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Zo! blesses fans with ….Just Visiting Three EP

Ok, I’m grown man doing the happy dance.  Yup, I just admitted that.  Zo! has released …Just Visiting Three upon the world. If you have been follow Soulified, you know that we all are huge fans of Zo.  This release just reinforces that feeling.  Being the third in a series, it just keeps getting better.  It brings some great versions of  Steely Dan’s “Black Cow”, Nina Vidal’s “Driving” sung by Sy Smith, and a a few other gems that will make you want and beg for more. Even more impressive than the songs, are the artists that he works with on this project.  Along with the aforementioned Sy Smith, there is Erro, Phonte, Jeanne Jolly and Nicholas Ryan Gant.  Have I mentioned that this is Free? With so much bad music out there, it refreshing, welcome and great that this quality of an project can be found at any price.

 

…Just Visiting Three [Download not found]

…Just Visiting Two [Download not found]

…Just Visiting One [Download not found]

Zo! To Release a Sunstorm Upon Us

If you are like me, then you know that July is a hot month in the music scene. Coming up on the horizon is a project from a producer who has been putting it down on the soul scene for years. On July 27th the new project from Zo! “Sunstorm” will hit the shelves.

If you are lost to whom Zo! is you must have been hiding under a rock. From Zo! and Tigallo Love the 80’s to the Grammy nominated “Leave it All Behind” from Foreign Exchange. Zo! has been part of some of the best soul music released over the last few years.

“Sunstorm” will feature an amazing line up from Yahzarah, Phonte from Foreign Exchange, Eric Roberson, Jesse Boykins III, and Sy Smith. Sy is featured on the first single “Greatest Weapon of All Time”.  It is a nice laid back up-tempo jam to get the party started.

Just based off of the 2 singles released, “This Could Be the Night” being the other, “Sunstorm” is shaping up to be an instant classic. If you can’t wait for something from Zo!, download two of his FREE projects if you have not already, [Download not found] and [Download not found].

Pre-order the album and look for Zo! and Foreign Exchange to hit a city near you.

Tracklisting below:

1. Greater Than the Sun f. Phonte
2. Greatest Weapon of All Time f. Sy Smith

[audio: Zo!%20-%20Greatest%20Weapon%20Of%20All%20Time%20feat.%20Sy%20Smith.mp3]Download Track [Download not found]
3. Say How You Feel f. Carlitta Durand & Phonte
4. For Leslie
5. Be Your Man f. Darien Brockington
6. Free Your Mind f. Lady Alma
7. SunStorm f. YahZarah
8. If I Could Tell You No f. Jesse Boykins III
9. This Could Be The Night f. Eric Roberson, Darien Brockington & Rapper Big Pooh

[audio: 01%20This%20Could%20Be%20The%20Night%20feat.%20Eric%20Roberson%2C%20Darien%20Brockington%20%26%20Rapper%20Big%20Pooh.mp3]Download Track [Download not found]
10. Flight of The Blackbyrd f. Phonte
11. All Is Well With Love f. Chantae Cann
12. Make Luv 2 Me f. Monica Blaire

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

Zo! & Sy Smith Create the “Greatest Weapon Of All Time”

Website/Twitter/MySpace

Zo! has released “Greatest Weapon Of All Time”, featuring Sy Smith.  This song is from his upcoming album “SunStorm”, which is being released by the Uber record company “The Foreign Exchange Music“.  The album is due to hit stores July 27th, and should be blazing, if this first single is any indication.  This song is powerful and upfront.  it’s like both Zo! and Sy Smith have something to prove, and they end up proving it.  You can listen to the song below, and download here or [Download not found]

[audio: Zo!%20-%20Greatest%20Weapon%20Of%20All%20Time%20feat.%20Sy%20Smith.mp3]

You can also check out two wonderful EP’s that he released previously. “[Download not found]” and “[Download not found]“.  Both are great and free downloads.

01. Greater Than The Sun feat. Phonte
02. Greatest Weapon Of All Time feat. Sy Smith
03. Say How You Feel feat. Carlitta Durand & Phonte
04. For Leslie
05. Be Your Man feat. Darien Brockington
06. Free Your Mind feat. Lady Alma
07. SunStorm feat. YahZarah
08. If I Could Tell You No feat. Jesse Boykins III
09. This Could Be The Night feat. Eric Roberson, Darien Brockington & Rapper Big Pooh
10. Flight Of The Blackbyrd feat. Phonte
11. All Is Well With Love feat. Chantae Cann
12. Make Luv 2 Me feat. Monica Blaire

Yahzarah asks “Why Dontcha Call No More”

Yahzarah has released the first single “Why Dontcha Call No More”, from her upcoming album “The Ballad Of Purple Of St. James“. The album will be released on May 4th. This album is seems it’s like a rising of a phoenix. It started with her EP, “The Prelude” that she released in 2008. It was the catalyst of the fire., that set it apart from her previous two albums. The upcoming album which was made in collaboration with Foreign Exchange Music, will be the gasoline on that fire. Check out the single, which reminds me a little of the spirit of Prince’s “How Come U Don’t Call My Anymore”.

