Laura J “Illuminates” us with her voice

Stumbled upon this Soul/Gospel artist, Laura J (twitter, Facebook) that has blown my away. It’s very fitting that I find someone, on Sunday, who is breathing new life into Gospel.  From listening to the first song on her site “Illuminate”, which also is the album title, I was hooked.  It’s a very upbeat, song that will energize you, and makes you feel that Laura J is speaking directly to you.

She released her debut album “Illuminate” this past spring.  There are 16 tracks which will captivate, motivate and just entrance you in her experience. I hope to have a review up soon.  One thing that I can really feel from her music, is that she loves what she does.  Check out her site, follow her on twitter and watch the video.  I think that you will be happy you did.


Raheem Devaugh released “Heemy Taught Me”

One of the most prolific mixtape artists out there has dropped a new one.  Well new to me.  It was released in early April.  This mixtape is made up of his favorite slow jams.  So, if you are looking to create the mood, this is what you need to get.

[Download not found]

1. Gently
2. Breathe
3. Text Messages
4. Garden Of Luv
5. Mo Betta
6. Prototype
7. Believe
8. Customer
9. B.O.B.
10. Calling Me
11. Can’t Be Friends (Remix)
12. Bedroom
13. Desire
14. Some Kind Of Way
15. Closer (Won’t Be Long)
16. XO

Nakia Henry lets loose her “Love Letter”

Nakia Henry has joyously released her video “Love Letter” on VH1 Soul.   This is the first video from her album “Remember Me“.  If you don’t know, that’s a big deal.  She has other videos in the pipeline, which is great for her fans.  Enjoy.

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>

 

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.

Interview With Avery*Sunshine

TwitterMySpaceOfficial Website

Today we have the great blessing to speak with Avery*Sunshine and understand a little bit more about her wonderful voice, talent and positivity.  With the release of her debut album last summer, she has brought an energy to the genre, that was lacking in my opinion.  You can gather that vibe from her music, watching her perform or just hearing her in a voicemail. (Which I had the pleasure to receive, I will never delete):)  Anyway, if you haven’t picked up the album please do, and give yourself a treat.  Also, if you are in the Memphis, she will be performing at The Vine this Saturday January 15th.  You know I will be there.

Soulified: With the release of your debut album last summer, how has your career changed?

Avery*Sunshine: We are definitely a lot busier!!! The album helps to increase awareness.

Soulified: What was the message that you were trying to convey to your fans with that album?

Avery*Sunshine: I wanted to encourage people to not be afraid of honesty. I hope that my honesty and “realness” (That word is not in the dictionary lol) encourages others to be honest and real. From that honesty will flow healing and from that healing will flow “SHINEABILITY”: the ability to SHINE! . (I made that word up too.) ;)

Soulified: As each song is an intimate creation of talent, heart and soul, what song had the most meaning to you on this album, if you had to narrow one down?

Avery*Sunshine: They are all very meaningful to me. If I’d have to pick,  I’d choose UGLY.  From that tune we were able to create an album. The vocals on that tune were recorded in my closet!!!!

Soulified: I really enjoyed your video “All In My Head”. What songs are next to make the transitions to a music video?  Why was that one picked to be the first?

Avery*Sunshine: Thank you! We thought that the story of ALL IN MY HEAD would visually be interesting. We hope that it was! I GOT SUNSHINE and PININ’ will be next!

Soulified: I love that you are touring, even to the smaller cities like Memphis. How has the experience been for you?

Avery*Sunshine: The touring experience is very close to my heart. I am privileged to have the opportunity to travel the world doing what I love to do. BLESSED.

Soulified: Since you gave your fans such a great album last summer, what are you plans for the next album?

Avery*Sunshine: First of all, THANK YOU. Secondly, the thought of creating another album is TERRIFYING but a feat we intend to take on nonetheless!!! We, my music partner Dana Johnson and I, plan to write from our hearts again and see what happens. Wherever God leads, we’re gonna follow!  Can’t go wrong that way. I’d like to have a few guest artists on the album too. (We’ll let you know if Prince agrees!!!) I’M KIDDING!!! well… ;)

Soulified: I can tell by your music, videos and just how you carry yourself. How do you keep your positive nature and outlook?

Avery*Sunshine: Prayer. My family. My friends. Music. Getting rest when I need it and being adamant about having personal time to “re-up”.

