Jessica Victoria’s musical background is something to admire.. She holds a doctorate in musical arts from The Catholic University of America, a Master of Music in vocal performance from the New England Conservatory of Music and bachelors’ degrees in music and foreign languages from the University of New Mexico, where she graduated summa cum laude. In addition to a thriving performance career, Victoria directs the voice track of the Sacred Music Program at the Franciscan University of Steubenville.
Not only this, Dr. Jessica Victoria has performed for Pope John Paul II at the Vatican, at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall and with orchestras in the United States, Europe and South America, picking up many awards for her vocal performances along the way.
We are absolutely loving the new album which is a credit to Jessica’s experience and education and also pulls from her celtic ancestral links as well as hints of rock and pop, it is a musical experience for anyone to enjoy this spring. So, get purchasing and be transported by Jessica Victoria’s magical new album.
Following the unveiling of her debut single ‘Coke & Mentos’ last month, Sydney singer-songwriter Tia Beale has just released her latest single ‘Do It Over’. It speaks lyrically of the devastating loss of a close friend of Tia’s to suicide. The haunting vocals throughout the track truly captivate the listener and transport them to the memories that TIA reflects on.
The sophisticated 20-year-old hails from Sydney’s Northern Beaches and studied at Sydney’s Australian Institute of Music (AIM), initially harbouring dreams of becoming an actor. Watch her unparalleled performance in the stunning video for ‘Do It Over’:
Like most of her music, ‘Do It Over’ is recorded in collaboration with music industry veteran Steve Clisby, who has played alongside everyone from Jimi Hendrix to Kool & The Gang and Chaka Khan. This soulful track definitely marks TIA as one to watch in 2020.
“Breathe Again is an honest, deeply human, yet energising release, likely to make waves throughout 2019…the song makes for a bold and beautiful introduction to an artist with a clear love for and dedication to her craft” Stereo Stickman
In 2019, Italian star Vina Rose released an unforgettable ‘pop banger’. Her single ‘Breathe Again’ received critical acclaim, demonstrating a vocal prowess that’s sure to brighten up the UK pop scene. The artist has recently made the move to London to build her career, leaving her fame in Italy behind.
Now Vina Rose is set to wow new audiences with her fresh EP Crossroads. It’s a musical project that really allows her talents to show. From the anthemic ‘Heart of Gold‘ to the dark and brooding dance-inflected title track, which sees her reflecting on the momentous decision she made to relocate at the height of her career, it’s clear this artist is one to watch.
Vina Rose has performed alongside the likes of Italian superstars Andrea Bocelli, Zucchero, Alexia and Giorgia, both across numerous festivals and on television. Similarly, Vina has appeared on TV shows around the world: on the BBC (acting in the production Victoria and Albert -The Royal Wedding) and ITV as well as hugely popular worldwide hits such as Dancing with the Stars and MTV Unplugged.
Hailing from the small village of Vittangi in the northernmost part of Sweden, is Yajna. A singer, sportsperson, and businesswoman, who has tried her hand at many careers, but always gone back to her ultimate passion – music.
Having grown up surrounded by music, her mother being a composer and organist in the local church, Yajna starting writing songs of her own from a young age, as well as becoming a star soloist for the local choir. However, in her teenage years, her talents saw her embark on a snowboarding career, going as far as to start her own company INACTION.
But in 2018, Yajna finally decided to follow her heart, to become a music artist. Her debut single, Natten Lång, was a storm of success across Swedish radio, but London was the place she found her true sound. It was there she recorded her recent trilogy, The Rising Phoenix, an epic and dreamy mix of soul and RnB.
The trilogy features singles ‘You Are Beatiful‘, ‘Femenomenal‘, and title-track ‘The Rising Phoenix‘. The songs take you on a journey through Yajna‘s life, from the ashes of her lowest moments, to her emergence from the fire. Ultimately, wishing to spread a message of hope, love and power.
Kelsey is the up-and-coming pop singer from New Jersey that is bound to grab the attention of listeners with her captivating and intimate lyrics. Kelsey has always been inspired by music from a young age and has expressed how the music that could instantly take hold of her mood and emotions were the songs that stuck with her the most. The captivating words of such songs are what motivates Kelsey with her songwriting today.
Leading up the release of her debut track ‘Nobody’, Kelsey has posted pictures on her Instagram @kelseyvibesss of her sat down on the floor, handwriting ideas for lyrics and captioning the post with teasers of the lyrics for the track. Opening her world up to fans for them to see everything that goes into the songwriting process is something that Kelsey is passionate about, she has done this also by releasing part of a documentary about her music-making on YouTube. You can watch part 1 of the documentary now for a sneak-peak and insight into what Kelsey is all about!
