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Women That Rock: Ray BLK

Over the weekend, I surrounded myself around music. I know some of you may be wondering what does that mean. Well, I'll tell you. So often we as music lovers just put on a piece of music to just have sound filling up the room. Often times you don't literally listen to the words or the structure of the track, to really appreciate what is being played. Well, this week I did just that. I literally listened to the lyrics of a familiar tune and I studied the concept of the record, the placement, structure of the song, and also the attitude and passion that was used to project the track. And, I must say it made me take notice to what and who I was listening to. This week's artist spotlight, was found while watching a show on Netflix. “Rita Ekwere”, is better known to most as “Ray Blk”. This British singer and songwriter is a Nigerian born artist who grew up in London. You may ask how the BLK portion of her name came about. Well, it stands for Building, Living and Knowing, which she describes as her three main values. So, right away she has caught my attention with such a profound message. So let’s talk about the music. Ray can be referred to as an artist who isn't afraid of being totally honest and giving her listeners a glimpse into her very own life. Her single, entitled " My Hood" demonstrates this practice effortlessly. Ray's vocal tone is a clear display of complete control and direction of her vocal capabilities. Ray currently has an EP entitled "Durt".Which takes her listeners on a cosmic ride into her world. With her melodic vocals flowing over heavy synthesized beats. At times, her style reminds you of the 90's rapper Bahamadia. For all those real hip hop headz the track I would say is my favorite joint is entitled "Chill Out". This track has good placement and structure. She definitely gives us a clear idea of her musical influences on this track. From artist like Lauryn Hill to Bahamadia, I advice you to check out a fresh artist whose style and sound is remincing the days of good thought provoking music. Remember, to support real musicians and their crafts. Cause, if we don't show them that we support what they do. They won't continue bearing nothing but their souls. Spread the word when you find those artist that are getting the attention like the major artist. Remember, if you don't like what's on the airways then change it.

Women That Rock: Dawn Richard

We are experiencing a great moment in music. I think with what is going on in our country and our everyday lives as a people, we can surely say that our music is speaking loud and clear to the many diversities, that are plaguing our cultural society. Many of our very talented artists are indeed using their voices to speak on many of these pressing issues surrounding our communities. One artist I would like to shine a spotlight on this week is “Dawn Richard”. Dawn Richard graced the music scene a few years ago, after auditioning for a little show called “Making the Band”. Dawn's roots begin in New Orleans. She has always had deep ties with father Frank Richard, being the former lead singer and percussionist of the group Chocolate Milk. So, this means she always has been surrounded by music in some form or another. Now prior to Dawn attending that audition, which eventually landed her a spot in the very successful group, she had already landed a deal with “Octarve Anderson, Jr.” and his Atlanta Independent record label. “Yeah! Brother Records” and she had already recorded a solo album called “Been a While” that featured a single entitled “So What”, which was co-produced by “Ne-Yo”. So now fast forward, enters “Sean (Diddy) Combs” of “Bad Boy records”. Diddy along with her previous New Orleans Management Company began negotiations to postpone the release of that Album and the immediate release of the artist from her contract. Now, we could say that the rest is history, or we could continue the narrative and outline this artist's achievements. Dawn shared great success being apart of the group “Danity Kane”. But, what many of you may not know is how the group got its name. Dawn created a drawing of an Anime character. The drawing caught the eye of Sean Combs, when asked does the character have a name. Dawn responded with her name is Danity Kane. Now, you can say that the rest is history. Following her success with the Danity Kane, Richard also had the pleasure of being a member of the eclectic group Diddy's “Dirty Money”. Dawn is back with yet another amazing project. The Album is entitled “Infrared Deluxe”. This album is jammed pack with deep downtempo vibes and infectious melodies along with catchy choruses. Production on this album is carefully mastered. While watching an episode of this season's “Being Mary Jane” featured the track “Paint It Blue” in the background. The tracks soothing sounds filled the scene with so much passion as if it was the official video release of her song. Dawn's voice almost hypnotizes you with her smooth transitions. I will be surely putting this fire track into heavy rotation at several events this spring. This season is starting off to an awesome start.

