A Glimpse of Silk Sonic

Bruno Mars and Anderson. Paak gave the masses a taste of what’s to come and increased anticipation for the duo’s joint-album with the record “Leave The Door Open“. The news of their collaboration late last month was exhilarating. Bruno Mars had that run a few years back (2012-2016), where every record he dropped was elite. A run that propelled him into superstardom, so much so for him to perform in the Super Bowl L Half-Time Show, alongside Beyoncé and Coldplay

Bruno Mars has shown us, time and time again, that he has a knack for creating great music. His last album, 24K Magic, was instrumental in his journey to performing on the Half-Time show. But, that isn’t the only thing, his presence; Bruno Mars is a natural-born performer. Something tells me that the records “24k Magic“, “That’s What I Like“, and “Versace on The Floor” wouldn’t have been as successful had someone else performed them. 

He emits a feel-good vibe that sits well with me and generally makes him more likeable. It’s been a real journey since the days of “Grenade“. 

Anderson. Paak hasn’t performed in front of millions alongside names such as Beyoncé at a half-time show. However, his musical genius is on par, some may argue better than Bruno Mars’. The fact that they are both incredible artists in their own right makes the duo such an exciting concept. A comparison would be if Tesla and Amazon came together to create a driverless delivery service for Amazon prime subscribers. Two giants, coming together to create something great.

The average listener will be able to see the similarities between the pair. Not only in music but personality also. 

Paak’s last album was an 11-track project called “Ventura” (2019) with features like Andre 3000Jazmine SullivanBrandy and Nate Dogg. It should go without saying the calibre of music that he has made and is making. But other than that, Califorian-born artist is also a credible record producer and multi-instrumentalist. He has released an instrumental-only version of his last two albums (Ventura and Oxnard) it gives the listener a chance to focus on and digest the combination of instruments, the mastering and general hard work that goes into making the music that so many of us love.

Separately, both men are specular, so together they should be even better right?

Leave The Door Open,” says YES. It sounded a lot how I envisioned music by the pair to sound. Silky smooth, reminiscent of the Isley Brothers‘ “Summer Breeze” or The Temptations‘ “Treat Her Like a Lady“. I’m a sucker for Motown-era influenced music, so the track sits incredibly well with me. I love it. Sometimes, simplicity (or even the illusion of it) is necessary for excellence.

It feels like this song was created in one take, not to say that it comes across rushed or unfinished. On the contrary, it tells me that making great music is second-nature for these men, and they are only getting started.

I’m really looking forward to the album.

-Dez

The song for today is: Leave the Door Open Silk Sonic

Who Is Joyce Wrice?

Joyce Wrice is a name I’ve been seeing and hearing a lot lately. Whether that be on music podcasts, the radio on Apple Music, or on my social media timelines. The algorithms have been hard at work because she has been on my screen frequently, and rightly so, she’s pretty amazing.

But who is she? And why did it take me so long to be acquainted, the quality of her music, spanning back as early as 2016 with her EP “Stay Around” makes me wonder. She isn’t a veteran, but 5+ years is a long time in the music industry. A deeper look into her as a person, her temperament instantly showed me why it took me so long to discover her music. Till, I would follow the noise, She prefers to be reserved and let her art do the talking. Similar to Moroccan artist Anfa Rose.

Born in San Diego, USA, to a Japanese mother and African-American father. Joyce is an only child. She moved from San Diego to Los Angeles in 2016, the same year her EP dropped. From conversations with people more familiar with the singer, she is considered a powerhouse on stage and in RnB as a whole. Comments I have no quarrel with or find hard to believe, her music speaks for itself.

Appearances aren’t important when it comes to music (not to me anyway) but, let’s not take anything away from the fact that Joyce is a beautiful woman. Standing at around 162cm (5’4), she’s petite (most likely the Japanese genes).

With her Japanese heritage, it was no surprise that Joyce is a lover of karaoke.