Lyrically, the track Nobodyalludes to the haunting experience of being lost to the memory of a loved one and feeling like a stranger to someone you once knew so well. It is a ghost story, speaking of the power that haunting memories of a lost lover can have.
Already having received the accolade of BBC Introducing’s Track of the Month, Brooke Law’s latest single “See ya Later” is a brilliant fusion of pop, R&B and Asian rhythms. Born into roots stemming from a mixed heritage background, the environment in which Brooke has grown up in is one that has openly encouraged expression.
As a London-born British singer/songwriter, a major influence stems from the diversity of her multi-ethnic family – Eurasian on her maternal side, and mixed Jewish on her paternal side. It is from this bedrock of ‘unity-through-diversity’, strength and positive action that inspires Brooke to express her own values and beliefs through music.
Brooke has dedicated her Archetypes EP to all women and girls to support them in all they choose to do and be. In doing so, she gives thanks to all the women who continue to fight equality and freedom while striving to put an end to violence against women and children:
“[It’s] is about nurture and giving everything you have to love your child. I’m not a mother, but I know being a mother is the hardest ‘job’ in the world. No one is taught how to raise someone and everyday mothers are making choices for their kids. Mothers make these choices with all their heart and power. If women were recognised more, maybe there would be more equality within the sexes.”
In taking inspiration from an array of great musicians from Annie Lennox to Jeff Buckley, Brooke’s music, like her beliefs, in uncompromisingly emotional and direct – in her own words ’gutsy pop’, with her most notable performance to date headlining at the Jazz Cafe in Camden.
Brooke is performing at Paradise London Live at the Century Club – Friday 9th November, with doors opening at 7pm.
In a world saturated with media-machines, spooling out artificial success stories with frightening regularity, it almost seems alien to consider an artist overcoming unbelievable odds to achieve realisation of their triumph. In her local Sisaala dialect, the word ‘Wiyaala‘ dialect translates as ”the doer”, which is perhaps an underwhelming descriptive of how her path has trudged from humble beginnings through spells of defiance and courage, leading her to become known as the Young Lioness of Africa.
Her journey has been one that is synonymous with overcoming a patriarchal and conservative society, frequently known for it’s hostility towards artistic growth. As a rising star making a name for herself of the global stage, echoes of her work can be felt in her home community as much as far-flung areas abroad. Already she is one of Ghana’s most toured exports, with an impressive roster of international shows already piling up – including Commonwealth Games 2018 in Australia, WOMAD in the UK and Timitar Festival in Morocco.
Her music can been described as a potent fusion of West African folk songs with Afro-pop, and carries a real essence of her cultural heritage. Inspired by her own interpretation of African mythology, her songs are brought to life through spectacularly energetic dance moves and unique hand-made garments of her own design, which she then models in her performances.
CNN Africa has claimed her to be only woman in world who is singing in Sissala, and she is also responsible for helping revitalise the native music scene. Not only has she organised The Djimba World Music Festival, which is now in its third year, she is an active influencer for UNICEF Ghana and fights for the abolition of FGM, Early Child Marriage and also rights for children, both of which she was fortunate to escape at an early age.
At just 13-years-old, Hitha is bidding to be the next young starlet. The Californian singer-songwriter has recently released ‘Standing Up With Pride’, a pop romp which delivers a message of positivity. We speak to Hitha to find out where she finds the inspiration for her upbeat pop.
What’s your single ‘Standing Up With Pride’ about?
Even though we all may have many activities and things we care about in our lives, this song is about putting forth your biggest passion and going for it. I used to play soccer and basketball and tennis and volleyball while also doing vocal lessons twice a week. I realized that I liked singing the best, and so I decided to put it as my number one priority and focused on that. I still play volleyball, but everything else I’ve set aside and singing is my number one focus.
Your songs portray a message of positivity and hope. What’s your main source of inspiration?
My main source of inspiration is everyday life. I try to take problems from everywhere to make my songs relatable so everyone can connect with them.
What’s your biggest ambition as a teen popstar?
I hope that I become known as the positive little girl who loves to write and perform. When people hear my music, I want them to know that they can always count on themselves to figure out what their true passion is, and then put in the hard work and practice alongside their talent to get the achievement they’re looking for. There’s always a positive ending if you try hard and don’t give up.
Does your Asian heritage influence the music you make?
I actually started my music with India Classical singing when I was 4. Indian classical signing helped me with many vocal/technical attributes and I have realized that music is my passion. Basically, it gave me foundation to build my music future on.