Soulified: With the growth of twitter and facebook as ways for artists to connect directly with the fans, what method do you prefer and what was the most surprising thing that you have noticed about the increased fan connection?

Avery*Sunshine: I am both a Twitter and Facebook junkie. When I first started, I was surprised that people were actually interested in the seemingly mundane things that I was doing!!! Now I realize that the social networks allow artists to have the necessary connection with the people who help to make the artists who they are. I was not a fan initially. Now, I’M SOLD!!!!

Soulified: So what are you plans for your music in 2011?

Avery*Sunshine: We intend to continue  our touring to further increase awareness about the project. Of course we’ll be making more music too. ;)

Soulified: Thank your for your time, and best wishes.

Avery*Sunshine: Thank you Eric for your interest!!!  I’m Honored!





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 not found]

Vikter Duplaix Drops “For Players Only” Mixtape

I know it’s only Tuesday, but you have to start getting ready for the weekend sometime.  A great mixtape has been done by DJ Mars, Vikter Duplaix and  DJ Doc.  Very smooth and weekend approved.  If you can’t get the vibe going with this, then you need your card pulled.  Enjoy.

Download [Download not found]

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

Cee Lo Green- Lady Killer (album review/ online listening party by Dj Smoke1))

Finally after playing the ish outta his single “Fuck You” I got my hands on the highly anticipated 3rd solo studio album by Cee Lo Green which drops November 9th, 2010 and you know I had to send it to our Dj Smoke1 to mix up for your listening pleasure.

Listening to the whole album it’s almost hard to believe this was recorded in 2010 because it has a very soulful Motown vintage feel from the many ways Cee Lo sings to the production arrangements that back his vocals. I sent the album over to my boy Shawn Harrison of the hit tv show Family Matters to get his thoughts on it and he even liked the album which is a pretty good compliment being that he’s not a Cee Lo fan and pretty much hate’s most the artist I love. lol My favorite song by far on the album aside from the hit single “Fuck You” has to be #10 “Fool For You.” The beat has a dope Earth Wind and Fire funk sound about it and Cee Lo’s singing style in this one is nuts the way he transitions from an in your face head sway style to convince everyone why he’s a fool for the woman he’s singing about to the smooth out crooner style when the hook comes to my favorite part via the way he sings the “YOU!” parts. This one has definitely been on repeat. Something I noticed that the version of #8 I Want You is totally different then the one I featured awhile ago. All the lyrics are the same he just sings them way different more at a slower tempo and the production to match. I def like the other version a lot better. Also his rendition of  Georgia didn’t make the album that I featured here as well which makes no sense to me because that single is dope and totally reps the place where he comes from. Oh well you can download them both at that “here” and add them to the album when you purchase it.

I highly suggest picking this album up on the 9th if you want some “instant vintage” and to hear Cee Lo in a way and style like you’ve never really heard. Dude is mad talented and has come a long way since his hip hop group Goodie Mob.

1. The Lady Killer Theme (Intro)
2. Bright Lights Bigger City
3. Fuck You
4. Wildflower
5. Bodies
6. Love Gun Ft. Lauren Bennett
7. Satisfied
8. I Want You
9. Cry Baby
10. Fool For You Ft. Philip Bailey
11. It’s OK
12. Old Fashioned 13. No One’s Gonna Love You
14. The Lady Killer Theme (Outro)

Cee Lo Green- Lady Killer Presented by Dj Smoke1…

[audio:C lo album mix final.mp3]

Download: Fuck You

10. Fool For You Ft. Philip Bailey

[audio:10-cee_lo_green-fool_for_you_ft._philip_bailey_(produced_by_jack_splash).mp3]

Download: [Download not found]

4 out of 5 Cartons

-Black Milk

The Foreign Exchange- Authenticity (album review/listen/video)

The super duo that make up The Foreign Exchange, Phonte (rapper/singer) and Nicolay (producer) are back 2 years later coming off they’re Grammy nominated sophomre album “Leace All Behind” with they’re 3rd installment “Authenticity.” And this time they have an official 3rd member in the group by the name of ZO! (singer/producer)

I know I’m a little tardy with my review on this album being that it dropped Oct 12th but couldn’t help the lap top issues I had but I’m black in business yall and had plenty of time to listen to this album and when I say I’ve listened to it I’m talking about playing it all day everyday since it came out. It’s that tight yall. As a matter of fact I’m going to go on record and call this one a masterpiece. All 11 tracks are dope. Whether your in love or out of love your going to dig this album and it’s going to get you through what ever mood your going through. It’s always a treat to hear Phonte sing because I’m so use to hearing him spit with his rap crew Little Brother and he truly show’s his vocal versatility on this one hitting high/ low notes and even some falsetto. Aside from the vocals the words behind them have great message, content, and meaning. Put all that together on top of the production from Nicolay with a sprinkle of ZO! and you have the masterpiece that I speak of.

