Fixation = understatement, when it comes to “Withdraw” by 22-year-old singer & songwriter, Kimbra Johnson. Just as I can’t keep this song out of my head, I can’t resist sharing my obsession with it any longer!

I haven’t seen a performance this moving and passion-filled in a long time. She simply pours her heart and soul out while fully exposing her ground-shaking vocals. This is raw emotion; raw expression with no limit. While it’s apparent just how incredibly talented this New Zealand-born vocalist is, she fascinates me even further with her unique style. She doesn’t quite fit in any single genre, opts instead for a blend of jazz, old school r&b and soul groove with an indie-pop finish – AKA best combination ever! It’s like all my worlds colliding into one perfect one. Think: Maxwell meets Sia.

Great song, amazing performance. Back to repeat, for now 🙂

My Idol, Amel Larriuex

February 7, 2011

I have to start this blog off right with my my idol and all-time favorite artist, Amel Larriuex.

Amel’s music has played such an important role in my life, musically and spiritually. I remember singing and bobbing my head to “tell me” (when she was in Groove Theory) back in 1995 on the school bus. After a small gap, I was reintroduced to her by my brother in-law (shout out) in 2000 when he played “sweet misery” for me which became one of my fave tracks from her. I was so blown way by her voice that I went home that day and downloaded every song and collaboration of hers and began collecting all of her cds. Songs like “Get up” and “Glitches” (a collab with The Roots) really spoke to me. Since then and until even now she continues to create beautiful music that I cannot get enough of. Please check out my fave list below!

To say Amel’s voice is angelic is truly an understatement-her voice is pure perfection. It’s soulful, therapeutic and flawless. I’ve seen her live about five times now and if you think she sounds good on audio, her voice live is on some next level.  During her performances she gives it her all; she gets so deep into each song that you can actually feel what she’s feeling. Raw emotion is the best way to describe it. She’s actually really funny, too. Check out her latest track (which I heard live at The Birchmere in October 2010), “You’re the shh”, its beautiful but hilarious at the same time. Just when I thought Amel couldn’t reach another level of perfection,  she goes and blows me away with her new songs.

Besides her voice, her lyrics are poetic, meaningful and conscious. She sings about creating possibilities, unconditional love, self love, determination, and acceptance.  She does an amazing job expressing her own and other people’s raw emotions so poetically. It’s as if she understands you and your story.

She inspires me for a number of reasons: she sings from her soul, she is herself, she is passionate about what she does, she is conscious, she is humble and she is the best at what she does. She has taught me to do what I am passionate about, to sing with my heart, and to be myself.

Please check out my top 10 fave tracks from her:

  1. “10 minute high”
  2. “Keep trying”
  3. “Infinite Possibilities”
  4. “Make me whole”
  5. “No one else”
  6. “Sweet misery”
  7. “For real”
  8. “Something better” (that’s my letter she drops on the floor at the beg. haha)
  9. “You’re the shh”
  10. “Sophisticated Lady” (a tribute to Duke Ellington)