; it's reminiscient of yesterday but completely today. 

So here's to hoping the song will get the airplay it deserves. In the meantime, welcome back, Jade!

Published in Reviews
Sunday, 02 February 2014 16:35

New Music Releases February 2014

Most of these songs are available on iTunes or Bandcamp. Please check back as we update you on the most recent releases.

 

"Slingers" - Rob Marciano and Knowledge the Pirate have a hot collabo and a new song from the mixtape "The Pimpire Strikes Back."

"What Is To Be Major" - Barsheem, soulful NY crooner, releases his album on the most appropriate of days – Valentine's Day.

Published in New Releases
Sunday, 02 February 2014 16:30

New Music Releases January 2014

Most of these songs are available on iTunes or Bandcamp. Please check back as we update you on releases and their availability.

 

"Against the World" - Remington – who has energy like this? Remington can compel anyone to move.

"Faces" - Manic After Midnite's down-tempo house would make Samantha James proud.

"Yacila" - Mayta, Dallas's premier Latin band, added a video to their Afro-Caribbean infused song.

"Fuck Nigga" - Lil RG Yilla condeming dudes who ain't handling their business.

"Regular" - Beatking and D. Carter release a new video to an anthem that claims they aint regular.

"Suits & Gunsmoke" - Chris GQ Perry takes a break from bragging about his bedroom skills and shares some introspection on life and loss.

"In and Out of Sleep" - Dustin Cavanos. Saw Dustin walking outta Buzz Brews, probably shoulda got an autograph.

"I'm International" - Chris Cash, the premier rapper from the City of Sin, drops another well produced-video.

"Jazzy As Funk" - Ivan The Paynter tries a new groove on his debut rap album. Think Guru.

"Free Ballin" - SniperShot's drops something for his Dallas fanbase and beyond.

Published in New Releases
Saturday, 01 February 2014 20:45

New Music Releases Oct-Dec 2013

 

Most of these songs are available on iTunes or Bandcamp. Please check back as we update you on the latest releases and their availability.

"Kill Me"- Klass Money is one of FL's fastest-rising rappers; this song is accompanied by a video with a "dope visual style."

"Alright" - Bryan Poppin new song features Tamela Mann, and together they raise the proverbial gospel roof.

"Lipstick On Her Cigar" - Chris Robinson and his guitar strum the sadness of the blues.

"Anyday" - Alexis Jones, Raleigh, NC, songstress, belts out adult-oriented R&B melodies.

"Someplace On Earth" - the Downtown Fiction sings for "losers and kings" on this buoyant pop-rock fusion.

"Bad Company" - John Beezy reps Drop Boy Records in his new song and video.

"Pay Your Tab" - RC & the Gritz releases their debut album to rave reviews.

"BLVD" - Nayah shows Dallas how to take to the boulevard with a song fit for the dance club.

"Alone" - Love Brooklyn claims to be alone. But I'm sure that their myriad of female fans would disagree that they are alone or better off that way.

"Wrecking Ball" - Tom Bertram's version isn't available for purchase. But the cover of Miley Cyrus is worth the listen.

"Enjoy: Like: Love" - Malice and Mario Sweet release an album in celebration of their wedding anniversary and birth of a child.

"Grammar" - Body Language, NY-based electronica/soul quartet, releases another album featuring hits "Just Because" and "Well Absolutely."

"Rent" - Brian Hazard gives away free copies of his unique brand of synthpop.

"Right Mistake" - Shawn Mayer isn't afraid to be sinful when she makes a mistake. She also isn't afraid to rock out.

"Success" - Young Rado spits a positive message on his latest single.

 

Published in New Releases
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