Monday, May 21, 2018

Interview: K.Avett Discuss New Album ‘Lioness’


Singer/Songwriter K.Avett who released her debut album Revelations in 2014 and was an opening featured act for Corinne Bailey Rae’s “The Heart Speaks in Whispers” Tour, returns with her sophomore release entitled Lioness. With a smooth and soulful sound as transparent as the lyrics she writes, K.Avett continues to pick up momentum and branch out as the sound of thought-provoking, “feel good” music. I caught up with K.Avett to discuss the album, the latest single “Soldier” which features soul crooner Noel Gourdin and much more.




Terrance: Can you briefly share when your journey with music began and what made you gravitate towards it?


K.Avett: Well, I grew up in a singing family and my dad is a pastor and so I grew up in the Church. Music has always been a large part of my life but growing up it was more so Gospel and so that’s where my music roots lie, but since I got older I was exposed to other types of music and other genres. It’s a combination of everything I love about different genres of music and that’s kind of how I came about creating my own little niche. It’s a little of the same story you hear a lot of times where people get their start in Church and even though I’m not a quote, unquote Gospel singer I think there’s definitely little Gospel nuances you’ll find in the music just because that’s where I got my start.


Terrance: Sonically how does Lioness differ from your debut album Revelations?


K.Avett: I’m very musically eclectic and there’s a little bit of everything on Revelation. There’s something that has a little bit of a rock feel, something that has sort of a house type feel, there’s R&B, Gospel and so, although I love that about that album because it kind of showed I can pretty much do any genre, this album is a lot more streamline and I just think it’s a lot more cohesive and hopefully people who have followed me thus far on this journey can see the growth. I think every artist must continue to grow in their craft and so, hopefully anyone who has listened to Revelations can see that I’ve progressed as a singer and a songwriter.


Terrance: Update us with the current single from the project and what you hope to achieve with it.


K.Avett: We have just released “Soldier” which I was really excited to do. I collaborated with Noel Gourdin and he is so amazingly soulful and just really brought out that rawness to the song that I was really looking for and it was a fun experience. “Soldier” is just really talking to everybody regardless of where you are in life or what your economic or financial situation is. Everybody goes through things and it’s basically just highlighting that and reminding people that you got to push through it and regardless of where you are in the moment, you have to begin with the end in mind. It’s a really funky and fun song and I just hope people connect with the message. That’s really my goal with it.


Terrance: One song on the album that resonates with your current state of mind, what would it be and why?


K.Avett: There’s a song called “Time Won’t Wait” and one thing I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older is that everything can be replaced except the time you have. I think so many times we get so caught up in being on social media and who’s doing this and who’s doing what, that we forget once the time we have here to do whatever it is, once that time is gone, it’s gone. That’s what prompted me to write that song because I know sometimes especially when you’re much younger you don’t realize how time is your most precious commodity. I’m really hoping that it connects with people and just whatever it is that they are wanting to do or might be too afraid to do. At the end of the day we all at some point have to leave this place. I don’t want to be one of those people who leaves with my life unfulfilled. I want to make sure when I leave, my life is completely fulfilled and I didn’t leave anything undone.


Terrance: What artists have continued to inspire you through the years? Who would you love to work with in the future?


K.Avett: Well, everyone knows and I’ve said this a thousand times but I’m a huge Jill Scott fan. I love her writing style. I love Stevie Wonder. Someone who’s able to write and talk about life in a very insightful way and so, those two I would definitely love to work with.


Terrance: If music wasn’t your profession what would it be?


K.Avett: I actually do have two professions. I’m a registered nurse and so that’s my other life. I often talk about the importance of music and medicine just because there’ve been all of these studies talking about how music positively influences neuronal activity. It helps to keep you young and so, as much as possible. I try to incorporate that in some form or another in my day to day nursing practice.


Terrance: What do you hope listeners take away from the Lioness experience?


