By Mark Deming, AllMusic
A singer and songwriter whose unique take on pop, accented with R&B and hip-hop influences, is reinforced by a vocal style that merges the passionate with the stylishly theatrical, Jessie Reyez was born in Toronto, Canada on June 12, 1991. Her birth name is Jessica Reyez, and her family is of Colombian heritage. Reyez learned to play guitar as a child from her father, who had mastered the instrument. Before Reyez became serious about music, she was a committed dance student, and studied hip-hop dance from junior high into high school. However, after a traumatic breakup with her first serious boyfriend when she was 17, Jessie poured her heartache into her music, with her music teacher allowing her to spend most of her school days at the piano. By the time she graduated, Reyez was writing songs that expressed her emotions and she was playing in Toronto clubs and busking on the streets. Jessie ‘s life took a left turn when her family members were granted visas to live and work in America after years of waiting; she relocated to Miami with her folks, but after landing a job as a bartender, she found the city’s party-friendly atmosphere was sapping her creativity, and when a music video she made began receiving notice online, she left Florida to return to Toronto. After resettling in Canada, Reyez became involved with the Remix Project, an educational program for low-income students that helps young adults learn about music and the arts. Through the Remix Project, Reyez was introduced to Chicago-based hip-hop artist King Louie; he liked her work and asked her to collaborate with him on a song. The track they created together, “Living in the Sky,” generated plentiful buzz after it appeared in 2014, and soon Reyez was being approached to share her songwriting and vocal talents with such notables as Chance the Rapper, Diplo, Skrillex, and R&B legend Babyface. But Reyez was still focused on building an audience for her own work, and in April 2017 she released a seven-song EP, Kiddo.
This article originally appeared on AllMusic.
By All About Jazz
Keyon Harrold is a talented trumpeter/composer/ Platinum music producer from the same hometown as legend Miles Davis, Saint Louis, Missouri. He has one of the most fresh and unique approaches to improvisation on the jazz scene today. He is a graduate of New School University Mannes Jazz Program. He is a protégé of the esteemed voice of jazz, Wynton Marsalis who speaks of Keyon in a Down Beat magazine article “Talkin’ Trumpets” Marsalis saids, “Keyon Harrold is the future of the trumpet and he is one of the most sought after trumpeters in the world”.
He (harrold) has studied trumpet with such masters as Jimmy Owens Laurie Frink, Susan Slaughter, Charles Tolliver, Cecil Bridgewater, and Eddie Henderson and he (harrold) now reciprocates what he has been taught to scores of other musicians whether it be trumpet, jazz , or music production theory to all levels of musicians. Harrold’s debut album “Introducing Keyon Harrold” is available on the Criss Cross label; a label that prides itself on finding the new gems in jazz.
Keyon is a multi-faucited musician; a performer, a prolific writer, a producer/arranger, and band leader. He continuously works with a variety of incredible artists in all genres and has been often called the “Trumpeter of the stars”.
Harrold has toured and or recorded with: David Sandborn, Jay-Z, Guitarist Mark Whitfield, Pop icon Lauren Hill, Diva Chaka Khan, Artist Macy Gray, Hip hop Superstar Common Sense, pianist John Hicks, Gospel Legend Richard Smallwood, Bassist Christian McBride, Saxophonist Billie Harper’s Quintet, Mo Horns, The Count Basie Orchestra, Bassist Reggie Workman, Trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, Gospel icons Fred Hammond, Israel Houghton, Drummer Jeff ‘Tain” Watts, Neo Soul Queen Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, The Roots, Girl Band Destiny’s Child, The Hawkins Family, Trumpeter Roy Hargrove, Diva Sandra Reeves Phillips- Late Great ladies in Jazz And Blues, The Artist formally known as Prince, Producer/Song writer Steven “Soup” White, Drummer Cecil Brooks III, R&B Songstress Kelly Price, Saxophone Legend James Spalding, Jam Band “Soul Live”, The Charles Tolliver Big Band, Leon Lacy and his Inner Voices P.J. Morton and Debra brown and many others.
