Meet ArinMaya

Website/Twitter/Facebook

This beautiful brown poet and songstress is a delightful soul to speak to, and incredibly talented.  I had an opportunity to interview this Goddess from Chicago, and was relieved to find that there was still, yet another artist who despite the compelling circus of the mainstream, remains true to herself and true to the legendary craft of creating timeless SOUL.

Find the audio interview below, along with her bio and links to learn more about her and her art…

[audio: http://soulified.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/ArinMayaInterview-Pt1.mp3] [audio: http://soulified.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/ArinMayaInterview-Pt2.mp3]

Upcoming Shows:

Jan 14 & 28 – Williamsburg, Brooklyn – Pates & Traditions Restaurant

Jan 29 – Montclair, NJ – HeART Gallery Feature

Feb 10 – Harlem, NYC – Billie’s Black – Spoken Soul Feature

March 25 – Harlem, NYC – Harlem Stage – Soul: Remixed, Revisited, Reconstructed

Video links: (these are performances and interviews)



http://www.facebook.com/#!/video/video.php?v=463506842322 closed performance of “lemon drops” summer 2010

Bio

Brooklyn-based artist ArinMaya is a singer/songwriter with her soul wide open. Her style cannot be contained but is often characterized as graceful and healing, whether she’s scatting through standards, riffing to R&B or improvising over electro-beat. Her voice culls audiences to remember the sensuality and mystery of Sade, the deep hurt of Billie, and the wisdom of Nina. And her songwriting sends audiences to a hopeful, sometimes private place where they are comforted, satiated and affirmed.

Hailing from Chicago, ArinMaya was born into the arms of two music-loving parents whose record collections spanned from Paul Simon’s Graceland to almost every album released by Sweet Honey in the Rock, from show tunes like Ain’t Misbehavin’ to Pharoah Saunders and Stevie Wonder’s entire discographies. From age 5 she wanted to be in every choir possible, and she was. ArinMaya participated as section leader or soloist in Trinity United Church of Christ’s children’s and youth choirs, the Chicago Children’s Choir, the Community Renewal Society’s All God’s Children and every single choir she could join in high school at the Latin School of Chicago. She even gave strong voice to the teenage and women’s drill teams at church, filling the 3,000-seater sanctuary (sans microphone) every other Sunday with “I’ve got a feeling, I’ve got a feeling church, I’ve got a feeling the TUCC drill team’s gonna step for Christ.”

In college at Howard University, her focus was studying, but she did get to stretch her lungs out for Delta Sigma Theta Sorority as a song leader and briefly in Howard’s Gospel Choir, then led by Richard Smallwood. A year-long exchange at Stanford allowed the songstress to join the popular Everyday People a cappella with whom she toured and recorded an album.

Though music was never far from her mind, it took a few years of dedicated yet unfulfilling work in New York for her to step out onto the tightrope of her dreams. At the end of 2007, ArinMaya took the bold step of leaving her job to leave for Paris—city of light. While in Europe, she also visited Berlin so that by the time she was heading back to the states, she had explored and become more comfortable with performing solo for audiences at such venues as The Swan Bar, Le Blue Note, and Cotton Club Berlin, sharing the stage with artists like Mario Canonge, Catia Werneck, and Fumi Tokie.

ArinMaya’s return to the states only confirmed she had been traveling in the right direction and she has been writing, collaborating and performing ever since at venues such as Brooklyn’s Joloff Restaurant, D.C.’s National Cherry Blossom Festival, and New York’s world-famous Blue Note, to name a few.

Her debut recording, The Sound of ArinMaya, was released in Spring 2010 and continues to be well-received and downloaded by audiences worldwide. 2011 will prove to be even more exciting, as the singer plans to release her first full-length recording with long-time collaborator and guitarist, Nick Cassarino, as well as some other collaborative projects.

ArinMaya has grown and continues to grow into a widely sought after artist and looks forward to spreading her love for the craft and artistry of music to audiences worldwide.

Exclusive Bilal Interview

Well family, you heard right, we were blessed with the opportunity to get an exclusive interview with Bilal.  We were one of the few who were allowed to get a sneak peak into whats been up with the brotha and what he has in store with his latest release “Airtights Revenge.” I wont bore you with the shenanigans.  Lets get to the interview…

SOULFIED:

We know that many transitions have been made for you, eventhough you’ve consistently given your fans a genuine sound.  It is what we have come to expect of you.  What changes, if any, would you say took place between Love For Sale and Airtights Revenge

BILAL

This album is more electronic.  Its so much more.  The style of writing and everything was done much differently than previous albums.  From the ground up, the goal was to do landscaping with sounds, so I used a lot more sounds and effects than previous albums.  It is a real progressive album.

SOULIFIED

Tell us a little about Airtights Revenge, what is the meaning behind it and what brought it about?

BILAL

The meaning behind it… It basically started out fast.  Things were moving real fast, and then you know, my album ended up getting shelved.  I was off the label, then there was contracts and all this other bullsh*t.  The silverlining… then I started to see the sunlight come in.  Some people felt like the project I was working on was dark and some people weren’t understanding what I was doing – where I was coming from.  (slight laugh)  Then someone came up to me and told me that this album was the greatest soul record they ever heard in in their life.  I mean, when you get these types of statements, you know, its just.. (satisfying laugh).

So I started to tour and it was like I had an album come out!  The Revenge was what made me who I am today.  It made me stronger.  It made me better.  It made me more of a blues singer, which is what I had always wanted to be from the beginning.  But now I’m more of a blues singer than ever.  Its like some 5 Heartbeats type sh*t. (we both share a laugh).

If I could do it all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing.  I didn’t know any of this would happen, but it did, and everything happens for a reason.