K.Avett: I came about the concept of the album when I had to take this personality quiz for work. Through a series of questions, it determines whether or not you are a Lion, Beaver, etc… like four different personality types and my personality type was Lion. It talks about a person who’s loyal and very socially conscious, very strong but with sensitivity. It was very accurate and so I started thinking about how as women in particular, we have many hats that we wear. It’s not an album written just for ladies but I’m writing from the perspective of where I am and so when I was writing it, it basically was bringing all of those elements together. It’s okay to not be perfect or have a moment of frailty. There’s a line in the opening of Lioness that says, “navigating the path of strength and frailty...” and that is saying exactly what I feel. It’s okay for you to embrace the still-evolving aspects of who you are, as well, because at the end of the day, all of those things come together to form the Lioness.


Terrance: Anything else you would like to share with the readers about yourself or your music?


K.Avett: I’m very active on social media and I would love for people after they have listened to the project to connect with me and let me know their favorite song from Lioness and that would help me determine what the final single release would be. I have a team but I like to manage my own social media, so if I respond you are definitely communicating with me.



Follow K.Avett:
www.kavett.com



Sunday, May 20, 2018

A Tribe Called Quest’s Ali Shaheed Muhammad & Adrian Younge are The Midnight Hour, Announce album...




Grammy nominated artist Ali Shaheed Muhammad of the iconic Hip Hop group A Tribe Called Quest and composer Adrian Younge formed a new group The Midnight Hour and are set to release their self-titled jazz-hip hop fusion album on June 8th via Linear Labs Music.

The 20-song set features appearances from Luther Vandross, Raphael Saadiq, Questlove, Marsha Ambrosius, Bilal, Digable Planet’s Ladybug Mecca, No I.D. among others.

The lead single “Questions” which features CeeLo Green is out now:


The Midnight Hour is currently available for pre-order.

Friday, May 18, 2018

New Music: Sidibe - ‘What Should One Do’


Rising R&B songstress Sidibe has released her newest single “What Should One Do” co-written by herself along with frequent collaborators Nico Stadi & Warryn Campbell.


Drawing from Michael Jackson, Nile Rodgers, Sting & Sade for inspiration, Sidibe finds herself standing at the relational fork in the road wondering, “What Should One Do”?

Follow Sidibe:
Instagram & Twitter @sidibe
Facebook & YouTube @sidibeofficial

Monday, May 14, 2018

Shanice’s Top 10 Best Songs


In honor of Grammy-nominated R&B powerhouse vocalist Shanice birthday today we’ve compiled her best songs in our latest edition of Top 10 Best Songs plus a few honorable mention songs which covers her five studio albums and songs released on motion picture soundtracks.

10 I’M CRYIN’
Produced by Narada M Walden and released as the second single from Inner Child, this ballad showcases Shanice’s great range of vocal power, range and aerobics.

09 LOVIN’ YOU
This remarkable remake of Minnie Riperton’s classic was released as the fourth and final single from Shanice’s Inner Child album.

08 THE WAY YOU LOVE ME
This Bryan Loren produced standout ballad was released as the third single from Shanice’s debut album Discovery.

07 YESTERDAY
Issued as the second single from Shanice’s self-titled fourth album, this timeless ballad was co-written by Shanice and producer Jamey Jaz.

06 TURN DOWN THE LIGHTS
This song was released as the second single from 21… Ways to Grow and marked a progression for her sonically into the Adult Contemporary world.

05 THIS TIME FT. KIARA
A duet between Shanice and duo Kiara, this single peaked at #2 on the R&B charts making it her first top 5 hit on that chart.

04 WHEN I CLOSE MY EYES
Described as the comeback single for Shanice in terms of mainstream. The song was released as the lead single from Shanice’s self-titled fourth album via LaFace peaking at #12 on the Hot 100 singles chart.

03 IT’S FOR YOU
From The Meteor Man Soundtrack, this bouncy song is one of Shanice’s standout dance songs.

02 SILENT PRAYER FT. JOHNNY GILL
Released as the third single from Inner Child, this dynamic duet with Johnny Gill became a top 5 R&B hit. This standout showcases Shanice’s versatility as a vocalist.

