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8 juin 2012 5 08 /06 /juin /2012 12:00



Origine du Groupe : U.K
Style : Nu-Soul, R&B
Sortie : 2007

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By Ben Wood from http://www.bbc.co.uk

This album isn’t going to change the world, but it’s a very pleasant surprise.

For many people (including me), Gabrielle has always seemed a mite middle of the road, her well-crafted soul-pop winning her a permanent berth on daytime radio alongside Celine, Mariah and co.

However, maybe the relative failure of her last album Play To Win has inspired the formerly eyepatched one to take a few more risks. Her voice - more conversational than the foghorn favoured by many modern R’n’B singers – is still instantly recognisable. But on Always, it is wrapped around a more eclectic, better-produced, funkier set of songs.

The production takes it out of Magic FM land and into more interesting waters. And maybe it’s the influence of the sainted Kanye West, but there’s a definite early 70s soul vibe. However, the lyrics are still a slight weak point, tending towards the prosaic and the therapy-speakish at times.

The first single from what the singer has described as her ‘break-up album’ is “Why”, quoting Wild Wood and featuring the voice and guitar of Mr Weller himself; while Gabrielle’s voice seems raspier, with a touch of Macy Gray. The prominent strings introduce one of the album’s central motifs.

“Always” is another tale of a shattered relationship, its updated ‘70s soul feel strengthened by harp, cooing backing vocals, hip-hoppy beats, and a chiming guitar hook.

“Heartbreaker”’s Primal Screamesque rock/soul stomp is more evidence of the unexpected. This unashamed party track starts with a beat filched from Bobby and co’s “Rocks”, while “When We Were One” is another meditation on loss, as hip-hop beats mesh with strings once more.

“Closure”’s break-up blues places churchy organ against a funky backbeat. It’s simple, dignified and effective, Gabrielle refusing to over-emote, and demonstrating that less is more.

“Every Little Teardrop” seems to take its melody from Lenny Kravitz’s “It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over”. It’s not the album’s strongest track, but that’s no crime in such company. This album isn’t going to change the world, but it’s a very pleasant surprise.

Tracklist :
01 - Always       
02 - Heartbreaker       
03 - Why       
04 - Remember       
05 - Every Little Teardrop       
06 - I'm Not In Love       
07 - Love Me Like You Do       
08 - Wiser       
09 - All I Want       
10 - It's Breaking My Heart       
11 - Cold Sober Moment       
12 - Show Me Love       
13 - Closure


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29 mars 2012 4 29 /03 /mars /2012 15:00



Origine du Groupe : North America
Style : Nu-Soul , Nu-Jazz , Hip Hop , R&B
Sortie : 2012

By Adam Kuhn  from http://corndogchats.blogspot.fr

When one thinks of today's mainstream pop music, one does not immediately think of jazz. In fact, I have been of the opinion for the longest time that jazz needs to find its way back into mainstream pop music. It was once king and those glory days are far behind, but I think it will return one day, perhaps in a different form, sort of like this. While Norah Jones may be the closest thing to jazz in pop music today, it is hard to deny that the hip hop world has nestled itself comfortably into that world of pop music as well. So what Robert Glasper has decided to do here is blend his music prowess, which is that of a jazz pianist, with the musical talents and styling of today's hip hop music. An interesting experiment to be sure, Glaper collaborates with various artists throughout and the result is a mixed bag.

The greatest attraction in jazz music for me is the moody transportation of the arrangements. The music manages to seep into my atmosphere from out of the speakers and take me to a musical paradise when done really well. That sort of experience can be found on this album, it is just a shame at how sporadic it comes. Glasper plays a great jazz piano, but his trouble on this album are his collaborators, who are mostly hit or miss. When paired with the delightfully soulful Erykah Badu on "Afro Blue", the classic standard with a slight twist this time, Glasper arranges an instantly gratifying experience. The hip is really downplayed for most of the album, featuring mostly jazz numbers with slightly influenced hip hop beats. In reality, the singers are jazzy or soulful and manage to compliment what Glasper is going for. The problem is sometimes they aren't all that interesting.

