Conya Doss gives us a “Pocketful Of Purpose”

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The lovely and talented Conya Doss has released her newest project upon  the world.  It’s been about a year and a half since her last release “Blu Transition”.  She has crafted her sixth album with the same Soul, inspired writing, and great voice that has been pillars in all her music.  From her debut album of “A Poem About Ms. Doss” to “Pocketful of Purpose”, they all exhibit a genuine and solid sound.   This wonderful music is even intensified, with her being a teacher in Cleveland.  That shows a a dedication to both that is early seen.

The album doesn’t disappoint in any way.  If you are old fan or this is your first time learning her name, you will have much to appreciate and love in this album.  Some my favorites of this album are “Paradise”, “Don’t Change” and “Lost”.   For the first two, you can listen to “Paradise” and watch her first video release from the album, “Don’t Change”.

You can learn more about Conya Doss and also purchase the CD version of the album right from her site.  You can support an artist greatly, by purchasing directly from the artist.  If you are looking for the digital version, check out iTunes.


Tracy Cruz’s Universoul Symphony Dazzles

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I’ve always had a secret love affair with Tracy Cruz’s music.  From the her first release in 2005 of “Illuminate Love” EP (that’s very hard to find), then on to her lovely “Feel’osophy” in three years later.  Now that  love grows with her new album “Universoul Symphony”, but I can’t keep it a secret any more. When her music and I first met, I thought it was too good for me. lol.  It wasn’t until “Feel’osophy”, that I really understood her music and could appreciate the “Illuminate Love” EP better.  Here is a video of her describing the creation of the new album, which gives you a very intimate look at her, her music and life.


Her new album is the best that I have heard her yet.  The best way for me to describe it, is as an uncomplicated spacial rhythm that wraps you in the blanket of her unyielding ranged voice, that holds you from “Soundation” to “Struggle Reprise“.  Just beautiful. My two favorite songs of the album has to be “Electricity” and “Love’s Galaxy“.  I think that “Love’s Galaxy” really showcases her voice and spot on production that’s contained on the album.  There is a whole feel to the album, that blends greatly with the whole Universoul and galaxy environment Tracy sets up.

As I wrote this article, my respect grew for Tracy Cruz and her music.  As a music lover you can love the music, but not fully understand the artist or what they are trying to present to the world.  With Tracy Cruz, you get a more complete view of what she is doing and trying to to show you through her music.  Nothing is hidden, all is there for you to absorb and allows you to get more insight and appreciation of her music and art.  Give her and her music a chance, starting with “Universoul Symphony”. You will be thankful that you did.

Black Porcelain gives us “Butterflies” Remixed

Ever get the feeling that there is a whole other world of Soul music to love, but you don’t know where to start?  Well, I have found my start.  Her name is Black Porcelain aka Carol Mashigo (Twitter/Facebook/YouTube).  She is a singer/songwriter born in Soweto.  Previously she released her EP “TheInBetween”.  The hit of that EP was “Butterflies”, which very popular in Europe.  WIth the help of DJ Zinhle, they remixed the song and the reach of the song grew even more.


Butterflies (DJ Zinhle Remix) by BlackPorcelain

What entrances me about her voice, is that on the remixed “Butterflies”, is that the up tempo vibe doesn’t over power her voice.  She is able to convey her silky subtle vocals, and not get lost within the music.  For me that’s a real show of talent, and teamwork in the studio.  To help give you some insight into her in the studio, check out the video below.


Let The Love Come from Arinmaya

I think that it is very fitting that the lovely Arinmaya is the first artist that I spotlight on my return on Soulified.  She was the last artist that was interviewed and spotlighted in January.  She has been busy in that time, and is bringing us goodies and treats.  She is getting ready to release her 2nd album “Let The Love Come”, which is an acoustic album.  It is being released June 14th, and you can pre-order it now.

This album consists of nine songs that truly let you hear, feel and embrace the emotion that she releases from her voice.  Also you get the bonus of hearing Nick Cassarino.  He performs on many of the songs.  With the two of them bringing there talents together, the listener should be humbled.  One of my favorites of the album is  “Love’s In Need Of Love Today”, which is awesome version of Stevie Wonder’s song.  I could go on and on gushing over each song, but in that time you could have listen to some of it by now. So, head over and check it out and pre-order.

 

 

<a href=”http://arinmaya.bandcamp.com/track/lemon-drops” _mce_href=”http://arinmaya.bandcamp.com/track/lemon-drops”>Lemon Drops by ArinMaya</a>

 

Jesse Boykins drops a new single

B4 the night is thru is a nice one. This is the first single from his next album Love Apparatus.

Click the pic and get the song.

PJ Morton Drops Independently Major Mixtape

Website

Indy star PJ Morton is back on the scene with something new for our ears. Independently Major is a collections of songs that were meant for others and some left on the cutting room floor.