He has performed on the David Letterman Show with Jay-z, The Jay Leno Show, with Rodney Jerkins Common and Erykah Badu the Today Show with Katty Curry, Powell Symphony Hall, The Chris Rock Show, Fox NFL Under the Helmet, The Grammy Awards, The Stellar and Dove Awards with Israel and New Breed, Radio City Music Hall with Usher and Mary J blige, Paisley Park with Common and Prince, Soul Train, BET’s 106 & Park with Jay-Z, are some of his recent televised performances.
Keyon recently arranged and toured with R & B superstar MAXWELL. He is the trumpet player and a horn arranger on his (Maxwell) 3 time grammy winning and six time Grammy Award Nominated album Black Summers Night. And his solo on “Playing Possum” is a highlight of the record. Keyon can be seen with Music mogul Jay-z and is featured on his (jay-z) video “The Roc Boys.” And also featured on Jay-z’s Story Tellers performance on VH1.
He is a member of Mo Horns, saxophonist Marcus Strickland’s Open real deck Group, and also leads his own Horn Section Keykat Horns. Harrold also is CEO of Keykat Productions Inc. a music production company that has produced platinum hit records for 50Cent (Touch The Sky), Young Buck (Funeral Music), Mobb Deep (Backstage Pass), and LL cool J (Bump This) to name a few. And also writes music for HBO’s Acclaimed show Entourage. And has recently landed a song in the brand new EA sports video game MMA (ultimate fighting) video game. Most recently Harrold has collaborated with super producer Rodney Jerkins for music on American Idol. And arranged and recorded on Soul Star Anthony Hamilton’s new record BACK to Love (dec ‘11), on a song called Fair Love. Keyon is featured on singer and Grammy nominee Gregory Porter’s new Album.
Also is on Super Saxophonist James Carter’s new record “At the Crossroads” (October ’11). And harrold can be seen and heard on Gospel Icon Andre Crouch’s new DVD/ record LIVE in Los Angeles. (2011) Presently Keyon is the trumpeter of The Michael Jackson immortal World Tour presented by Cirque Du Soleil. Harrold Plays Adams Trumpets and Flugelhorns
“I feel that Adams Trumpets and Flugelhorns and all of their instruments for that matter are quickly becoming the industry standard in brass instruments for Jazz and classical music to hip hop and R&B. From the quality elements going in to the manufacturing of the instruments to the crispy yet warmeness coming out of the bell of my flugel; not to leave out the fresh Look, proves the quality of instrument that the Adams brand is and makes. The true test of any quality product is the Word of Mouth from other users, the way I came to know about Adams is ”sound of Horn”. I don’t do a recording are performance without mine.”
This article originally appeared on All About Jazz.
Moses Sumney is a new Los Angeles-based singer & songwriter. Growing up, he was so shy that he would write songs avidly but hide them inside his mattress.
At 20, he moved out of his parents’ house to study creative writing at UCLA and finally gathered the courage to start performing music. After purchasing a beat-up guitar from a friend, he taught himself to play and accompany himself. He grew quickly as an artist at UCLA, soon performing weekly alongside the university’s most esteemed musicians. Now graduated, he creates soul-infused folk music using guitar and unique arrangements built on loop pedals.
Recently, SPIN Magazine described him as a “soul-folk warrior”.
This article originally appeared on Last.fm.
By David Jeffries, AllMusic
American rapper, singer, producer, and songwriter Luke Christopher worked behind the scenes with Usher and John Legend before embarking on a solo career with a series of mixtapes. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Christopher started experimenting with songwriting and production as a teenager. He made his debut in 2012 with the release of mixtapes Building Skies and TMRW, TMRW. The song “Life Jackets” became the latter tape’s breakout hit, thanks in part to its clever sampling of Scala & Kolacny Brothers’ version of Radiohead’s “Creep.” He signed with ByStorm/RCA in 2013 prior to the release of his self-released EP The Wonder Years, Pt. 1. A sequel mixtape, 2014’s TMRW, TMRW, Pt. 2, included production credits by Foster the People, Wave Racer, Shlohmo, and Asher Roth. In 2015, Christopher issued two companion EPs, YSTRDY and TMRW. His “Lot to Learn” single found its way into the Top 30 on the Australian, Belgian, Norwegian, and Swedish charts.
