Very few artists are just as good at creating amazingly vivid and passionate scenes with their voices, as they are with their words—Elijah Blake, is one of the few. Standing a part from the manufactured acts produced by today’s entertainment industry, Elijah Blake is a refreshing dose of vocal and dancing ability, hit song writing talent, and personal conviction that icons are made of.
Born in the Dominican Republic and raised in Palm Beach, Florida, Elijah was surrounded by talent. His mother and father were no strangers to music, being avid participants in church and his childhood friends all boasted either singing or dancing abilities beyond their years. “Everybody wanted to make it. Everybody wanted to be somebody special.” In an area riddled with crime, Elijah, with guidance from his mother, struggled to stay out of trouble. Soon, his talent would find him a way out of trouble and onto a stage. Checkout our latest interview with Elijah from the Essence Festival 2015.
Kenya is a richly inspired vocalist/songwriter whose jazz-kissed soul style is wooing admirers simultaneously in the U.S. and U.K. Ironically, her lyrically captivating compositions almost never made it to the ears of the public. Kenya’s life roles as wife and mother of two sons plus working for over a decade as a clinician and educator nearly eclipsed her vision of herself as a viable artist bearing valuable musical gifts. Now—thanks to her reinvigorated relationship with God, the support of her family and counselors that cosmically expanded her viewpoint on life purpose—Kenya shares her first full-length CD, My Own Skin on her label, KenyaMJ Music. Time invested finding herself has resulted in songs informed with wisdom first gleaned for self that will be balms of insight and comfort for others.
Based in Chicago, Kenya released her debut version of My Own Skin in the UK/Europe on March 15, 2015. The album peaked at #1 on the UK Soul chart for four consecutive weeks (she knocked out Charlie Wilson from the #1 spot). My Own Skin reached #1 on both the Solar Radio Gary Spence Sweet Rhythm chart and the Colourful Radio chart for two consecutive weeks. Checkout our latest interview with Kenya from Essence Festival 2015.
Dee-1 honed his lyrical skills while balancing two careers, teaching middle school children by day and performing at rap shows at night. The New Orleans native’s love for hip-hop was born while attending Louisiana State University during a year filled with grief and heartbreak. 2005 was a very tumultuous year for Dee-1. First, his world was shaken to the core when his best friend was murdered during a robbery following a flag football game. Second, he experienced the pain of ending a five-year relationship with his high school sweetheart. Third, he watched his hometown of New Orleans endure the catastrophic flooding of Hurricane Katrina. Finally, his life flashed before his eyes when he was the victim of an armed robbery at gunpoint. Despite the difficult year, Dee-1 interpreted these events as a wake-up call to reaffirm his Christianity.
Dee-1 has also enjoyed the recognition from many of his peers in the music industry. Dee-1 has toured with chart topping and Grammy award winning artists, such as Macklemore, Lupe Fiasco and Lecrae. His online buzz sparked interest from various record labels, including New Orleans based Cash Money Records, however, Dee-1 opted to sign with RCA Inspiration in 2013. Featuring stand out singles, “Against Us” and “I’m Not Perfect,” the 3’S UP EP will be available everywhere digital music is sold on February 17, 2015. Checkout interview with Dee-1 from the Essence Music Festival.
This album is fresh and spirited, sassy, and funny at times. Says Vivian Green of Vivid, her fifth studio album set to release in 2015 under Producer/Artist Kwame Holland’s label: MakeNoise/Caroline. ’It’s different from my other albums because of the energy; but very much still me.’ The title is certainly fitting. Green’s prior work established her as a balladeer and this album will add to that; proving her ability to deliver feel-good upbeat records. Totally produced by Kwame, ( it is the first of Green’s to entice you to dance; colored with ballads that showcase her effortless vocal prowess. The stand-out first single ‘Get Right Back To My Baby’ features a sample from Maze ft. Frankie Beverly’s classic ‘Before I Let Go’. It has a current bounce that makes you want to move. Green’s voice is powerful, alluring, and beams over the track.
Green has never followed trends, so don’t expect to hear her trying to mimic any. The music is hers and it’s the kind of record you want to take with you on a road trip, to the gym, and to the office. ‘Vivid gives the audience the fun, bubbly, and vibrant side of Vivian,’ says Kwame, ‘A side that her family and circle of friends know well, but the listener rarely gets to witness.’ Vivid is undoubtedly full of zeal. ’Broken’ gives a strong adult approach to loves disappointments, while ‘Work’ expresses energetic desire.