“I use to beg my mom to take me to Sam Goody to buy maxi singles because they had the instrumental or acapella versions I could karaoke to”.

-Joyce Wrice

Coming from humble beginnings has enabled Joyce to hone her skills and add real purpose to her work. It’s clear that making music has always been a desire and/or passion of hers. Parents are the first role models that a child has and it seems that the interests of her parents are the foundations of her music career.

“Being an only child, I had to find ways to entertain myself. I instantly gravitated towards music, my parents listen to a lot of Soul and RnB”

-Joyce Wrice

She has a smooth and strong voice, an excellent match for the genre she finds herself in. When I listen to her, I hear similarities between herself, Jhene Aiko and Aaliyah. Joyce mentioned that she used her love of karaoke to study the voices of some of the greatest singers to ever live… and it shows.

“I could be Whitney, I could be Tamia, I could be Mariah. I could hear the acappella and really understand the runs and then sing over the instrumental and do my own version”

-Joyce Wrice

Doubling back to the fact that many believe her to be a powerhouse, Joyce Wrice has collaborated with a handful of renowned names in the music industry. Wale, SiR, Westside Gunn and more recently Lucky Daye and Freddie Gibbs.

With Joyce’s debut album “Overgrown” set to drop on March 19th, I’m eager to see (and hear) how well the album will fare in terms of sales and impact. The singles that have already been released are brilliant, so it encourages me to believe that the album will follow suit. 

I’ll be back to write another piece on the San Diego songstress if all things go well, that’s for sure.

-Dez

The song for today is: Blurred Lines – Joyce Wrice

5 Artists You Probably Haven’t Heard Of

Music is such a great pastime, motivator and comforter, an ancient way of expression. Music was heavily integrated with the lifestyle of our ancestors millennia’s ago and continues to go strong today with us. With much more time on our hands, we are granted the opportunity to delve into our interests, both old and new. It enables us to focus on things that didn’t hold much importance to us in the past.

Maybe it’s a delayed home renovation, or a hobby that you previously didn’t have the time, motivation or energy for. Now, people are trying new things or have the time to delve deeper into current hobbies.

In my case, I have had the opportunity search for and listen to new artists. I have recently noticed that in the past I was on repeat, in terms of the music and artists I listened. I had a playlist of music that I played, whenever I wanted to listen to music. It became a part of my routine, this inhibited me from looking for new music and artists. It was the same 30-40 tracks everyday.

And because of this, I have new artists that I’d like to share with you. (because good music is always better when you share it with friends) So without further ado, lets get into this list!

  1. Otis Kane: Born in Los Angeles, (real name Anthony Vasquez) Otis Kane has worked with the likes of Nelle Hooper, Wiz Khalifa, Jonas Brothers and Pink Sweat$.

2. VanJess: A duo, VanJess consist of sisters Ivana and Jessica Nwokike, born in Lagos, Nigeria. The sisters cover of Drake’s “Headlines” caught attention online and eventually landed them a record deal with RCA Records

3. LoverboyBass: Born in Modesto, California, LoverboyBass (not sure what his real name is yet) doesn’t even have a large following on social. Despite the quality of his music, maybe it’s because he hasn’t hit “mainstream” yet. And I don’t believe he’s signed to a label, however, I don’t think that will be the case for long.

4. MORGAN: Born in London, MORGAN (Morgan Connie Smith) was on Britain’s Got Talent in 2016 and is apart of the growing group of young and promising RnB talents in the UK.

5. RAAHiiM: RAAHiiM is a singer from Brampton, Canada. With talents such as Drake, Justin Beiber, PartyNextDoor, Weeknd and Tory Lanez coming out of Canada, its no surprise that this guy has talent. His debut EP “ii KNEW BETTER” is worth a listen.

And that’s it, 5 artists you probably haven’t heard of, the list is heavily RnB related but that’s because it’s the genre of music I listen to the most.

Untill next time…

-Dez

The song for today is: Tempest – Not The Same