01 I LOVE YOUR SMILE
Shanice’s breakout single from her sophomore album Inner Child. A #1 worldwide smash that truly put Shanice on the map and made her a powerhouse. Co-written by Shanice and legendary producer Narada M. Walden the song remains timeless.

HONORABLE MENTION:

Don’t Wanna Love You from Boomerang Soundtrack
Fly Away
Every Woman Dreams
I Wish
Ain’t Got No Remedy
No ½ Steppin’
Keep Your Inner Child Alive (Interlude)
(Baby Tell Me) Can You Dance

Sunday, May 13, 2018

NE-YO: Album Art for ‘Good Man’ + Tracklisting & New Single “Apology”


Grammy Award-winning R&B superstar Ne-Yo has unveiled the cover art and tracklisting for his forthcoming seventh studio album Good Man due for release June 8th via Motown/Compound Entertainment.

The 17 track album features guest appearances from Eric Bellinger, Candice Boyd, Sam Hook, PARTYNEXTDOOR, Bebe Rexha, Stefflon Don and Romeo Santos:

1 Caterpillars 1st (Intro)
2 1 More Shot
3 LA Nights
4 Nights Like These feat. Romeo Santos
5 U Deserve
6 Summertime
7 Push Back feat. Bebe Rexha & Stefflon Don
8 Breathe
9 On Ur Mind feat. PARTYNEXTDOOR
10 Back Chapters
11 Hotbox feat. Eric Bellinger
12 Over U
13 Without U
14 Apology
15 Ocean Sure feat. Candice Boyd & Sam Hook
16 The Struggle (Interlude)
17 Good Man

(Deluxe Edition)
18 Pour Me Up
19 Won’t Be Often
20 Reset the Night

The album is led by the singles “Good Man”, “Push Back” and the latest confessional single “Apology”.


Saturday, May 12, 2018

Ranked: Xscape’s ‘Traces of My Lipstick’ Album 20 Years Later


Today marks the 20th anniversary of R&B female group Xscape’s third and so far last full-length studio album ‘Traces of My Lipstick’ with original members: LaTocha, Kandi, Tiny & Tamika. Just last year the group reunited for the highly-successful ‘The Great Xscape Tour’. The platinum-selling album produced two top 10 Hot 100 singles “The Arms of the One Who Loves You” and “My Little Secret”. Check out our rankings of the songs from the album.




12 I WILL
Another Jermaine Dupri produced groove. The track samples Diana Ross “Upside Down” and Thug Life’s “Str8 Ballin”. Led by Kandi & LaTocha.

11 DO YOU KNOW
This infectious groove was produced by Jermaine Dupri and led by LaTocha.

10 ALL ABOUT ME (INTRO/REPRISE)
Presented as the Introduction and reprise for the album. Led by LaTocha and it definitely sets the tone for the album.

09 ALL I NEED
Musical and vocal brilliance are the best ways to describe this gem. Co-written by Tamika and led by Tiny & Tamika.

08 ONE OF THOSE LOVE SONGS
Another standout cut led by Kandi, LaTocha & Tiny and produced by Warryn Campbell.

07 THE RUNAROUND
Produced by hit-maker Daryl Simmons. This standout song is led by LaTocha & Kandi.

06 YOUR EYES
Led entirely by LaTocha, this Babyface produced cut showcases LaTocha’s soaring voice.

05 HOLD ON
Although never chosen as a single, this overlooked smooth groove is led by Tiny & Kandi.

04 THE ARMS OF THE ONE WHO LOVES YOU
The signature ballad of the album written by the legendary Diane Warren was released as the first single and led by LaTocha & Tamika. The song would go on to become their last Gold certified single and a top 10 hit on the Hot 100 singles chart.

03 SOFTEST PLACE ON EARTH
Written and produced by R&B singer Joe Thomas and led entirely by LaTocha. This song would become the groups last single with all original members. A top 30 R&B hit.

02 AM I DREAMIN’ FT. OL’SKOOL & KEITH SWEAT
The Atlantic Starr remake first appeared on R&B group Ol’Skool self-titled debut album and released as the first single becoming a top 5 R&B hit. Led by Tiny, LaTocha, Keith Sweat and the guys of Ol’Skool.