This biography originally appeared on AllMusic.
By Tatiana Cirisano, Billboard
The 9-year-old America’s Got Talent contestant Celine Tam — named after vocal powerhouse Celine Dion — lived up to her namesake in her AGT audition with an unexpectedly stunning cover of Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On.”
While the young Dion super-fan had no problem charming both the audience and judges with her frequent references to the singer, it’s fair to say that no one would have expected the jaw-dropping performance that followed from the kid.
Things really got interesting when Tam reached the 1997 track’s iconic climax, winning a standing ovation from the crowd (not to mention the rare smile from judge Simon Cowell).
Tam (whose younger sister is named Dion), told the judges she first realized her own talent while singing along to the classic track in the car with her dad. “He was like, ‘Wow,'” Tam said, as her family watched from backstage.
Check out the entire shocking performance, below.
This article originally appeared on Billboard.
By Suzette Fernandez, Billboard
YouTube has become a key factor for the discovery of new talent. The latest YouTube stars, siblings Adexe & Nau, are ready to show that they are more than a social media sensation.
After uploading a series of videos on YouTube, Adexe & Nau — born in Canary Islands, Spain — have collected more than 1 billion views overall (4.5 million daily views and 9 million views per day on weekends). As of today, they have more than 3.6 million subscriptions on the streaming channel. This achievement has highlighted them globally and caught the attention of Sony Music Latin, who signed the pair earlier this year.
Meet this week’s Billboard Latin artist on the rise:
Names: Adexe Gutiérrez Hernández and Nauzet Gutiérrez Hernández
Ages: 11 and 14 years old, respectively
Major Accomplishment: Their first official single, “Tu y Yo,” surpassed 110 million views in less than a year.
Recommended Song: Their new single “Sólo Amigos”
What’s Next: Touring! The brothers are set to visit Spain, Mexico, Argentina, Puerto Rico and the U.S., plus the possibility of doing Brazil’s Rock in Rio next year.
This article was originally posted on Billboard.
By Judy Cantor-Navas, Billboard
Flamenco chill is over and out as frontwoman “dismantles” legendary Spanish band to perform under her own name.
Spanish singer Lamari recently announced the end of Chambao, the group that laid claim to the term “flamenco chill,” the laid-back Spanish electronic groove that has reverberated on hundreds of Ibiza summer nights. Over 16 years, Lamari had fronted the popular band – a summer festival staple in Spain – through personnel changes and a musical evolution. The latest – and presumably last – Chambao album is 2016’s Nuevo Ciclo, whose rootsy fusion of Latin alternative songs she co-produced with Calle 13’s Eduardo Cabra.
“I’ve been doing Chambao alone for 11 years but I’ve continued to speak in plural,” she said, during an interview before a sold-out Chambao concert in Barcelona earlier this year.
No more. Lamari will, in her words, “dismantle” Chambao at a concert at Madrid’s Palacio de Deportes stadium next January with a line-up of special guests. She says she’ll perform simply as Lamari from then on, backed by her current band.
While Lamari no longer wants to be identified with Chambao, she’s even less interested in being known for her one-time, but very successful, collaboration with Ricky Martin, “Tu Recuerdo.” The song from Martin’s 2006 MTV Unplugged rose to no. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart, and was no. 3 on the Hot Latin Songs year-end chart. It was the ASCAP Latin Song of the Year and was nominated for Record of the Year at the 2007 Latin Grammys.
The song made Lamari a recognized name in the United States. But she laughs at the suggestion that she might have better exploited that success by touring behind the hit, or even moving to Miami, as many other Spanish and Latin American artists have done.
