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 🙂

Love me some Emeli Sandé, a 24-year old Scottish r&b/soul vocalist & songwriter, who’s killin’ it with her latest tune, “My Kind of Love”. That voice infused with a backdrop of smooth piano and hip hop makes for a perfect track & happens to be my new fave song! Even more, the meaning and message behind this song is very dear;  it’s the idea of  non-superficial/authentic/deep love, support & friendship, that has no limit. LOVE IT!

New Common: “Windows”

December 20, 2011

Though It doesn’t take much to love anything that comes from Common’s mouth, I’m especially loving track #10, “windows”, from his latest album, “The Dream/The Believer”. This song has a soulful r&b piece to it, accompanied by a meaningful set of lyrics.

This past year, the idea of the soul being constant and having all the answers has become a focal point in my spiritual journey. Lately I’ve been trying to look at everyone as a pure soul: an equal soul who is just like me. This is why I love the hook (by, James Fauntleroy) in this song, “In your eyes I can see your soul staring back into mine”; there’s a beautiful feeling of hope, comfort and connecting of souls in the entire chorus and especially in that line.

As we move on to Common’s lyrics, “Shhh, to your soul just listen,” it really shines on the idea of listening to your intuition and ignoring all of the noise. I think this song has a couple of components to it which all come together for a similar theme: faith. He talks about a woman who has been scarred from past relationships and struggles to have faith in finding love again. He then goes on to encourage her to start over again: “Even when the door closes, there goes a new one”. In the second verse, he talks about his daughter who he wants to guide in the right direction to ensure that she doesn’t lose faith, like so many of us do. It’s a sweet song with such a positive message.

What I’ve always loved about common is that he really understands women on a spiritual level; he continuously writes tracks about respecting women, a woman’s struggles, and a woman’s needs.  He really puts himself in our shoes and  guides us. His lyrics are empowering to women. Overall, common has so much soul in all of his songs and its very apparent. Check out this Okay Player Exclusive Interview on “windows” for more on his intent with this song.

A Real Man

October 10, 2011

What I watch when I need a small reminder that there are still a few real men out there:

On a similar note, yesterday at the Natural Living Expo, I met a poet – a sweet Jamaican man. As he overheard me talking about love & relationships to an old mentor of mine, he made a point to interrupt me and said to me “an empress like you should never have their heart broken”. Though he was just speaking in his usual poetic way, he didn’t realize that at that very moment, he made me feel so special and made me feel like a woman – like a goddess. I believe in signs and I do believe that this young man was meant to walk by me, overhear me and remind me what it feels like to be treated like a queen. You see, women are meant to feel like goddesses. We forget that! We, so often, settle for “boys” instead of real men. Common helps me remember that men can love spiritually, passionately and purely. Also, want to give a big shout out to one of my favorite people, Sugath (another true representation of a real man who loves purely and treats women like queens)! They do exist.

Miguel Jontel: one of my favorite new r&b artists & songwriters. Miguel is one of the best things that’s happened to modern r&b in a while. His music has an old school/ underground r&b flavor to it which I absolutely adore. The first song I’d heard of his was “All I want is you”, which definitely got my attention and had me rock’n to the beat. That song was followed by several other wonderful songs. More than any other genre of music, r&b has had the most influence on me; it defines me and takes me back to my roots. For this reason alone, I have such an appreciation for great r&b artists. What I love about Miguel the most is the old school soul (not old old school, relax) in his voice; takes me back to the days of Jodeci and Tony,Toni,Tone! I like that he’s doing his own thing; he stands out from the rest of them and does it with confidence. He writes great music, as well.  “All I want is you” was fly because it had a nice flow and hot beat. “Sure thing”, similarly, has a smooth flow and is super romantic; the lyrics are sweet and sincere and could make any girl feel special. I also have a big crush on his guitarist; he gets so into the  music when performing – it’s so sexy. Go ahead, Miguel + cute guitar player, do yall’s thang.

I was surprised (understatement) to learn about the remix for Sade’s “Moon & Sky”. I’m pretty obsessed with the original (not sure if you read an earlier post of mine about it). I’m sure most people’s response to this “news” was similar to mine: why why why?  I’m not a hater (and I promise to have very little negativity on this blog) but come on – out of all people, Jay Z? So after I got over the shock, I went ahead and took a listen. I have to say, I really enjoyed the beat. It actually reminded me of the beat from Alicia Keys & Drake’s “Unthinkable” which inspired me to research further. Looks like Drake’s producer, Noah “40” Shebib (I love my Canadians), actually produced this number – same producer for “unthinkable”. I personally think 40 is a beast! He is so talented. His beats are sick; they are very smooth and captivating and, at the same time, showcase the lyricist’s voice very well. So although the original was flawless, the remix was definitely not bad. I felt that Jay Z’s verse was fine – the lyrics make a lot of sense but nothing special.

Sade – “The Moon and the Sky”. Shout out to A & J for thinking of me.

Personally, I think this is too beautiful and too sweet to ever even dedicate to someone who broke your heart. I’m not being bitter – I swear! It’s the sweetest misery; though it’s extremely sad, it’s beautiful and sweet at the same time. I picture a woman who loved with ALL of her heart – a woman who fought for love until the very end. I can actually feel the passion, the pain, and the loss in this song. I find that many “heart-break” songs don’t fully capture a person’s heartache but this song goes far and beyond to capture it. She really get’s it. It’s unbelievable how she even comes up with lyrics that are so poetically beyond this world. One listen and you’ll be hooked.

Fave quote from this song:

“Why didn’t you come get me one last time?”