01 MY LITTLE SECRET
Released as the second single and one of four songs from the Traces of My Lipstick album produced by mentor Jermaine Dupri. Led by Kandi, LaTocha and Tiny, the song would become the group’s last top 10 entry on the Hot 100 singles chart. Rapper Lil Twist sampled the song in his 2010 single “Little Secret” which features Bow Wow (Jermaine Dupri’s protege).

Monday, May 7, 2018

Interview: Terrell T-Rex Simon Discuss New Single “Mistakes”, Forthcoming Album ‘Shadez’ & More…


The 2017 Steeple Award Winner for Best New Artist and Troy, NY native Terrell 'T-REX' Simon started delivering soul-stirring music at the age of six, when he discovered his gift singing in the church. He got his professional start in New York City while performing with a traveling choir throughout the region. In 2003, his connections led him to platinum-selling singer-songwriter/producer Lyfe Jennings who took him on the road with his act. T-Rex began touring with such major artists as John Legend, Beyonce, Anthony Hamilton, and Musiq SoulChild. As a huge fan of Dave Hollister, coming up he adopted a similar sound, patterning his voice after the vocal sensation, and later touring with him as a backup singer. His TV appearances include Jimmy Kimmel, Good Morning America, David Letterman, Jay Leno, 106 & Park, and The Monique show, among others. The pivotal moment in his career came when he appeared on MTV Unplugged with Neyo, which gained mass exposure for him.
After sharing stages with everyone including Wyclef Jean and Mario, T-Rex started managing artists like Lyfe Jennings, and road-managing vocalist Shaliek while mentoring and developing him and other talents such as Day 26. In 2015, he teamed with artist, producer, and singer Lamar Casey who helped executive produce and co-wrote his debut album. T-Rex also teamed with Bernie Stevenson (Isyss, Kelly Rowland), who took his riveting raw vocals and created the soul-stirring track, "In His Image".
He brings to the industry his own musical genre, 'R&G' for rhythm and gospel, which beautifully infuses his natural church boy upbringing with his love of Hip Hop. "In His Image" is in rotation at Music Choice and gaining more radio play daily. The song's immediate appeal points to a fast growing musical phenomenon (exampled by over 100,000 Instagram followers to date). He has recently performed for BET matters showcase in NY, opened up for Avant,Lyfe Jennings, Bobby V, and KeKe Wyatt. The first single "Mistakes" released May 1st 2018 off his upcoming debut Album "Shadez". He has already began his promo tour across the US promoting his new music which is available on every digital platform including Spotify, Pandora, iTunes, iHeart Radio, XM Satellite, and SoundCloud, with hard copy CDs available on Amazon.com.


Terrance: Where were you born and raised? Do you come from a musical family?


Terrell T-Rex Simon: I was born and raised in Troy, New York. Upstate New York. I don’t come from a musical family, but my grandfather on my father’s side was a quartet singer at Church and my father on my grandmother’s side played the drums for B.B. King actually. Other than that, not too much just me (laughs).


Terrance: Who were your earliest musical influences growing up?


Terrell T-Rex Simon: Bobby Brown, New Edition, Michael Jackson. I pretty much liked everything, but definitely Michael Jackson and Bobby Brown. I used to try to be Bobby Brown with the baggy pants and shoes and the dances. As I got older it started changing. Karyn White was like one of my favorite artists and then Mary J. Blige came out. After Mary Jane it was a wrap. The Queen of Hip Hop and R&B. Even my music style is kinda like hers.


Terrance: For first time listeners, how would you best describe your sound?


Terrell T-Rex Simon: Well, my favorite singer is Dave Hollister, so I’ve always try to like pattern myself after him from a kid. I don’t know what it is about Dave, but I just fell in love with his voice and was like I want to sound like that. But I call myself R&G which is Rhythm and Gospel, because I love Hip Hop and R&B so much, but the Gospel side is the conscious lyrics. Just music with a message. The G means good news. So it’s R&B, Hip Hop and inspirational Gospel mixed together.


Terrance: You just recently performed at the sold-out Jazz Festival in Vegas with Lyfe Jennings. What was that experience like?


