August 1, 2009
For as long as I’ve been living in Atlanta,GA, I’ve noticed a pattern in want to be hipster/alternative artists; yet, out of all that catastrophe, I’ve found an artist who is very
much a sleeper and needs to be the center of attention. Dezaray Dawn, an R&B/Electro/Broken-beat singer, born in Germany and a certified army brat, is a talented individual and deserves recognition. She would consider herself to be a self-described gypsy being that she has soared the different parts of the world during half of her lifetime. With that being said, it shows how diverse Dezaray‘s music happens to be. Much like myself, Dezaray is an MTV baby. She grew up emulating artist she viewed on her tv screen such as Prince,Michael Jackson (R.I.P), and Madonna. However, she notes Chaka Khan, Aretha Franklin, and Natalie Cole as inspirations. It doesn’t surprise me that Dezaray is a versatile artist considering the fact that her cousin is Anthony David, as are Sean Stockman of Boyz II Men and Tameka “Tiny” Cottle of X-Scape, who are all different in their right. Dezaray‘s sound is a sound that is sort of familiar, taking you to a place of Soul II Soul, Loose Ends, and Fertile Ground. At this moment, Dezaray is on the verge releasing her EP Chameleon. The Chameleon EP consists of songs like “Can’t Look Away“and self-title track “Chameleon” which are both my favorite and also, in my opinion, tell the story of what the artist is dealing with in life. Dezaray currently sings background with me every now and then and she has a very melodic voice and I am happy to say that we collaborate together. Dezaray and I talk frequently and she is more than excited to let the world hear what she has to offer. Hopefully, the world is ready for her and the message that she is sent to give. I am.
Dezaray Dawn– “Chameleon”
Dezaray Dawn– “Can’t Look Down”
July 16, 2009
The down-to-earth songstress Brittany Bosco is back and she is preparing for her re-release of Spectrum Ep and her debut album Black. Brittany and Come Up Kids took the liberty of releasing a track for our listening pleasure. Unfortunately, this song did not make it on the re-release, good thing for us though 😉
July 16, 2009
Hey guys! For those anticipating Havana‘s sophomore album, Entervention, please check out this free sample of goodies just for you. It’s just a little something to let you know what’s in store from the R&B/Soul songstress herself and the Skoolcraft Music Family.
Havana on Facebook!
June 10, 2009
This young L.A. funkstress never ceases to amaze me. She has worked with the likes of Sa-Ra to Erykah Badu and you can catch her on the new Mos Def project “Ecstatic“. Somehow, there was an mp3 leak from the Georgia Anne Muldrow song library and as much as I enjoy purchasing good music, nothing wrong with a little freebie every now and then. Check it out and Enjoy!
Georgia Anne Muldrow–E.S.P.
May 30, 2009
What isn’t there to say about the talented D.C. native, Muhsinah? Muhsinah Abdul-Karim aka Muhsinah has risen from all things including direction in career to weight loss. Muhsinah started out singing background for Bilal Salaam and is pinned with crews such as Low Budget (Dj Roddy Rod, Kev Brown, and Peter Rosenberg) to name a few.For those who didn’t know, Muhsinah is a very skilled piano player and studied classical music. Nowadays, you will find Muhsinah playing keys for Chicago bred rapper Common (Common Sense). Muhsinah has also been featured on projects such as Stacy Epps‘s “The Awakening” and Foreign Exchange‘s “Leave it All Behind”. Whether she is in a band or producing for others, Muhsinah still has a sound of her own that can’t be simply put into one category. She fuses modern day sounds such as hip-hop and electronic with classical,jazz,and R&B. Whether the lyrics may seem unclear and non-existent at times, Muhsinah still manages to draw you in with her uncanny and subtle voice. In 2008, Muhsinah released her album Oscillations:Sine which is the first of 2 parts. Oscillations:Triangle,which features all new music and production from producers Slimkat78, Mike Slott, Exile,and herself, has been pushed back until further notice. If you rewind back to 2005, Muhsinah released the Oscillations EP which featured songs such as “Millions” which you would find on her Daybreak and Daybreak 2.0 release. The Oscillations: Sine is Muhsinah‘s album that combines Daybreak,Daybreak 2.0, and Prelude. All which can be bought separately. Daybreak was released first as download music and then she released Daybreak 2.0 which added bonus tracks. It was also sold physically and digitally. Prelude was a Japanese release and had a few tracks on it that wasn’t on Daybreak or Daybreak 2.0. You have to love the genius behind her team (Rxlngr pronounced Rock Slinger).
What I enjoyed about Oscillations is that it was very diverse in sound yet it was so Muhsinah. Drums are hip-hop and sometimes unorthodox. Melodies are flowing and mysterious. Energy is incredible. You can’t turn your ipod,stereo,or computer off when hearing Muhsinah‘s sound.