[download id=”144″]

Khristopher Lamont Releases “Change”

Website/Twitter/Facebook/Youtube/CD Baby

Was just put on to this talented artist, Kristopher Lamont.  When I say this voice is out of the blue, I really mean out the blue.  I’m a little partial to my female Soul artists, but listening to Kristopher’s voice has show me that there is hope on the male front.  One main aspect I love about his voice, is that it conveys such power and feeling.  There is meaning behind each verse.  As if you were to peel back a layer or two, you would find some happiness, joy or sadness that he is pulling from, to give each verse it’s emotion.

Anyway, he has just dropped his debut single “Change”, and it’s here for you to listen.  His debut album is scheduled to appear Spring of 2011. So, check him out, spread the word and enjoy some “Change”.

[audio: Change (Radio Edit) 1.mp3]

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iiYuH7wnFjY

Lee Reveals His Gift in “Naked”

Lee? Yes, Lee.  Don’t know him?  Let me introduce you.  Lee is a an artist that has no definitions or genres that bind him.  He is a everything from a singer to poet to songwriter to rapper.  The reason I’m introducing you to Lee, is not just because of his new album “Naked”, that is to be released on October 26th.  It’s also to introduce you to an artist that has a body of work that allows you to draw from, and then listen to “Naked” with a reflection of how Lee arrived at this point musically.

Before his solo career, Lee was the front person for the band The Square Egg that was formed in 1999 in Miami.  The band members included Lee with lead vocals, Mike Rens (bass player), Woody Quinn (guitarist), Jim Antonucci (saxophone), Russ Kleiner (drummer), Pete Clagett(trumpet), Rick Parker(trombone), Pat Firth (keyboards), and background singers Kristen Maxfield and Carol Brevard-Stern.   This awesome collection of talent released four recordings which were:

Quite Possibly The Best Of Square Egg (2005)

Things Change (2005)

The Wooden Tongue (2004)

Songs To Live By (2004)

Here is a sample of their music.

Now, in 2008 Lee released his first solo album “Meet Lee (2008)“. This solo project set the fertile soil for the creative seed that bears fruit in the new album “Naked”.  It was a 17 songs that really talents and the breadth of his reach musically.  That’s another thing about Lee, that I truly admire.  He gives you an album.  Not a 6 or 8 song sampling, but a full album.  His new album has 22 songs. When is the last time you picked up an album that wasn’t a greatest hits or mixtape what had 22 songs? Was it Prince’s B Sides release? :)  Yes, it’s been that long.

To help spread the word of the new album’s release he has two singles.  The first is “Alone” and then “? (Love)“. Out of the two, my favorite is “? (Love)”.  Both should hold you till the album is released on the Tuesday, the 26th.  Also while you’re waiting, check out the previous albums and take the time understand and appreciate Lee and The Square Egg.  It will make the enjoyment of “Naked” so much more pleasant.

Website/Twitter/Facebook/MySpace

Nakia Henry Releases “Love Letter”

Nakia Henry is an artist that is new to me, and maybe to you also. She has just released a single, titled “Love Letter (He Wants Me To Win)”.  This is after she released “Remember Me” last year.  It was her debut album, that as she states the purpose,  “intending to reunite the self with the Self“.  That’s a very profound statement, and something you don’t find every day.  It also gives you insight into the music that Nakia Henry creates, and wants to share with the world.  For example, this single “Love Letter (He Wants Me To Win)”, has some earthy and also astral aspects at the same time.  It’s a great love story, that details the support, uplifting, and positivity of love that can exist in a relationship.  Her soft infliction filled voice, blends perfectly with the song.  You have to take a moment, to listen to the song and hear what her voice is saying, not her words.  That’s when you will get the true feeling of the song. Also, “Love Letter Part 2″ is on it’s way. Enough of my ramblings, listen to the song and see for yourself.

[audio: Nakia Henry – Love Letter (He Wants Me To Win).mp3]

Download [download id=”134”]

Website/BandCamp/Twitter/Facebook/Youtube/Blog/MySpace

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XEJ-CpKmfUE

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:  @bilal_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

Ms. Hill Returns

The thing about great artist, they seem to be weird or go crazy in there lifetime. You can say what you want, but it has to be something. With there problems or issues, they seem to forget to create new music. So anytime Whitney, D’Angelo or Lauryn Hill drop’s something new, that song seems to create hype for what the future can and should hold.

Lauryn has been on a up and down ride since her classic cd, The Miseducation. Most of her ride has been down, in the publics eyes. Her MTV unplugged project was panned by many. It was hard for people to except her going this sort of folk route. We were use to her giving us so much soul. To be honest, her unplugged disc was not bad.

Recently a few videos have surfaced with Lauryn sounding like the Fugees/Miseducation days. And the hype of her returning to top form is among us again. I can’t lie, I’m all in. Throw in the fact she is on tour doing the whole Miseducation album, Lauryn is on the comeback.

Today I found a new song of Lauryn’s. At the time, the only details we have is that the song is unreleased. I’m not sure if it is new or something that was a album throwaway. Whatever it is, I’m happy. It is good to hear Lauryn in all her glory, the way we remember her. Take a listen to this new song and comment. While you are at it, if you have not seen it yet, take a look at her performing Lost Ones a couple months ago.