Women That Rock: Ari Lennox

ari lennox

Discovery of viable artists seems to be sprouting up everywhere you look. And this week’s selection is a welcome addition to that growing list.  This week’s “Women That Rock” selection hails from our nation’s capitol, Washington, DC. I present to many and introduce to some the ever talented singer songwriter Ari Lennox. So, let’s jump right into it. Ari Lennox is simply put, a musical force to be reckoned with. Back on October 22, 2013, Ari put out an EP entitled “Ariography”. This album was an introduction to her steadily growing career in the music industry. This album was more of a precursor to what was yet to come from this young lady. Fast forward to a couple of years later then in July 21, 2015, while celebrating the success with appearing on “Omen's” album “Elephant Eyes” on a track entitled “Sweat it Out”, that year also gave way to a record deal with J.Cole's recording label Dreamville Records. Ari's creative style is a combination of a sassy soul singer meets a slick rapper, this might explain her signing with J.Cole. Listening to her tracks you can definitely hear rap influences as well as many other genres. In 2016, she released an EP entitled “Pho”. Now, this EP left me yearning for more. Her musical style is a combination of a sassy 90's R&B singer meets a slick charismatic rapper. I absolutely love her vocal delivery on each and every track. But, the track that absolutely caught my ear and made me pay close attention to what this artist had to say is entitled “Backseat” featuring “Cozz”, the vocal arrangement and placement displayed on every track, speaks volumes to her extensive works. I'm sure we're going to be hearing lots more from this very gifted young lady, cause remember guys with our support we can demand that artist such as Ari Lennox and other get their just due.

Women That Rock- K. Avett

K avett

Now, that the Grammy Award event is over and all the lavish parties have ended, maybe you found that your favorite artist claimed the most prestigious accolade in the music industry that night, or maybe, not. Then there is the infamous day when all the morning shows are buzzing about the shows winners and performers, and in the mist, of the chattering talk surrounding Beyoncé's Grammy snub, Adele's unofficial announcement that she doesn't deserve the album of the year award, and that the better woman should have won the covenant award. I actually watched this year’s celebration of the one language that can truly unify us all. I told myself that I was going to participate in the spectacle to really see if at last the music will have the last say. Well, let's just say things were a little better than they have been in the past airings. I mean they did get it right in some categories of the night. I was still looking for that one performer that I could say they've got that jenassaiquoi... that umph. So, I took to the internet searching the many music sites on my quest to locate those amazingly gifted artist that the mainstream continues to overlook. Music lovers, I have an awesome treat for you guys this week. This week's “Women that Rock” spotlight artist goes by the name of “K. Avett”.  K. Avett is a singer songwriter with a sound that's reminiscent of days gone by, when artist actually sung what they wrote. Her sound is familiar yet new at the same time.  Her unique blending of exploring different genres throughout her music only adds to her overall musical talent. K.Avett is gearing up for her sophomore album slated for release Spring 2017. She is currently finding success with her debut single entitled “The Matter (What are we here for)”. Her vocal projection is felt throughout the very silky smooth track. It's as if her voice is floating over the melodic sounds and beats of the track. If you guys are big fans of artist such as Algebra Bassett, Anthony David, and Conya Doss, well then you catch my drift. You'll sure to appreciate this very gifted and inspiring talent. Let me conclude with this. See, I watched the Grammy awards to get confirmation that we control who should be recognized as great, and it is not some old ass men on some board of an academy, we the connoisseurs of great music have this say. With your continued level support we can show these artist that their works are greatly appreciated throughout our community.  Leslie Thomas is a DJ, traveler, blogger and lover of all things music.  Follow me on Twitter @LBoogie252005 and visit my blog, The Sophisticate.  