Perhaps more songs like "Always Shine", which features Lupe Fiasco, would have benefited the overall effectiveness of the album. On that track, Fiasco's rap pairs uncannily well with the jazz. For being an "experiment", Glasper should have gone further in marrying these musical styles. That being said, it is like nothing else I have heard, though I also haven't exactly listened to very much modern jazz to know if this was innovative or not. Glasper flirts with a great album, but honestly falls short not because of his talents as a musician, but as an assembler of talent. It is worth a listen for the handful of good tracks, and perhaps for the direction it may move the music industry over time.

Tracklist :   
01 – Lift OffMic Check (feat. Shafiq Husayn)
02 – Afro Blue (feat. Erykah Badu)
03 – Cherish The Day (feat. Lalah Hathaway)
04 – Always Shine (feat. Lupe Fiasco and Bilal)
05 – Gonna Be Alright (F.T.B.) (feat. Ledisi)
06 – Move Love (feat. KING)
07 – Ah Yeah (feat. Musiq Soulchild and Chrisette Michele)
08 – Consequence Of Jealously (feat. Meshell Ndegeocello)
09 – Why Do We Try (feat. Stokely)
10 – Black Radio (feat. Mos Def)
11 – Letter to Hermoine (feat. Bilal)
12 – Smells Like Teen Spirit

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5 septembre 2011 1 05 /09 /septembre /2011 12:00




Origine du Groupe : U.K
Style : Nu-Soul
Sortie : 2011

By Mike Diver from http://www.bbc.co.uk

It’s probably fair to say that Dionne Bromfield’s debut album arrived too soon. That set, Introducing…, emerged in 2009 when the artist was just 13 years old. It suggested potential, but as the first singing to her godmother Amy Winehouse’s Lioness imprint, there was pressure on Bromfield to meet incredible expectations born from such an association. Introducing… peaked at a chart position of 33, and the singer vanished back into the machinations of the major label side of the music industry.

Pleasingly, Bromfield’s not just been given a second chance, but now has the right album from which to stake a claim on the nation’s soul audience. The arrangements on Good for the Soul are superb throughout, strings sweeping in from the wings as punchy percussion demands dancefloor activity. At times – such as on the dramatic Ouch That Hurt – it genuinely captures some of that old-fashioned Motown magic. And when it’s not looking into a past so distant for Bromfield that it must seem positively prehistoric (she’s still just 15), the album dips its toes into the same waters that carried Duffy to so much acclaim on her first LP. Many a co-writer is involved, but this isn’t a fractured listening experience; tonally, everything gels marvellously.

Questions remain, though, and most regard Bromfield’s voice. One glossy magazine has claimed it’s a "gorgeous soul voice"; a popular tabloid has stated that she’s Shirley Bassey’s successor. But the truth is that Bromfield is a talent yet to mature. She possesses the same nasal quality as Winehouse, and one feels that she may well have been encouraged to recall the off-the-rails star, what with her follow-up to 2006’s Back to Black still no closer to release. Some turns feel full of affectation – nobody can deny she’s got a powerful voice, but it can seem too try-hard at times. Give the girl another five years, let her vocals deepen naturally, and she’ll be a really special performer. Right now, it’s best to keep a lid on excessive hyperbole.

Said reservations aside, Good for the Soul is a great pop-soul record, brimming with feel-good tracks and as sure to appeal to listeners of the artist’s age as it is those raised on The Supremes. A little more life experience and Bromfield will have the essentials to make a career-defining record. Until then, this collection continues her (rightly) gradual rise in no little style, building upon Introducing… and bettering it brilliantly.

Tracklist :
 01. Yeah Right (featuring Diggy Simmons) 4:05
 02. Good for the Soul 3:56
 03. Sweetest Thing 3:44
 04. Foolin' 3:13
 05. Too Soon to Call It Love 4:01
 06. Ouch That Hurt 2:52
 07. If That's the Way You Wanna Play 3:34
 08. A Little Love 3:19
 09. Time Will Tell 3:32
 10. Get Over It 3:34
 11. Remember Our Love 3:37
 12. In Your Own World 3:55
 13. Don't Make It Work 3:41
 14. Move a Little Faster 3:01
 15. Lost In Love 3:05
 16. Yeah Right (Live) 3:46
 17. Good for the Soul (Live) 3:52
 18. Sweetest Thing (Live) 3:44
 19. Foolin' (Live) 3:27
 20. Get Over It (Live) 3:11



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28 avril 2011 4 28 /04 /avril /2011 15:00



Origine du Groupe : North America
Style : Alternative , Nu-Soul , R&B
Sortie : 2011

From Official Site :

Emerging artist Lenny Harold is set to release his exciting debut album—a work of art which will undoubtedly capture the minds and hearts of music lovers worldwide.