Price’s double-platinum debut, Soul of a Woman, featured the record-breaking single, “Friend of Mine.” She returned to center stage three years later with the platinum-plus seller, Mirror, Mirror, led by her remake of the R&B classic, “As We Lay,” and followed up with the gold-selling holiday collection, One Family: A Christmas Album in 2001. Three years after releasing Priceless, she returned to her roots for This Is Whom I Am, a live gospel album recorded at her church home in Long Island. The album included the uplifting single, “Healing,” which not only reached the top of the gospel charts, but was also credited and awarded at the 2007 ASCAP Awards as one of the top five songs played across both R&B and Gospel genres during 2006. Along her journey, she’s collaborated with the likes of Mariah Carey, George Michael, Elton John, The Isley Brothers, Brian McKnight and Sean “Diddy” Combs as well as Faith Evans, Whitney Houston, Donnie McClurkin, Eric Clapton, the late James Brown, Shirley Murdock. She’s also taken her talents to the screen and stage with roles in Soul Food, the series Bringing Down the House and the stage plays Why Did I Get Married? and The Bible Experience. In 2005, she added the title of ‘self-published author’ to her resume with the release of the inspirational tome, Inscriptions of My Heart. Checkout our latest interview with Kelly Price from the Essence Music Festival.
Teedra Moses was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana to a gospel singing mother, Shirley Moses. She later moved to Los Angeles, California with her mother and three siblings after her parents’ separation. Prior to becoming a recording artist, Moses worked with her best friend Nonja McKenzie as an assistant wardrobe stylist for artists such as Will Smith, Kelis, R. Kelly, and No Doubt. Never once approaching any of the clients, it wasn’t until after the death of her mother that Moses decided to follow her heart and begin making music. With over 10 years of live performance, selling out intimate venues around the world, and a stream of mix-tapes, Moses will release only her second commercial release in a decade. Cognac & Conversations scheduled to be released 3rd quarter 2015 thru Shanachie Entertainment. Check out our exclusive interview with Teedra from the Essence Festival.
New Orleans Rapper – Mystikal is best known for his hit singles “Shake It Fast” & “Danger (Featuring Nivea)” back his back on the scene. Mystikal is currently featured on the Mark Ronson track “Feel Right”, which blazing up the charts. Not only has he worked with Mark Ronson but Mystikal is said to be working with Bruno Mars and Pharrell on his upcoming music projects. Checkout our exclusive interview with Mystikal from the Essence Music Festival 2015.
Fresh off the Essence Music Festival stage – R&B/Soul Recording Artist, Raheem Devaughn stopped by the press room to catch up with David Duane. Raheem currently just got off of tour Ledisi and Leela James but has revealed that he’ll be back on tour with another female R&B artist. Now we asked him if it was K. Michelle since she’ll be announcing her fall tour soon but he said it wasn’t – so who could Raheem be touring with ? Sevyn Streeter ? Guess we’ll have to wait for the official announcement. He also revealed with us that his next single is but you gonna check this interview for all the exclusive details.
Update (As of 12:34pm EST): Raheem will be back on tour with Leela James speaking of which and the tour will kick off in October 🙂
Like only the most daring and gifted of musical artists, Stacy Barthe transforms her own hurt into songs that uplift, inspire, and fortify the soul. On BEcoming—Barthe’s full-length debut for Motown Records—the Brooklyn-born singer/songwriter boldly details her experience with suicidal depression, her troubles with drinking, and the triumph and struggle of her 180-pound weight loss. Throughout the album, Barthe graces that storytelling with her gorgeously powerful vocals and the sophisticated songcraft that she first revealed in penning tracks for the likes of Katy Perry (“Hummingbird Heartbeat”), Rihanna (“Cheers”), and Miley Cyrus (“Adore You”). Raw and uncompromising yet stirring and sublime, BEcoming proves both aching and joyful in its exploration of the complexity of the human condition.
To create the slow-burning, genre-bending blend of R&B and soul heard on BEcoming, Barthe worked closely with executive producer Malay. Also teaming up with producers such as Benny Cassette (Kanye West, Sky Ferreira) and DJ Camper (Nicki Minaj, Chris Brown), Barthe relied almost entirely on live, organic instrumentation rather than programmed beats, samples, and loops. With featured artists including John Legend (who also serves as an executive producer) as well as Common and newcomer Ro James, the album achieves a timeless spirit but bears an urgency that makes even its quietest moments steeped in intensity and passion. “The album’s about my old self dying and about becoming the new me,” explains Barthe, who likens the metamorphosis captured on the album to a larva shedding its cocoon and emerging as a butterfly. “I used to weigh 380 pounds,” she continues, “so I’ve been cocooning all my life—waiting to become.”
Checkout our latest interview with Stacy Barthe from the Essence Music Festival 2015 and checkout “BEComing” Available NOW !!!!
R&B Songstress – Tweet is about to change the R&B/Soul game with her upcoming album “Charlene” dropping January 2016 on E1 Nashville. Yes, that’s right deal – Tweet sealed her new record deal with E1 Nashville. As it was previously mentioned, she’ll be reuniting with Missy Elliot and Timbaland to give that great “Southern Hummingbird” vibe. David Duane catch up with her briefly to discuss the exciting news – Check it out !