Aspiring to make a positive influence in this world, the Californian artist, Hitha, releases her new single ‘Standing Up With Pride’. At such a young age of thirteen, she is creating music addressing how overwhelming situations can appear, but she is determined to show everyone the light at the end of the tunnel. Despite the range of generations, Hitha claims that her music is relatable to all.
Her music is conveying the message of pursuing your true passion in life and letting go off everything negative. Her positive attitude is truly contagious and for sure will inspire all listeners. By being such a brave individual expressing how even young children struggle with depression and how it should be voiced out loud so that others can help make a difference is really supporting our society to move forward. Following in the footsteps of big pop artists with the likes of Katy Perry, Demi Lovato and Ariana Grande, Hitha too is on her path to success.
Hitha, being raised by her two Indian parents, discovered a love for Bollywood dancing and traditional Indian singing but also Western musical traditions. This all-round entertainer as a dancer, writer, singer and musician initially made a name for herself through her renditions of cover versions on YouTube and things began to excel from there.
To create a more visual message to ‘Standing Up With Pride’, Hitha made a music video for it. She portrays the negative thoughts cleverly by having her video in black and white which later transforms into a world of colour when Hitha embraces the positivity.
This track is especially significant in meaning to Hitha herself as she says:
“It is my own story. One day, I decided to just let go of everything, just be positive and only pursue my passion – that decision changed my life. I believe this positivity is going to help many people. There’s always a positive ending if you try hard and don’t give up”
Not many artists can say they’ve outsold legendary acts such as Earth, Wind & Fire, except for Canada’s own Crack of Dawn who are back with Spotlight, featuring a collection of classic tracks.
With other titles such as being the first black band to be signed to a major label (CBS) as well as being picked up by Otis Redding’s producer, Crack of Dawn were anticipated for bigger things, though word from them remained quiet… until now.
Returning with a selection of re-recorded classics from the band as well as some new tracks, Crack of Dawn’s Spotlight is an authentic return to the classic funk and soul sounds of their era.
The overarching theme of the album seems to be nostalgia and sentimentality, what Spotlight does exceedingly well is maintain an authentic sound throughout; it does not do anything out of the ordinary and the album is actually not that adventurous – and that’s fine.
For funk fans, there is something for everyone, from the strong Stevie Wonder vibes on one of the lead tracks ‘Booby Ruby’ to the falsetto vocals on ‘Keep the Faith’ that allude to a sound similar to what the Ohio Players had on their album Honey.
The album opens up strong with the classic and unmistakable funk sounds, ‘Crack of Dawn’ does a great job in laying out what the band is capable of, from the jazz inclined funk virtuosity to the soaring synth melodies and strong bass grooves. The first four tracks of the album maintain that uplifting funk quality as seen with their contemporaries, what Spotlight manages to capture in the earlier parts of the album are different flavors of funk from their era, ‘Somebody’s Watching’ features almost a 1970s “cop-drama” tonality to it with the wah-heavy guitars with a catchy descending riff during the chorus.
Halfway through the album with ‘It’s alright’ changes the pace with an authentic funk ballad that heavily enforces the theme of sentimentality and nostalgia throughout the album. The theme reaches its pinnacle with the track ‘Ol’ Skool’ which sounds like it could have come straight out of the late 70s, the track also pays homage to their contemporaries through the years within the lyrical content, ‘Ol’ Skool’ comes across as a a labor of love and defines the bands mission.
Whilst the album remains authentic to its sound and doesn’t deviate from its purpose, its biggest flaw is the length in which the album tends to latch on to the sentimental ballad sounds. Tracks five through to nine are all sentimental ballads with only slight variations on how they approach the stereotypical funk-ballad sounds, and whilst the dynamics of the album are thoroughly consistent, by track nine the ballads become exhausting, despite how well they are crafted. With only one track left of the album there is very little opportunity to pick up from where the album started.
‘Changes’, the final track finally picks up the pace and invokes a big finale to the album, bringing it back to the big, groovy funk tracks that started the album and brings a full circle to what the band can do.
Spotlight is a great album because it’s an authentic return to funk. In a time where experimentation is key to surviving in the music world, it’s nice to hear something new and modern that throws the listener back to the 1970’s and the dawn of funk. Spotlight is not adventurous and doesn’t do anything out of the ordinary, and that’s okay – because it’s a nostalgic throwback to the times where they outsold Earth, Wind & Fire. It’s the bands opportunity to reminisce the good old days.
You can keep up to date with Crack of Dawn and purchase the latest album by following their social network links below;