“The Journal of Wonders: Tale of the Phoenix in the Moon Labyrinth”— prepared to be released on March 22nd, 2011— is an eclectic mixture of R&B and Soul with delicate hints of Pop and Smooth Jazz that will grab any listener’s attention from start to finish— a unique sound which the artist himself has coined as “hybrid soul.” The album consists of 14 original songs from Lenny; production by Cass Maya, Taylor Ryan, and Solomon Cortes of WMC Productions; and the support of renowned musicians responsible for some of the greatest hits in mainstream music history.

Already having numerous accomplishments under his old moniker “CHANJ,” Lenny is an established artist in his own right, having worked with actor/vocalist Jamie Foxx, producer Teddy Riley, and singer/songwriter Marsha Ambrosious—whose ballad “Say Yes” would spark his rise to Apollo championship and industry discovery. After putting his own stamp on the song, Lenny has generated a solid fan base in the states and gained notoriety through his fascinating performances across the world.

The 2011 release of Lenny’s debut album is a highly anticipated point in his career. “I’m excited about this project!” he explains, “I’ve collaborated with genius musicians and songwriters that captivate and describe the heart in ways not yet understood. The honesty of this album will give everyone a way to relate to it…”

Beautifully representing his raw talent and soulful charisma, “The Journal of Wonders” is destined to leave a lasting impression across all genres— stylishly artistic and exemplary of musical genius.

Executive Produced by Cass Maya
BlackBelt Music Group
Marketing & Branding by Forrest Renaissance
WMC/AM Studios
Recorded at AM Studios
Mixed by Yaron Aldema at AM Studios
Mastered by Mark B. Christensen
Assisted by Raphael Fiorda
at Engine Room Audio, NYC

Tracklist :
1.The Phoenix Cry 02:38
2.It's not ok 04:26
3.Helpless 03:55
4.Couture 03:13
5.I need you (Interlude) 01:35
6.There it is 04:37
7.Surprise 05:15
8.In my arms 04:17
9.Understand me 03:38
10.Fascination 02:45
11.Waiting on yesterday 07:15
12.Voodoo 03:40
13.Secret Love 04:51   
14.Love at the end 05:37


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22 septembre 2010 3 22 /09 /septembre /2010 14:30





Origine du Groupe : North America
Style : Soul , R&B , Blues , Jazz , Rap Fusion , Alternative
Sortie : 2010

Inspired by the election of Barack Obama in 2008, and the nostalgia that it brought on for a time when urban communities were active in the civil rights movement, soul-singer John Legend and hip-hop luminaries The Roots got together to record a track reminiscent of the music from that time (the ’60s and ’70s). The result was a full-length album, which basically plays like a hits anthology of classic soul, funk and reggae music.

Starting of strong with the hard-hitting “Hard Times,” originally recorded by Baby Huey, an obscure, single-album artist whose legacy still lives mostly in hip hop samples (everyone from A Tribe Called Quest to Ice Cube and the Wu-Tang have sampled him). For the most part this track plays closely to the original, which is a good thing, but a verse from the Roots’ MC Black Thought builds on that and brings it into the contemporary.

From there, the rest of the album runs the gauntlet, from Donny Hathaway (“Little Ghetto Boy”), Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes (“Wake up Everybody”), Erni Hines (“Our Generation”) Marvin Gaye (“Wholly, holy” ), Nina Simone (“I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free” ) and James Kirkland (“Hang on in There”) – another artist who is highly praised and sampled in the hip hop world. In fact, as much as the album pays homage to a certain period of music, it can also be seen as a thank-you to all the great, sometimes obscure artists that hip hop producers and MCs, after tirelessly digging through crates of vinyl, have resurfaced and relied on for their catchy hooks.

