Monthly Archives: March 2015

Joonie, “Contrast”

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What do you get when you come across an artist that has the sound of 70’s, 80s, and 90s R&B Soul with beautiful melodies and smooth vocals?  You get an artist named Joonie with a masterpiece of a sophomore album called, “Contrast”.

Calvin “Joonie” Gary, Jr. is a singer, songwriter, musician, arranger, and producer based out of Los Angeles, CA. He is also a multi-instrumentalist who plays most of the instruments on his latest album.

“Contrast” is the ultimate love album.  Songs like “Wish Her The Best (Delilah, Part 2)”, “No Tears” are songs about ending a relationship, however, they are written with such love and care that you can’t help but feel good when listening to them.   If someone were to leave you, you would want them to think and feel this way about you at the end of it all.  Joonie is such a gifted songwriter that he places the listener right in the midst of what he is singing about. “For You”, “Far Away”, “Official” and “Life’s Better” are a few of the many standouts of the album.

The vocal arrangements, instrumentation and production on “Contrast” are tight and effortless. This album has such a lovely sound and vibe to it that you can’t help but reminisce about the songs of the old days. Songs that actually have song structure and nuances that are missing in today’s music. Joonie is a true artist along the lines of Prince in that he produces, writes and arranges his own music. You should really check this album out and spread the word! This music deserves to be heard. Check out the music below and let us know what you think!

“Contrast” is available on iTunes and on his official website here and here.

Music Video: “For You” by Joonie

“Far Away” by Joonie

Old School Saturday: Groove Theory, “Tell Me”

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Happy Saturday Soulsters! Now this is a fabulous blast from the past. Groove Theory  consisted of singer, producer, Bryce Wilson and singer/songwriter, Amel Larrieux. This album changed the game as far as hearing something different from the “new jack swing” sound that was slowing moving out at that time. So much soul and melody, this album was a welcome breath of fresh air in R&B music.

“Tell Me” was their first single and introduced us to their smooth sound and Larrieux’s lovely and soulful vocals.  Larrieux went on to a successful solo career and has released five independent projects.  She is considered Neo Soul royalty among her fans that have been following her since her Groove Theory days.  Reminisce on this classic and check out the video below.  Enjoy!

Quote of the Day

“As musicians and artists, it’s important we have an environment – and I guess when I say environment, I really mean the industry, that really nurtures these gifts. Oftentimes, the machine can overlook the need to take care of the people who produce the sounds that have a lot to do with the health and well-being of society.”

~ Lauryn Hill, Singer, Songwriter, Rapper, Producer

Indie on TV: Kimberly Nichole on The Voice

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I’m not too much of a fan of the TV show, “The Voice”, but I do love a particular artist that is making her way through the rounds, the awesomely talented singer, Kimberly Nichole. I remember catching her performances here in Atlanta, GA as an underground, indie artist a few years back and enjoying the experience immensely. Kimberly Nichole is what someone would call a “beast”. Her soulful voice along with her incredible stage presence is something to behold. With just her and her band on that stage, she captivated all of the audiences that I have seen her perform in front of. She consistently just brought the house down every single time. I’m so glad that she is on “The Voice” and they have been given the opportunity to showcase this woman’s raw talent. Check her out her incredible performances on “The Voice” below.

Kimberly Nichole will give the show great ratings, so it will be in their best interests to keep her on the show (and crown her the winner). Pharrell Williams made a huge mistake letting her go last night, but Christina Aguilera snatched her up without hesitation.  Aguilera is really a better fit for Nichole for obvious reasons. Williams wouldn’t know what to do with all of that talent.

It’s so good to watch someone coming from being an indie artist and watching them grow their career to the world-wide stage. She has been on the grind for many years and being on this platform is such a wonderful accomplishment for her. I now have a reason to watch “The Voice” this season and I will enjoy supporting her by voting and rooting her on! Will you?

Check out Kimberly Nicole and her music here and here!

Old School Saturday: Quincy Jones and Masters at Work

Hey Soulsters!  For this week’s Old School Saturday feature, we would like to honor, producer, arranger, instrumentalist, Quincy Jones’ birthday today.  Since it’s Saturday, we thought is would be cool to remember Quincy Jones’ dance track, “Razzamatazz” featuring R&B and Jazz vocalist Patti Austin from the Grammy winning album, “The Dude” (1981).

House duo Masters at Work consisting of “Little” Louie Vega and Kenny “Dope” Gonzalez later released their House remix to this song in 2001 called, “Like a Butterfly (You Send Me)” with vocals from the great Patti Austin as well. Check it out below and get your dance on!