“A.M” starts the journey off with a obvious tribute to Alice Coltrane with a synthetic harp sound and piano riffs. In a away, it represents an awakening of some sort.
Slowly creeping in after is “Construction” her hit song, in my opinion, which I feel is very universal. The beginning of Oscillations are all favorites.
“Discovery” is a very non-defying song that I can not place. It just has a feel good sound about it and her voice haunts it superbly.
“Once Again“, another favorite of mine, is so beautiful and pacy. Muhsinah‘s vocals easily shined in this piece. Her harmonies that sat in the back of this track help to bring this song to life. The music is very simple and I was told uses a sample from John Coltrane‘s “Love Supreme“.
“Gogh” is one of those songs that I would say has limited lyrics but the music intrigues you. It’s very different. It has a electronic feel with off rhythms. It also features that dark and slowed down vocal along with the reversed vocal she puts in just about all her tracks. This is when it starts to get repetitive. That would be the most annoying thing I get out of her music,but other than that….
“Outsource” has a rock feel with some,again,off rhythms.Yet, Muhsinah pulls it off with her vocal arrangements.
Same can also be said about “Yiy” which features Muhsinah‘s piano talent. It is very reminiscent of Radiohead and is executed beautifully.
“Mine” is a song that I can honestly tell you, I had no idea what was going on at first. It seemed all over the place and would probably be my least favorite; however, she manages to again make you pay attention with her vocals even though we could do without the not-so-good rap verse.
“Billieclub” which features soul singer Wayna, is easily a favorite and is named after a wooden club used by police in the UK during the Victorian Era. The song talks of police brutality and the words are very strong.
Muhsinah is a very talented individual and I must say, she has come a very long way. She has much more to give and a lot more growing that is in process.
Head Nod Scale
2=Waste your time like I did mine but I dare you to disagree.
3=Well, there was the single.
4=If it were a hand in spades there’s “two and a possible”.
5=It’s a “good” album. Meaning at least 3 or 4 solid songs.
6=Really Good Project. Has the “Rewind Factor” more than once.
7=The number of completion. Great Album. Instant Classic.
May 25, 2009
There are not many independent artists at this moment that can say they sold 18,000 copies of their first release, digital and physical. When speaking of an artist like this, who comes to mind is R&B/Soul singer Havana. Havana has definitely blossomed in many ways. She has reached a new height in her music in such areas as verbally,mentally, and musically. I had the pleasure of speaking with the southern California bred songstress and I must say, she was as bubbly and humble as I expected. Havana discusses her feelings of the mainstream record industry, family, music, life goals, and reality. Per Havana, all of her music talks of the struggles she faced when dealing with her parents who are both trying to recover from drug addiction. While most people would still be in a state of coping and trying to find themselves during such a devastating time with a family member, Havana seemed to be fine and non-affected by the situation.
I commended her for that. It was living with her grandmother and keeping a positive mind frame which allowed her to fight against a future of turmoil and anguish. While speaking with Havana, we talked about the success of her 2005 debut release L.I.F.E. I wanted to know if there was a strategy to what she presented to the world that got the attention of so many people. According to her, there was no strategy. There were times when she did not know if she would even pursue her career in music because she was dedicated to family. Family meaning, her devoted husband and career partner Khadji and their three adorable children. However, Havana managed to find the strength and balance to complete her project. The L.I.F.E (Living In Fearless Emotion) album consisted of production by Detroit producer Waajeed (Slum Village, PPP, Tiombe Lockhart) and Nicolay (Foreign Exchange). The critically acclaimed L.I.F.E received good vibrations from many bloggers,music critics,etc. L.I.F.E also caught the attention of companies such as MTV, NBC, Scion, and Adidas which resulted in her receiving licensing deals. I wanted to know more about Havana and who inspired her to be on the musical journey she is on today. Havana mentioned names such as Mary J. Blige who you can definitely gather from her storytelling of hardships. When asked about a producer she would really like to work with, Havana‘s answer was Raphael Saadiq. She mentioned that opening up for Raphael Saadiq sparked her interest and she would love to be able to sit in the studio with him. Among other performers, Havana has opened for Dwele, Slum Village, Adriana Evans, Rebirth, and S1 from Strange Fruit Project. Now that she has spread a taste of her musical craft, Havana is about to release her sophomore album, Entervention. Entervention will be an album that is somewhat in a different light from Havana‘s debut album. This album has a new production sound that is more 80’s electronic and R&B feel with more lyrics that are very direct and to the point. Entervention features production from Brooke D’Leau (J*Davey), GB (Sound in Color), and The Honor Roll (Trackademicks/1O.A.K). I expressed my excitement for her new release and wanted to know her long time goals…this is what she had to say: ” I will be in this industry [music] for a long time”. Well, with the way things are going, there’s nothing holding her back.
Havana “It Ain’t New”
Havana “Shoulda Walked Away”