“I didn’t go looking for Ricky Martin,” she says during an interview that begins in the back of her tour manager’s van and continues over beer and pulpo gallego in a corner bar. “He came to me to have my voice on his song. I’m not what you’d call a fan of his music. I can say that I’m a fan of Ricky Martin himself, because he really is a beautiful person. But to me he’s just another guy I know. I didn’t do that collaboration to gain anything by it. It’s not about ‘look what I’ve done, let’s see if I can get booked for another concert.”
Lamari, whose given name is María del Mar Rodríguez Carnero, has collaborated with other well-known artists including Cesaria Evora, Jarabe de Palo and Ivan Lins; Jorge Drexler is among several guest artists who appear on Nuevo Ciclo.
“The collaboration with Ricky Martin was different than others I’ve done because we are so different from one another,” she says in retrospect. “Ricky has always been a sex symbol, and Chambao has been about bare feet, the beach, singing to our neighbor and to the planet and the animals.”
Chambao was casually formed in Lamari’s hometown, Malaga, in Southern Spain, where she got together with two neighbors, musicians Eduardo Casañ (“El Edi”) and Daniel Casañ (“Dani”). The singer explains that they talked about recording a big sound, but had little idea how, let alone the budget, to orchestrate it.
“We said ‘how are we going to put three violins, a bass and all of these things that we wanted to put into it?” Lamari recalls. Enter the Colombian-born Dutch musician and producer Henrik Takkenberg and his MIDI keyboard, an instrument that came to exemplify the group’s sound.
Takkenberg, who came to Malaga to vacation and check out the music scene; discovered the “good vibes” of flamenco, and became the fourth member and producer of Chambao. The group’s music first appeared on Takkenberg’s 2002 compilation album Flamenco Chill on Sony; that led to an enduring contract for the band with that label. The album included Chambao’s version of the Paco de Lucia and Camaron de la Isla classic, “Como el Agua.”
“We didn’t try to find a style,” Lamari recalls. “The style found us. We didn’t have a specific idea when we started making music. But when we did we called it flamenco chill. We could have called it Malagueña fusion, or whatever.”
Chambao’s sound evolved into a kind of flamenco prog rock. The band turned up the volume at its concerts, which featured light shows, and of course, synthesizers. The band won Spain’s prestigious Ondas radio award, among others, for its trippy debut album, Endorfinas en la Mente. But the original group was short-lived. Takkenberg, Dani and El Edi had departed the group by 2005, the year its second studio album, Pokito a Poko was released. (In 2006, Takkenberg committed suicide in Madrid; an obituary in Spanish newspaper El Pais suggested that “he was perhaps too nice to be involved in the music industry.” The Casañs, who are cousins, now own a music production company in Malaga).
In 2005, Lamari was also diagnosed with breast cancer.
“I said I can’t be sitting on the sofa waiting for my next cancer treatment. I’m going on tour. So I put a scarf over my head and got started.” She rebuilt the band and headed out behind Pokito a Poko, which went gold in Spain soon after its release. Her hair was just growing out when she performed at Martin’s Unplugged. She was in treatment until 2010.
While U.S. Latin music listeners may think of her as flamenco singer, Lamari rejects that label; more accurately, she says, she’s a singer from Southern Spain.
“I’m a great admirer of flamenco and it’s what gets me up out of my chair: the wildness of it, the uncontrollable emotions,” she says. “But I don’t do flamenco per se, I write songs. I don’t live a flamenco lifestyle, I don’t dress flamenco. But I’m from Andalusia. In my house my mother was always singing flamenco, I didn’t learn it from records. So for me it’s very natural. “
She describes Nuevo Ciclo as “a great fusion between the music of Chambao of yesterday and today,” and she credits Cabra with its more percussive, less electronic sound. “Eduardo likes to play with sounds,” she says. “That’s why I wanted him for the album.”