Women That Rock- Terri Walker

Like most of you by now, I have seen the most inspiring made for TV movie of all time, the “New Edition Story”. This movie was the equivalent to an R&B Roots. Three jammed packed nights of shear excellence. Once again we got a up close and personal look into the glamorous, but sometimes ugly, life of the music business. Like the old saying goes, this business can either make or break you. And this movie clearly showed that very theme. Again, the industry doesn't know what the people really want, as it was clearly displayed throughout this movie. Dear Music Industry, Please let the artist do its thing. That's why you signed the artist in the first place. Let's be real, the artist already possesses some type of star quality, hence the reason why they signed them in first place. So, for this week’s “ Women That Rock” series selection, it is yet another young lady from a growing list of Artists that need to be heard by the masses. Hailing from across the pond, London born”Terri Walker” has a voice and sound that needs to be heard, not just on a national but global level as well. This gifted young artist not only studied classical training at a young age, but it can be heard throughout most of her music. Ms. Walker recorded her demos in LA then shopped them to several labels located both in the UK and the US., which eventually ended up with a recording deal with “Def Soul” UK division. Now, I know most of you would say that's a good look for this talented artist. But, let me show you how they, (meaning the music industry) do nothing for the artist. She records her debut album entitled “Untitled”, the debut single is entitled “Guess you didn't love me” featuring “Mos Def” which is a very nice track, but guess what, it doesn't stand a chance to reach the masses due to the fact that there is no media outlets that will play the track. This is the first mistake and then if we fast forward several albums and years later after dealing with several labels not knowing what to do with yet another amazing talent. Terri tries her hand at putting out yet another album entitled “Untitled to Entitled” a nod to her first debut album. This album is definitely a well balanced project. I absolutely love the track “Lose Twice”, its one of my extreme favorites on this great album. Terri delivers a stellar performance on this great body of work. If only the record companies would stop controlling what's being played on the airwaves, maybe only then would great artists have a clear and fair shot at dominating the market. After researching Terri's work and story, I found myself feeling overwhelmed at the fact that her music and musical stories need to be heard by all that value true soulful music. There are hundreds even thousands of great talents that are going undiscovered each and

Happy New Year! Women That Rock- Ella Mai

Well, we've made it through another year. In the midst of creating new resolutions for the New Year, I'm always on the quest to discover timeless artists, that are attempting to prove to everyone that they are indeed the next biggest star status or accolade. I'm very optimistic that 2017 will provide us true lovers of pure authentic music, a quenching for that incredible thirst.  To kick off the 2017 series of “Women that Rock” artist profile, I present to some and introduce to others. Ella Mai (pronounced Ella Mae). A native of the U.K. Ella moved to New York at the tender age of 12, and then in 2014, while residing back in London for the second time of her life, she competed on the popular TV show X factor. She performed along side a group called Arize, and even though they didn't make it through the competition, the exposure did provide the opportunity for Ella Mai to try her hand at becoming a solo artist. Ella's impressive writing style comes through strongly in her music. She managed to accumulate a rather large fan base after uploading a four track EP to Soundcloud, which ultimately gained attention of DJ Mustard who signed her as a young artist on DJ Mustard's 10 Summers label. So this proves that sometimes things and events happen for a definite reason. Ella Mai's well controlled voice is heard loud and clear on every track. She clearly possesses the talent of a poised artist.  She is celebrating the release of her EP entitled “Change”, this six track EP produced the debut single entitled “She Don't”, that features “Ty Dolla $ign” one of the most underrated new school artists.   Just to let you know this guy is very talented also.  But, back to the track, this song shows off Ella's excellent singing and writing skills. I was absolutely in aw of this track.  Actually, every track is filled with so much passion and heart that they truly speak to the soul in each an every one of us. Whenever you need to hear that special song to really express how you're really feeling or if you are going through something in a relationship, this amazing EP has it for you. To my hardcore music lovers of great R&B music. Here's your first awesome CD for the year to add to your collection. Get ready guys, I think that 2017 is going to provide us with some amazingly talented artist.  Leslie A. Thomas is a music blogger and lover of all this sophisticated.  Check out my blog, The Sophisticate, and follow me on Twitter:  @LBoogie252005.

