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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, Just Visiting... (960 downloads ) and ...Just Visiting Too (742 downloads ) .

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 Zo! & Sy Smith "Greatest Weapon Of All Time" (586 downloads )
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 Zo! - This Could Be The Night (395 downloads )
10. Flight of The Blackbyrd f. Phonte
11. All Is Well With Love f. Chantae Cann
12. Make Luv 2 Me f. Monica Blaire

Yahzarah Releases Video for Single “Why Dontcha Call Me No More”

Yahzarah has released her first video for her new album “Ballad of Purple Saint James”.  The name of the single is “Why Dontcha Call Me No More”. The intro for the video has a very 80’s feel to it, and it also stars the members of Foreign Exchange. Once that 80’s flashback ends, the real video emerges.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78knidd1qLE

Here is a bonus.  This is one of her other tracks from the same ablum, titled “All My Days”, featuring Darien Brockington.  They really make agreat duet in this song.  Enjoy.

All My Days

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 Why Dontcha Call Me No (461 downloads )

Upcoming Albums To Watch For

It’s a new year, and the party is over.  Now it’s time to get back to business.  The past few months have been kind of dry on the retail music front.  It looks like Spring 2010, will change all that.

January Releases

Maysa – Woman In Love (January 25)

Corinne Bailey Rae -The Sea (January 26)

February Releases

Solider Of Love By Sade (Feb. 10)

New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh) By Erykah Badu (February 23): Everyone is awaiting this follow up album to New Amerykah Part One.  Here is how Erykah Badu describes the album “I called it ‘Part II: The Return of the Ankh’ because this album is the sister of the left side of my brain — it is the right side,” Badu explained during a listening session this week at New York City’s Chung King Studios. “‘Part I was the left side of my thoughts — it was more socially political and my thought process was more analytical. This time there wasn’t anything to be concerned with — the album is more emotional and flowy and talks about feelings. It reminds of the days of ‘Baduizm’ — this is just about beats and rhymes in a cipher.”

The Love and War Masterpeace by Raheem DeVaugh (February 16)

Kings Ballad by Georgia Anne Muldrow (February 9)

Concrete Jungle by Nneka (February 2)

March Releases

It’s Personal by Angela Johnson (March)

Intermission/The Bitter Suite By Carmen Rodgers (March 30)

April And Beyond

Synthesis By Raul Midon (April 13)

Milk And Honey By Goapele (spring)

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vhmvU3j8h8

Purple Saint James By Yahzarah (spring): With this upcoming album, being her third, I really feel music blossoming.  After listening to her two previous albums, and then to her “The Prelude” EP, it’s a whole new world.  So, personally I can’t wait for the album, so I can really enjoy this musical phoenix.  She has also signed with The Foreign Exchange Music, so you know that all add extra goodness to the production.

SunStorm By Zo! (unknown): After the recent “…Just Visiting Too” EP that was released, more people are coming to appreciate his music and talent.  There is also the “…Just Visiting” EP, which was released in 2006.

James River By D’Angelo (spring/summer): People have been talking about this album for a year or two.  It will be ten years since his last album.  A tour is also rumored this summer.  The whispers have been getting stronger lately, with the news of the artists that he has working on the album.  This is what his manager said of those collaborations,” “James River,” D’Angelo’s first studio effort in nearly 9 years, is also sporting a collaboration with Gnarls Barkley’s Cee-Lo Green. Green joins Raphael Saadiq, Mark Ronson, and Roy Hargrove, who have already contributed to D’Angelo’s forthcoming album.”  It has also been reported that he is teaming up with Prince.

Darien Brockington (unknown): This release would be his second solo album, after “Somebody To Love”. The wait just got a lot harder with his latest EP “Cold Case Files“.

Carlitta Durand (unknown)

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

Artist Spotlight: Amy Serrata

Amy Serrata

Website/MySpace/FaceBook/Twitter/YouTube

Today we are shining that Soulified spotlight on the singer/songwriter Amy Serrata.  She is new to the scene, but is coming with force.  Last November she released her self titled debut album “Amy Serrata”.  Her singing talents gathered a lot of their strength from her gospel choir background.  This choir training, has given her the ability control the octaves, range and pitch of her voice, much like an athlete controls their body.

Now this is her debut album and it’s pretty good.  When I first listened to the album, I was trying understand the placement of the first few songs.  That’s when I took a minute to think, and understand.  Yes, Amy Serrata is a Soul singer, but that gives her a wide latitude to express herself.  Her voice lends a quality to Soul, that just pops.  To best describe this quality, would be to say that her voice is wisps of smoke that are moved by subtle changes in the environment.  The wisps still have the ability to rise, uplift and move.

As I pictured this, and listened further to the album, it clicked.  Her voice can easily match some of the best out there, but she is being restrained by the music.  She can sing acapella, and I’ll be there with my arm stretched out and holding a lighter. :)  Once she has her own band, they become cohesive in style, vide and focus, she is going to be unreal.  Picture Yazarah on her song “Four Alarm Fire” on her recent “The Prelude” EP.

My favorite songs of the album that really show me what’s possible are “Lets”, “Teach Me”, and “In My Garden”.   The first “Lets” is upbeat, quirky enough, and I love the flute.  It keeps it simple to give her voice a chance to shine.  Second is “Teach Me”, which is the Soul that most can recognize very easily.  A touch of funk, and solid vocals really help this one go over the top.  “In My Garden” is just Pure Amy Serrata.  Nothing to mask her voice, no over powering instruments, just Amy.

I was very please with the album, and very anxious to hear future music that she creates.  For a debut album, it’s very solid and shows the audience  glimpses of the possibilities.  This thirteen song album is available on iTunes and Amazon.  Enjoy.

Below we have her first single from the album, “Rooted”, and  clip form her Video Blog.

Rooted

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Kn3ds9UTRw