Terrell T-Rex Simon: Man that was amazing. First of all I’ve been performing with Lyfe since he started in 2003. I started out as a background singer and ended up being his assistant and other different things, so we’ve been doing this for a while. But I haven’t seen him in the past two years. I started doing my own music and just went all in with what I’m doing. It was special because I hadn’t did it in a while, so it was nice to go back with the band and sing “Must Be Nice”, “Never Never Land” and all of those records. It was awesome and he’s an awesome guy. I’ve done so much for him and he’s always right there making sure I’m good.


Terrance: Talk about the inspiration and meaning behind your new single “Mistakes”.


Terrell T-Rex Simon: Well, you know I’m a big fan of Mary J. Blige. I think when I connect with the audience through my life I always sing about what I’m going through at that present time. I’m a little older now and kind of learned a lot from my past of making mistakes, being young, being dumb and people can hold things against you and that’s kind of something I was going through and I’m like I’m not even on that anymore and I’m not that person anymore. So it’s a little vent song, but at the same time encouraging everybody like, we’re going to make mistakes. Everybody in the world can say they made mistakes and not one person in the world can say, oh no I’ve never made a mistake. So I wanted it to be universal and I wanted the message of the song to affect everybody. When the song first come on I’m admitting I was wrong first, but we can’t let our past and mistakes hold us down. We got to learn from our mistakes and keep it moving. That’s what the song is about and the whole album is about my life. Just little situations I was personally going through.


Terrance: You mentioned your album. What can you tell us as far as the producers and collaborators?


Terrell T-Rex Simon: The guy who I worked with as a producer his name is Burnie Stevenson. He’s produced “In His Image”, he’s produced my last record “Let It Rain” and he also produced this record. I’m writing with two rappers. Alexander Noir who is from the Bronx and another my friend Akeem from Harlem. Sometimes we get older and kind of know what’s going on but you don’t know what’s going on. Time change, music change, things change and I wanted to make sure that I had that swag (laughs). So I brought in some young rappers. They’re fresh and new and I’m a singer and I gave them my ideas and we sat and talked about my life and what I’m going through. I’m working with a guy named J.J. from Jersey, he’s a vocal coach, arranger, Grammy and Oscar nominated. I go in the studio with him and he just knows how to tell me what to do and how to do it. Backgrounds, he’s a master at that. So between those guys we came up with the album it’s called Shadez and it will be out later this year.


Terrance: What’s the importance of performing live for your brand of artistry?


Terrell T-Rex Simon: I think live is where you connect with people. I’m also a musical director, so I put together live shows for different artists. I did Day26. But to hear the record is one thing, to actually see and feel it live is another thing. People might hear the record and not so like it and then they come and hear it live and they’re like, Wow! Maybe I do like this record. I think it’s important because we don’t make a lot of money off record sales, and if you can have great live shows like Frankie Beverly & Maze and all of those guys still selling out stadiums who haven’t had a single out in 50 years (laughs), when people go see them they’re gonna get a great show. Growing up in the Church I have all of that training from a kid, so I’ve always been big on sounding great live. So it’s important because it sell our music and puts money in my pocket.


Terrance: You’ve performed at the B.B. King Blues Club several times and with that being said what are your thoughts to it closing down after two decades?


Terrell T-Rex Simon: Wow. I’ve been performing at B.B. King’s for the past 15 to 20 years. To know that it’s not going to be sitting right there is crazy and thank God for the past two years I had a residency where I was performing every two months. They featured me as an in-house performer and it was great man that they gave me a high platform. That’s not something easy to get and so I’m grateful to have been part of that and be part of history. They have a new place now called Sony Hall and things change, vibes change and we just have to keep going with it. But it’s sad.


Terrance: Everyone have their perception on what success is. How would you define it?


Terrell T-Rex Simon: I guess I would define it as being happy. That’s a hard thing to be sometimes (laughs). If you’re living your life and you’re happy you’re at a success point.


Follow Terrell T-Rex Simon:

Instagram & Twitter @trex0506

Facebook @Trexsings