Women That Rock- Melody Angel [A Changing of the Guards]

Melody

As we embark on a changing of the guards, I've asked myself a serious question. Will our artists provide a deep understanding of the changes that our country will be experiencing in the days, months and years to come?   I wonder will they speak out on issues involving Americans in this country just as our greats did in the late sixties and seventies. Or will they just sit back and remain silent. Either way they choose to look at it, is solely their choice. The young lady I'm about to introduce to you guys this week clearly has been lending her voice to the voiceless. I first discovered this amazing singer, songwriter on a reality show. Yes, I said it. P. Diddy's Starmaker. This show aired on MTV in 2009. That young performers name was “Melody Angel”. The Chicago native impressed her judges and fans alike, with night after night stellar performances. It just wasn't enough to clinch the winners title. But, the exposure did help this amazingly gifted singer, songwriter with a boost in her music. Melody's raspy, soulfully charge voice leaves you absolutely speechless. She shows complete control over her voice. Careful placement of her vocals can be heard on every track with conviction and accuracy. And, I wouldn't doubt that growing up in Chicago helped to shape her into whom she has become. Sometimes, seeing the day to day injustice and turmoil growing has a way of molding you. And in many cases, music acts as elixir, to smooth the pain. Melody has a project out entitled “In This America”. The title track speaks loud to the injustice that has been plaguing the country lately. Accounts of Police brutality and senseless killing are addressed boldly and prophetically on this track, accompanied by beautiful guitar riffs that fill the room as they are being strummed. This is a powerful song that should be spread everywhere throughout the communities stricken by gun violence and senseless killings. Melody not only sings about injustice in the community, but she also shows her support by becoming active in the community, by showing her solidarity with the marchers of injustice and equality for all. This young talent is clearly channeling the spirits of the greats like Nina Simone. I would love to see this amazing artist perform the Afro Punk festival 2017. It's just an idea! If you guys are in need of some musical therapy to get you thru the weeks to come, try Melody Angel on for size. I think she may have just what the doctor ordered. Remember everyone, now more than ever; we as a people have to stick and stand together to make it through these next few years. Support you indie artists and their craft. It’s more valuable than you think. Leslie Thomas is a festival addict , travel enthusiast, lover of all things music.  Follow me on twitter @lboogie25!

Women That Rock: Break Out Artist, Tish Hyman

break out artist

With the holidays fast approaching, it's always been a great opportunity to discover fresh new talent to show off to friends and family. I always seem to love this time of year, all of my family together under one roof, and at my family home we always seem to get into a deep long conversation on the topic of music. Man, when I say we go heavy on this subject it is an understatement. My family's life revolves around music. I'm always on the look out for that break out artist. We have yet to feature a rapper for the “Women that Rock” series, but guys do I have a special treat for you. This piece is truly dedicated to all my Hip Hop heads.  This amazing artist isn't only a rapper, but also a gifted singer songwriter. She goes by “Tish Hyman”.  This Bronx native began her plight as a battle rapper, that's right she could flow with best of them. Then in 2010, Tish moved to Los Angels, Ca. This is also where she forged several artist relationships that would soon land her with the opportunity of a lifetime. You guys may be familiar with some of the many mainstream artists she's lent a creative pen to. She’s written for the likes of  Alicia Keys, Ty Dolla Sign, Diddy and Kelly Rowland just to name a few. In 2015, she released her first single, entitled “Subway Art”. This track really expresses the deep struggles of many New Yorkers that frequent the New York subway system on a daily basis. On this track her infectious vocals are compared to the great Lauryn Hill. Celebrating her July 12, 2016 release of her debut EP, entitled, “Dedicated To”, this project is jammed packed with hits. Tish gives us a brief uncovered look into her life and experience as an MC, she's clearly bringing back true Lyricism to the art of rapping. My favorite track on the album is entitled “All That I can Do”.  Tish delivers an astonishing performance on this very heartfelt track. We have to support these creative artists and their craft. Buy good music go to great concerts. Show your support for truly good music. And those great artists, like Tish Hyman will keep supplying the demand. https://youtu.be/aJhaMy7IG-4  Leslie Thomas is a music blogger, lover of travel and music festival enthusiastic.  Follow me on Twitter: @lboogie25.