A concern I originally had was that Legend’s voice would be too smooth, too polished and crooner-y to sing gritty protest music, and nowhere is this more apparent than on the one track that isn’t a cover, “Shine.” It definitely stands out, because next to the covers, it sounds just like a John Legend song. (Whether that’s a good thing or not depends on what you think of Legend’s music.)

But for those who don’t like Legend’s music, the range of his voice on the rest of the album will pleasantly surprise you, especially on the stand out track, Bill Wither’s “I Can’t Write Left-Handed,” a poignant story about an injured vet coming home from the Vietnam War. Legend’s raspy, gospel-worthy voice here transplants the listener right back to 1973 when the original was first recorded (video for both versions below. Cue Withers up at 1:56 and Legend up at 0:54 for a duet), and while no one can come close to Withers, Legend and the Roots come close here.

Whether you have a penchant for classic soul music, or the genius of the Roots, or just want an introduction into some of the music you would find in Questlove’s extensive vinyl collection, this album is a must buy. The only thing that’s missing and would really make this album stand out would be to include an accompanying disc of all the originals.



Tracklist :
1. Compared to What
2. Hard Times
3. Little Ghetto Boy
4. Wake Up Everybody feat. Common and Melanie Fiona
5. Our Generation
6. Love the Way It Should Be
7. Hang On in There
8. I Can’t Write Left Handed
9. Wholy Holy
10. I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free
11. Shine



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23 août 2010 1 23 /08 /août /2010 15:00




Origine du Groupe : North America
Style : Neo-Soul , R&B
Sortie : 2007

Def Jam unveiled a stunning new talent in 2007 with I AM, the debut album from Chrisette Michelle. Though raised on gospel, Michelle's biggest influences are clearly old-school jazz divas in the vein of Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughan, as their textured, bluesy phrasing can be heard informing her own delivery. Yet Michelle is decidedly contemporary, threading elements of contemporary R&B, hip-hop, pop, and adult-alternative into her unique brand of neo-soul. Help from artists like Babyface, John Legend, and will.i.am heighten the profile of an already mightily impressive debut.


Tracklist :
1. Like A Dream 3:59
2. Work It Out 4:21
3. If I Have My Way 4:02
4. Best Of Me 3:53
5. Your Joy 4:32
6. Good Girl 4:04
7. Be OK (Feat. Will.I.Am) 3:43
8. Mr. Radio 3:54
9. Golden 4:23
10.Let's Rock 4:44
11.Love Is You 3:17
12.In This For You 3:41
13.Is This The Way Love Feels 6:46
14.hidden track 3:45



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5 août 2010 4 05 /08 /août /2010 12:00


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Origine du Groupe : North America
Style : Neo Soul , Rap Fusion
Sortie : 2009

Alors que le deuxième album studio de Sa-Ra Creative Partners a bien tardé à voir le jour, pour n’être au final qu’une prolixe mais néanmoins agréable compilation de faces B et de chutes studio, le membre le plus discret de ce fougueux trio, j’ai nommé Shafiq Husayn, décide d’œuvrer en solitaire pour un premier LP. Après un EP instrumental remarqué l’année passée, ce véritable magicien de l’ombre, à qui l’on doit en grande partie le dernier album de la diva Erykah Badu, nous livre ici une ode au continent africain, et démontre toute l’étendue de ses talents.

On savait que le bonhomme était axé sur un travail musical plus acoustique que ses deux autres compères Taz Anorld et Om'Mas Keith (que l'on retrouvera d'ailleurs ici au chant simplement). Ce "Shafiq En A Free Ka" confirme cette impression et s’avère rapidement être une véritable claque. On ne trouvera pas ici de gros banger immédiat et remuant, Shafiq semblant ainsi s’éloigner clairement du Hip Hop futuriste qui a fait sa renommée. Il est plus question ici d’une Nu Soul psyché, deep et spirituelle au maximum, clairement inspirée par l’afro beat, le jazz 70’s et la pop 60/70’s barrée, le tout parfaitement synthétisé. Un peu comme si Fela Kuti, George Duke, Talking Heads et J Dilla s’amusaient joyeusement dans un studio nigérian.