Why Dontcha Call me No More

Download [Download not found]

Nicolay’s “City Lights Vol. 2: Shibuya” for $5

You may have heard of the awesomer group Foreign Exchange.  Well….half of the group is Nicolay, who has puts out some quality music.  He released a unreal chill album called “City Lights Vol 2: Shibuya”  It was released last September, right before “Leave It All Behind” was released.  Anyway, it’s now available on Amazon for $5 for the entire month of February.  Now, you can’t beat that with a stick.  If you want to get a sample of his music check out the “Tribute to Nicolay EP” that was released a few weeks ago.

Digging In The Crates: Zo!’s 2006 …Just Visiting EP

Website/Myspace

You know I love finding rare EP and mixtapes.  Yes, there are rare ones out there.  Once I paid $75 for a rare copy of Ledisi’s album “Feeling Orange, But Sometimes Blue”.  Anyway, with the recent release of Zo!’s…Just Visiting Too” EP, it makes one wonder was there a Just Visiting One?  Well… there was a first one.  It’s awesome just like the 2nd one.  It has covers of Anita Baker’s “Caught Up In The Rapture”, Janet Jackson’s “Funny How Time Flies”, and four other songs.  If you put this EP with the new EP, you have thirteen tracks of goodness.  Also, don’t forget that in the next few months, Zo! will be releasing his album “SunStorm” through Foreign Exchange Music.

To download this digital goodness, click the album cover or here.

Soulified’s Favorite Group/Collaboration Of 2009: The Foreign Exchange

Foreign Exchange

Website/MySpace/FaceBook/YouTube/Twitter

This honor of being Soulified’s Favorite Group/Collaboration of 2009, can only go to The Foreign Exchange.  The Foreign Exchange is made up of singer/songwriter Phonte and producer Nicolay.  The sheer number or artists/groups that they work with, is only surpassed by the quality of their productions.  Even though their second album “Leave It All Behind” (download sampler), was released in October of 2008, it set the tone for them in 2009.  Here are some of the projects that came out this year.

They also are working with Zo! (SunStorm arriving early 2010), Yahzarah (The Ballad of Miss Purple St James arriving spring 2010).

To add to the greatness, they were nominated for “Best Urban/Alternative Performance”, for their song “DayKeeper (featuring Muhsinah)” , from the album “Leave It All behind”.  All this from two artists on two different parts of the world, bringing real meaning to the word collaboration.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FAT9ZsbIh30

The Foreign Exchange does EP tribute of Zo!

Zo! Just Visiting Too

Website/Myspace

This is turning out to be a great day for free music. I should be shot for not having an Artist Spotlight on Foreign Exchange yet. Anyway, this great group has done covers of fellow label mate, Zo! His album “SunStorm” will be released soon. To pay tribute to that, FE has put together and EP with the likes of Yahzarah, Darien Brockington, Phonte and others. This is a free EP which serves double duty. It exposes you to the muisc of Zo! and the style of FE. You can download the album here or Soulified’s backup link. Enjoy.

Muhsinah…. A quite strength

Muhsinah

Website Myspace FaceBook Twitter Youtube

There isn’t a way to describe Muhsinah.  I learned about her, when I was posting over at Brown Sugar.  She has a very different style, complex style that takes a good ear to really appreciate, and understand.  Once you get it, you’re hooked.  Then you find out that she has been making music for a few years, and a few albums under her belt.  In 2005, she released The Oscillations EP. Then in 2007 she released day.break. In 2008 she really exploded with her releases.  pre.lude, day.break 2.0, The Oscillations:Sine, and The Oscillations: Triangle. This year she released The Oscillations: 2XLP, which is a compilation of the previous two  The Oscillations albums.  A good portion of her albums are mp3 format only, so, iTunes and Amazon has them available to purchase.

Learning more about her, and her music you see something that is becoming very common on the web.  That common item is the absence of big music companies influence.  She is a model of an independent artist.  Her site is very professional, and feature rich.  She can release EP and singles as she pleases.  Also she can connect directly and often to her fans, and offer freebies.  This is something that I am very excited about for future artists arriving in the Soul music genre.  This is all extra, in addition to her great talent.  This is something that not all artists can do.  Just imagine if Sade had a site and fan connectivity like Muhsinah?  I’m very glad the music industry hasn’t caught up to the times.  It gives the fans a really chance to enjoy, and be apart of the music that we all love. Other artists that have similar independence are Ayah, and Amanda Diva.

Oh, you know that great song Daykeeper from Foreign Exchange?  She is on that also.  Download it free here.