SOULIFIED

So we heard, September 14th.  Is this official?  Is there any significance in the date?

BILAL

The album will definitely be released on the 14th.  Theres no siginificance in the date.

SOULIFIED

Robots is crazy!!!  I personally feel that it would make a great single…  Have you decided on which song will be the initial single?

BILAL

The single will be Restart.  We did a few videos, but the single will be Restart.  I don’t really do singles.   I don’t really get into putting out singles because to me the whole album is hot.  I just go with what feedback I get.

SOULIFIED

What you’ve done for yourself up until now has worked.  Do you plan on going more mainstream?  What direction will your career go?

BILAL

Man I just want to make good music.    I just make music.  I do what I love, which is making music.  I’m not into formulas or anything, just making good music.  If it goes more mainstream then so be it, but I’m gonna keep doing what I love to do.

SOULIFIED

From the feedback I’ve gotten, people want to see more of you.  Where can fans see you performing, or hear you these days?  Do you have a blog or youtube channel?

BILAL

Twitter: [email protected]_oliver

That is the best avenue because I load my videos on there and talk about upcoming shows and things like that.

SOULIFIED

I dont want to get too personal, but the ladies want to know… Is there a Soul Sista on the scene?

BILAL

(brief silence) Hello! – the phone started breaking up – He chimes back in “I’m not doing this on purpose!” (brief laugh)  I do have someone special in my life. (You’re referring to music right…?) (another laugh) Actually, I am in a relationship. ….yeah.  I’m in a relationship right now.   I’m married. (aite aite! I’m not gonna get too much deeper into that. ) (more laughs)

End of Interview


We had to disconnect after that question, so we closed up.  There is so much more I wanted to ask him, as it relates to the details about production and the rest of the Soulquarians.  I also wanted to include questions from some of his fans on our Soulfied twitter page but there just wasn’t enough time.  I’m sure this does wet your appetite though.  This album is looking very promising.

All in all, the brotha seemed very motivated and extremely excited about Airtights Revenge.  I listed below, a few treats that are sure to keep you excited about this one.  Send Bilal a tweet or something to let him know that we appreciate the exlusive interview at soulified.com.  Again, his twitter page is bilal_oliver

Yours truly, still working hard to Keep it alive… Issa

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZR1eXvXGLA

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xF70UHCoDp0&feature=related

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNmeH9iM2CY&feature=related

Abundance from PPP

… Lets open this up with 2 words: Art Blakey:

Its Sunday evening and aside from this beautiful black woman I’ve been building with, the only thing in my head is this brotha’s music.  Art Blakey.  The song No Hay Problemas comes on and I’m left dumbfounded.  I started thinking to myself, “Who plays like this anymore?”  Then I pulled the elusive “Musicians Rolodex” out and started fumbling through some of the soul artists I had been neglecting and lo and behold… these geniuses stood out shining brilliant light:  Platinum Pied Pipers.

Hailing from Detroit, Waajeed and Saadiq are multi-instrumentalists who have been known to consistently leave their listeners hitting repeat.  They hit the scene in 03′ when their collaboration with Dwele: Ridin High caught the ears of soul-seekers and set the stage for a full-length album.  Since then, we’ve been rocking to them.  In 05′  they released Triple P.  This album not only got us moving, but it also kept us loving one another, with features ranging from J Dilla and Dwele, to the sexy harmonies of Neco Redd.

In 09′ they gave us yet another piece of manna from heaven when they released Abundance.  Its still on heavy rotation and if you dont have this album yet, you slipping.  Cop it, and while your at it, cop some Art Blakey too. ;)

Still keepin it alive. Peace.

Electrifying Soul: Muhsinah

Michael Jackson's mentor, Quincy Jones

In the early 1950’s Quincy Jones made a bold move and took an offer to tour as a trumpeter with Lionel Hampton, instead of finishing at Berklee College of Music.

Around the same time, Ray charles was singing “Baby, Let Me Hold Your Hand” while wearing his signature Billy Stickles shades. About a decade later, Curtis Mayfield was in the company of James Brown and Sly Stone cultivating people’s pride for being black. They electrified people so well with their music, that anyone living during the civil rights era, had a seriously soulful soundtrack to groove to.

Though I enjoy the life-giving entertainment that these men brought to the forefront, I can’t hold a candle to their creative genius. There is one thing we have in common; however, and that is an undying desire to keep soul music alive.

I just want to quickly introduce myself. I’m Issa and I breathe soul music. If there was no Frankie Beverly and Maze, where would I be today?

The one and only Chaka!

If Chaka Khan never opened her mouth, I wonder what my life would be like, and if Aretha would never have touched a microphone, there would be a void in my life that nothing else could fill. The industry has created categories for artists and boxed them in based on these categories, but bottom line: we know soul. For that reason, I am so pleased to be writing with the rest of the team here at Soulified. I have a unique opportunity to spread more of this thing we call “soul” by bringing to you some of the up and coming soul and neo-soul artists who are diligently working to keep it alive.

Before I sign off, I want to introduce you to an artist who I’m sure you’ve heard of by now.  Check the archives here for another article on her written a few months back. She’s shining bright, and I  have had this star on heavy rotation for the past few weeks… yes.. weeks. Her name is Muhsinah. She’s hailed by The Washington Post as being a young soul rebel “with an uncanny ability to seamlessly meld electronic beats with layers of jazzy arrangements and unorthodox song structure..” As a singer/songwriter and producer, she claims to be highly influenced by Chick Corea, Alice Coltrane, and J Dilla. Its pretty easy to see that on her most recent album “The Oscillations: Triangle” released in 09′.

Here’s a taste, and here’s to soul. Keep it alive…

Download some Muhsinah: Construction