Shafiq envoute ainsi magnifiquement nos tympans tout au long des 17 pistes de ce premier ouvrage, et ce, dès l’introduction, une brève instrumentale tribale dirigée par son timbre de voix grave et puissant. Ce dernier pose ainsi son phrasé absolument charismatique sur la plupart de ses compositions, comme sur la très inspirée et sensuelle "Le’Star", où il y fredonne des backs vocaux en français avec une présence troublante. Mais il a cependant fait appel à plusieurs guests de choix, principalement ses collaborateurs de longues dates tel que l'insaisissable Bilal ou Rozzi Daime ainsi que quelques talentueuses nouvelles tête, comme la douée Fatima (qui se révèle absolument irrésistible sur la superbe "Lil Girl") ou Noni Limar. Tous œuvrent dans l’alchimie la plus totale et habillent magnifiquement les prods habitées du beatmaker de Sa-Ra.

Sans tomber dans le name dropping de titres à outrance, on restera particulièrement bluffé par des titres comme les deux hallucinantes ballades pop "Major Heavy" et "Evil Man", la mélancolique "Love Still Hurts", "Dust & Kisses", spatiale à souhait, ou l’irrésistible "Nirvana". La globalité de l’album impressionne ainsi de par une maîtrise et une richesse rare. Pas une seule fausse note, ni de baisse de régime, Shafiq se veut inspiré comme jamais, naviguant entres ses influences et variant méticuleusement les ambiances.

En faisant habilement le grand pont entre toutes les influences 70’s et des sonorités tout à fait actuelles et avant-gardistes, ce "Shafiq En A Free Ka" est définitivement une œuvre audacieuse , complexe et aventureuse comme on en voit rarement. Un grand album, tout simplement.

par Onelight

Tracklist :
1 - Intro/Electra
2 - Nirvana
3 - The U.N. plan
4 - Cheeba F. Bilal
5 - Lil' girl F. Fatima
6 - Lost & found F. Jimetta Rose & Bilal
7 - Dust & kisses F. Noni Limar
8 - No moor
9 - All dead
10 - Major heavy F. Sonny Coates & Count Bass D
11 - Evil man
12 - Changes F. Om'Mas Keith & Stephen "Thundercat" Bruner
13 - Love still hurts
14 - Le'Star F. Rozzi Daime & Nomi Limar
15 - Egypt F. Jessy West & Kahil Sadiq
16 - The Odd is C
17 - Rebel soldier

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2 juin 2010 3 02 /06 /juin /2010 13:00


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Cela fait un petit moment que l'on entend parler de Janelle Monae. Depuis 2005, en fait, date de la sortie de Idlewild, l'album/soundtrack d'Outkast pour le film du même nom. Au coté du duo d'Atlanta, la belle Janelle nous avait fait découvrir sa jolie voix sur deux morceaux. Sa première sortie date de 2008, c'est un EP nommé Metropolis: The Chase Suite qui, bien qu'un peu surfait, a bien fait grossir le buzz en prévision d'un premier véritable album. Nous y sommes et le moins que l'on puisse dire, c'est que l'attente n'aura pas été vaine!

"The ArchAndroid" est, en effet, un copieux aperçu des multiples talents de la Miss Monae. La belle n'hésite pas à s'aventurer du coté de la Pop avec l'étonnant "Make The Bus" (dans lequel on retrouve les zouaves de Of Montreal) ou "Wondaland", voire même sur le terrain Rock avec l'ébouriffant "Come Alive". Néanmoins, il s'agit ici d'un album de R'n'B. Si, en 2010, le terme est devenu presque péjoratif, il s'agit ici de lui redonner ses lettres de noblesses.

Des morceaux entrainants et imparables comme "Locked Inside" ou le single "Tightrope" (taillé pour les charts internationaux avec un Big Boi excellent, comme d'habitude) nous prouvent que ce genre a encore, quoi qu'on en dise, un bel avenir. Dans le registre souvnet casse gueule de la ballade, Janelle s'en sort aussi parfaitement grâce a une voix puissante et assez singulière ("Oh, Maker", "Say You'll Go").