[audio: Lauryn_Hill-Repercussions.mp3]

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44xcKsKQrIY

Rachel Brown’s Love, Life & Relationship

Website/Facebook/Twitter/MySpace/Blog

On this Sunday morning, I want to take some time to reflect on Rachel Brown.  The Soul songstress, who in 2007 released her debut album “Love, Life and Relationships” with Urban Music Group.  With that release she was in the spot light with her version of The Emotions “Don’t Ask My Neighbor”.   This album to me gives a great balance of the R&B productions, and a deep, rich soulfulness. Sometimes we get caught up in the new and freshly packaged music, and question the music and artists that don’t fit that mold.  In those, is where you find the gems and the talent that can last for years.  Rachel Brown is such an artist.

With “Love, Life and Relationships” you get fifteen songs that progress you through her thoughts, and transfer you to the sacred place that she visits every time that she sings.  This is an honor, and a chance that should not be missed.  Of, course the stand out song from the album is “Don’t Ask My Neighbor”, which can be seen below.  My favorites of the album start with “Weekend”, “Do What You Do”, and “Learn To Love Me”.

[audio: /05%20-%20Rachel%20Brown%20-%20Weekend.mp3]

[audio: 09%20-%20Rachel%20Brown%20-%20Do%20What%20You%20Do.mp3]

[audio: 03%20-%20Rachel%20Brown%20-%20Learn%20to%20Love%20Me.mp3]

After you’ve had time to absorb and make this album part of you, you will be pleased to know that later this year, she will begin on her second album.  That news really got my attention.  What I enjoy the most is seeing the transition from the debut to the 2nd album.  You learn a lot about the artist, and what direction they are going with their art. This transition should be quite exceptional.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Joc5BMBO0Tc

Gabbie McGee “Mississippi Daughter” Album Review

While driving into work today I decided to let Gabbie McGee’s new album “Mississippi Daughter” ride shotgun for my 1hr commute.

Almost immediately with “Walk with Me (Lord)” and “Afterwhile. Afterwhile” I was taken back to my childhood and I was suddenly sitting on my great grandmothers porch, getting my hair braided, playing jacks, and eating hersheys kisses. “It’s gonna be alright, Afterwhile.”

[audio: GabbieMcGee1.mp3]

It wasn’t deep, south Mississippi but it was Southern Virginia where I spent most of my childhood days and this album is the soundtrack to those memories. Memories of ice cold lemonade, hot days, little girls laughing as they played and a cool breeze under the shade.

Her lyrics also make you think of all the phenomenal women that have graced your life during that time with “Oak Tree”. I remembered my mami, my momma, my aunties, and my mother and the strength they’ve instilled me all these years.

[audio: GabbieMcGee6.mp3]

Its no doubt that Gabbie brings, with her sophomore album, spiritual, soultry, and smooth vocals. Her voice rings out lyrics that make you feel happy, carefree and full of hope from beginning to end, like when you were 10.

The last song on the album is “Run On”. I sat in my car, about to walk into my office and this song made my back straighter, and my stance 2 inches taller. “A New day is taken shape! – We gotta Run On!” and I did today and I will continue to do so.

[audio:GabbieMcGee14.mp3]

If you want to be spiritually fed and musically uplifted, then definitely add the beautiful Gabbie McGee to your collection. You will feel nostalgic and looking forward to your next Family Reunion.

Track Listing

1.  Walk with Me

2.  Afterwhile, Afterwhile

3.  Mississippi’s Daughter

4.  Destination Me

5.  The Interview Week 97.8

6.  Oak Tree

7.  Believer

8.  Soul.Jazz Amplified./How I Got Over It

9.  Idealistic Love

10. Give it 2 Me

11. He Makes Me Say (Boobie’s Anthem)

12. Help Wanted

13. Marriage, Motherhood & Music

14. Run On!

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

Artist Spotlight: Carlitta Durand

Website/MySpace/Twitter/FaceBook/BandCamp

Carlitta Durand.  Know her?  You should.  I didn’t until recently, and then I kinda went over board and tried to collect all of her music.  She has been blessed with a sensual voice, and a talent that just draws you in, and makes you stay awhile.  She has released an album titled “Carlitta’s Way The Prelude“.  It was released April of 2009, but it’s still a great showcase of her voice.  Of course, I personally like her softness and clarity.  In the past year or two , she has been featured on mean songs, released The Doug And Patty EP’s (Season One & Two), and featured on four songs of  Nicolay’s “City Lights Vol. 2: Shibuya“.  She has done an exceptional job of getting her voice out there. The thing that blows me away, is that she is currently on 19.  Yup.  I know grown-ass artists who aren’t that prolific or talented.  Some of the items that I mention are available for download, some are available to stream.  Enjoy.

[download id=”44″]

[download id=”45″]

[audio: 01%20-%20Nicolay%20-%20Lose%20Your%20Way.mp3]

[audio: RobotHeart-AppleJac-remix.mp3]