When asked about the albums title Phonte speaks, “I think every band reaches that point when they come into their own and find a sound that is distinctively theirs. The title refers to me and Nic’s journey to find our own unique space within this vast musical landscape. The biggest challenge as a musician is to find that ‘thing’ that makes you who you are. But I think we’re getting there, and we’re finding our way more and more with each record.”

Since I have yet to catch a live performance here in Cali I’ve been on the hunt to find some recent video to get me by till they touch down and they’re all as dope live as they are in the studio. Here’s one of my favorite songs off the album called “Make Me A Fool.”

“Make Me A Fool” live in New York’s at B.B. King’s

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ug7U771Ycp0

1. The Last Fall
2. Authenticity
3. Eyes To The Sky
4. All Roads
5. Fight For Love
6. Maybe She’ll Dream Of Me
7. Don’t Wait feat. Darien Brockington
8. Make Me A Fool feat. Jesse Boykins III & Median
9. Everything Must Go
10. Laughing At Your Plans feat. Chantae Cann
11. This City Ain’t The Same Without You feat. YahZarah

For more info and to purchase the album go to The Foreign Exchange’s Official website here.

Listen to the album…

[audio: The Foreign exchange copy.mp3]

5 out of 5 Cartons

-Black Milk

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 not found]

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

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

V Drops A “Fantasy”

Our good friends at Groovmnt, let me know about a new single from Valvin Roane aka “V”.  The single is “Fantasy”.  He croons to the women, with a style that makes you think of the Soul of decades past.  I’m still researching on V, but check out the song and pay Groovmnt a visit.  We should have a full spotlight shortly.

[audio: Valvin_Fantasy.mp3]

Bruno Mars- Doo Wop and Hooligans (album review/ online listening party by Dj Smoke1)

I’ve had my hands on Bruno’s new album for a hot sec and thought I’d have our very own Dj Smoke1 bless you all with an early listen of the album before it drops this Tuesday October 5th, 2010.

For those expecting the Bruno Mars that you’ve heard on the 2 dope feature’s he blessed on the vocal/ production tip for B.O.B and Travie McCoy I wanna let you know right now none of that is really on this album. Bruno is definitely showcasing the real him on this album as well as his versatility through all kinds of different genre’s of music like the obvious doo-wop, r&b, pop, reggae, soul, and some island acoustic like you’ve heard on Travis McCoy’s “Billionaire” song.

I’ll be honest, when I first listened to this album I wasn’t really feeling it because again I was expecting the catchy hook, up tempo production I heard on the feature’s he had done prior. After a few more listen’s of the album and Smoke1’s mix some more the album started to grow on me. It’s definitely something a little different then what your typically use to hearing and I dig that Bruno stayed true to himself and went that route. I wish the album would have had more the 12 tracks because again I can’t stand when an artist doesn’t feel that bad boy all the way up and give fans they’re monies worth but you can expect a different track out of each of the 12 that sound nothing the same. I recommend this album to all the true Bruno Mars fans and for those that want something different to listen to with some substance and versatility cause it’s worth the $9.99. For more information on Bruno, the album, the music video and some exclusive download’s from the album check out my past preview post.


1. Grenade
2. Just The Way You Are
3. Our First Time
4. Runaway Baby
5. The Lazy Song
6. Marry You
7. Talking To The Moon
8. Liquor Store Blues feat Damian Marley
9. Count On Me
10. The Other Side feat Cee Lo Green and B.o.B

Buno Mars- Doo-Wop and Hooligans presented by Dj Smoke1

[audio:Bruno Mar Mix final.mp3]

Enjoy the party and make sure to leave me your thoughts down below.

3 1/2 out of 5 Cartons


-Black Milk