Voila, avec "The ArchAndroid", Janelle Monae a prouvé de manière brillantissime qu'elle était bien plus qu'un simple buzz. Cet album frais, homogène et brillant donne un coup de fouet à la production R'n'B grâce à une fougue réjouissante, un talent qui ne se dément pas et une somme conséquente de bonnes idées. Cette chanteuse a, en tous les cas, la carrure d'une star mondiale. Beyoncé, tu peux commencer à trembler.

Par © Soul Brotha

Origine du Groupe ; North America
Style : Nu-Soul , R&B , Rap
Sortie : 2010
Tracklist :
01. Suite II Overture
02. Dance Or Die (Feat. Saul Williams)
03. Faster
04. Locked Inside
05. Sir Greendown
06. Cold War
07. Tightrope (Feat. Big Boi)
08. Neon Gumbo
09. Oh, Maker
10. Come Alive (The War Of The Roses)
11. Mushrooms & Roses
12. Suite III Overture
13. Neon Valley Street
14. Make The Bus (Feat. Of Montreal)
15. Wondaland
16. 57821 (Feat. Deep Cotton)
17. Say You'll Go
18. BaBopByeYa
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2 septembre 2009 3 02 /09 /septembre /2009 12:00

La scène Nu-Soul est encore une fois en ébullition. Peu avare en découverte ces derniers temps, on peut dire que ce courant musical, encore neuf, réussi à se renouveler de façon surprenante. Après des artistes tels que McKay, Floetry, Jazzyfatnastees, c’est au tour de Lizz Fields de faire une entrée fracassante dans cet univers comptant, parmi ses plus grandes figures, la toujours sublime Erykah Badu et la chavirante Jill Scott Et c’est d’ailleurs aux côtés de cette dernière qu’elle a fait ses premières armes, originaire elle aussi de Philadelphie, confirmant l’impressionnant vivier de cette scène si productive ces dix dernières années. Si on peut comparer les deux artistes quant à leur talent et leurs capacités vocales impressionnantes, au niveau musical leurs différences sont très nettes. Le travail de Damon Bennett, concepteur musical de cet album, y est certainement pour quelque chose. La mélancolie générale nous rappelle le travail de Portishead: une recherche mélodique approfondie, mêlant habilement les tempos groove et la subtilité d’influence jazz de certaines boucles. Pour parachever le tout, la voix envoûtante de Lizz Fields baigne le tout d’une atmosphère pleine d’émotion, collant comme une seconde peau aux mélodies. Des titres tels que “Star Gazer”, “Hey”, “Fire” ou “So Long Hello” risquent de vous convaincre du talent de cette jeune artiste et de l’alchimie évidente qui s’est opérée entre elle et son producteur Il faut croire que les femmes ont pris définitivement le pouvoir dans ce courant musical, tant, une fois de plus, on est terrassé par la qualité de cet album. Si, comme on peut l’espérer, le talent de Lizz Fields prend toute son ampleur sur scène, alors pas de doute, celle-ci s’inscrit désormais parmi les plus grandes artistes découvertes ces dernières années. Pouvant rassembler un large public, on la voit bien suivre les traces d’une Ursula Rucker. Quand c’est si bon, on ne peut dire que deux choses: merci et encore!

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30 juillet 2009 4 30 /07 /juillet /2009 19:26

The story isn't a new one: Young soul sista decides to leave the US behind for the artistic freedom to be found in the UK and links up with other creative types to create beautiful music together. It's happened to N'Dea Davenport who joined the Brand New Heavies, Maysa Leak who fell in step with Incognito and numerous others to varying degrees of success. Now it's time to add another name to the list: Joy Jones. After finishing her studies, Jones followed her musical dreams to London where she met Daz-I-Kue of Bugz in the Attic and he encouraged her to hone her craft. Joy did just that and it's reflected in her music, which is a melting pot of all the sounds she grew up on--gospel, soca, classical, African choral music, soul and jazz--with her own electronic twist. Her voice possesses an innocent sweetness that blends perfectly with Daz-I-Kue's co-production on her debut album, Godchild, coming July 7th on Future Soul Records. You can hear his stamp all over the music, but as far as the sound is concerned, count it all Joy. Have a taste below of the single, "Supernova," and enjoy a bonus cut not found on her album of her funky take on Nina Simone's "Be My Husband" beneath that (which you can also download here). If you can sit still long enough after the second song, you'll find more goodies after the bounce.

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