Lamari still lives in Malaga, where she can be with her family and her friends since forever, and, basically, as she describes it, doing whatever she wants to do. “I don’t want my albums to be commercial I want them to be honest,” she says. “What I want to do is have a lot of fun and do a good job because I love what I do.”
This summer, Lamari will lead Chambao on its final tour under that name. The band will play Ibiza and several festivals in Spain. Tickets are now on sale for the final concert in Madrid.
This article was originally posted on Billboard.
Colombian musician, Mario Galeano, the force behind the band Frente Cumbiero, and English producer Will Holland (A.K.A. Quantic), have joined forces to create the Ondatrópica project.
This project, which is supported by the British Council, exists to explore and expand the tropical sound of Colombia in its rawest form and to marry it with the cool sound of London. The immediate result is not just a new recording – to be released within the next few months – but a hot band which will have the honour of representing Colombia at the cultural *Olympiads* in *London*.Ondatrópica came about as a result of the success of Frente Cumbiero Meets Mad Professoralbum collaboration, which led to the British Council commissioning Mario Galeano to generate a new collaboration, this time with Will Holland (AKA: Quantic).
The project will unfold in three phases. Phase one, focused on the creation and recording of the record, brought together a group of top musicians representing both classic and more modern styles of Colombian music. In this project, which is unique in national music history, artists such as Fruko, Anibal Velásquez, Michi Sarmiento, Alfredito Linares, Pedro Ramayá Beltran, Markitos Mikolta, and Wilson Viveros joined a group of younger Colombian musicians and the UK’s Quantic to (re)generate the excitement that positioned Colombian music as one of the most influential of the continent in past decades.
The aim of exploring a musical path with these pioneers and visionaries from the 60s, 70s and 80s, is not about nostalgia, but is a reaffirmation of the validity and contemporariness of the concept. With this in mind, classic standards of production take centre stage, with equipment and techniques typical of analogue sound – for example, vintage microphones and taking advantage of the expertise of key musical figures such as legendary engineer and producer Mario Rincón, responsible for some of the best recordings of the 1970s.
The legendary Discos Fuentes studio, in Medellin, with a history spanning over 75 years, and with a pedigree which includes Los Corraleros de Majagual, Joe Arroyo, Andrés Landero and Afrosound, was the studio of choice!
The second phase of the project will focus on creating Los Irreales de Ondatrópica, a group of 10 musicians who will, again, represent the old and the new. From a base in Bogotá, the band are adapting the initial Discos Fuentes repertoire, preparing to take the world stage by storm in July 2012.
The last and final phase of Ondatrópica, their presentation in London, will show the world that the most compelling and relevant Colombian music is here to be rediscover.
This article originally appeared on Last.fm.
By Bekki Bemrose, AllMusic
Singer/songwriter Aldous Harding first drew praise for the gothic folk and stark emotionality of her 2015 debut that brought about comparisons to both Kate Bush and Scott Walker. She grew up as Hannah Harding in the town of Lyttelton near Christchurch in New Zealand to musician parents. Her mother was folk singer Lorina Harding, and it was on her Folk-Tui-winning record Clean Break that the 13-year-old Harding made here recording debut. Despite this early foray into the music business, the young Harding had no interest in pursuing a career as a musician, believing it to be a precarious existence. Just a couple of years later, she began to let go of her dreams of becoming a vet when she started singing and writing songs alongside friend and fellow musician Nadia Reid. By 2008 she was performing backup vocals for the traveling string band the Eastern, and Harding got an early break when she was spotted busking by Anika Moa, who on the back of that performance invited the young musician to open for her at her show that same night. In 2012 Harding changed her forename to Aldous and asked Marlon Williams and Ben Edwards to co-produce what would become her debut record. The self-titled release garnered much critical acclaim, and Harding toured the album extensively. For her follow-up, she signed to British independent label 4AD, and enlisted the help of John Parish (Sparklehorse, PJ Harvey) to co-produce the record. Her sophomore album Party was released in 2017, and was preceded by the singles “Horizon” and “Imagining My Man.”
This article originally appeared on AllMusic.