Women That Rock- The mysterious HER

HER

Fall is officially upon us, and with each season, I would have to say brings about a different type of attitude, mood and state of mind.  Let me explain, for instance Spring & Summer are both seasons that share a sense of urgency to get out and roam about with friends and it also gives the urge to attend outdoor concerts and festivals, for example. It may also be like going off for spring break on some exotic sexy beach and even spending a long steamy summer night on the hottest rooftops of your favorite city hotel.  But I betcha, you've never payed much attention to the soundtrack that's playing for those type of events. It's those electric, bass driven, pulsating dance grooves followed by a catchy hook. Now, let’s explore the Fall & Winter seasons. These months as I like to mention provide a more calming relaxed demeanor. You're drawn more to attending intimate house parties or your feeling gravitate to a sort of closed off feel, from the rest of the world. You're more likely to engage in rich deep conversations, while a very smooth laid back track spins in the background. So with that said, I have yet another emerging artist to add to that growing collection. The artist I would like to introduce too many of you, has been making quite a name for herself, despite the fact no one actually knows the identity of this new talent.  This week's Women That Rock artist spotlight goes by the acronym “H.E.R.” That's pretty much all we know of the artist. Oh yeah, and let's not forget that she's a genius and has put out an incredible body of work. H.E.R. currently holds the number one spot on iTunes. The project is entitled H.E.R. Volume 1. I'm eagerly awaiting volume 2. One thing that can be said for this artist is they've brought back being different and creative with introducing the world to your sound, your art form, and presentation. The album brings a vision of a woman sitting down to her desk and writing in her diary for the night. Providing a very detailed recap of past and present love experiences. I absolutely love how each song appears to float into the next, almost like one continuous thought. The beats are very sexy and artist's voice appears to melt on the track. There's a clear presence of influences from the best that have done it. Influences, like the late great “Aaliyah” and “Marsha Ambrosia” just to name a few. Tracks entitled “Loving and U”, shows that whomever this artist turns out being, she clearly has excellent writing skills. The mastermind behind this album banger provided listeners with a brief 22 min. glimpse into the soul and passion of a spirited artist. So, may I make a suggestion for your next home gathering? Press play and groove out to something that will surely leave your guest begging to know more about H.E.R. Leslie A. Thomas is a lover of all things music follow me on Twitter @lboogie25.

Women That Rock- Jamila Woods

Jamila Woods

Guys, I have a confession. Lately, each week it's becoming more and more difficult searching for great music to showcase. There's so much garbage out there these days; that the real artists are being smothered. This is why I've set out on a quest to only provide my readers with quality musicians who truly are making a difference of providing excellent music and musicianship.  This week’s artist hails from Chicago, Illinois. Currently Chicago has been producing some of the hottest artist in the game. So, you know I am most intrigued by this gifted artist.  Her name is Jamila Woods; the Brown University graduate is a singer songwriter as well as a phenomenal poet. Her writings have been said to explore a deep sense of blackness and a celebration of womanhood. The nature of her music has a pro dominantly center around soul and hip hop influencers. Her music and poetry speaks volumes to the celebration of being proud of her heritage. We are surely in need of changing the culture of our music. I believe that music should speak as a voice to the voiceless and tame the savage beast. But, with artists like Jamila and others it appears that we may have a fighting chance after all. With Jamila's latest track entitled “Black Girl Solider”. This track is surely to become the black woman's anthem. The track speaks loud and proud to strong and empowering black females all over. It's filled with emotion and prideful melodies. I can't wait for the completion of the album. This track is surely going to leave you wanting more. Seriously guys, we can change the narrative when it comes to the music that's being played on the air waves. The time is now to take a serious look at what's going on with and in our communities and taking back our music should be first on the list. So, until next week. Remember it's all about the music. Support your favorite indie artist and their craft. Leslie A. Thomas is a lover of all things music follow me on Twitter @lboogie25.

Women That Rock: Solange

It's been four years since this gifted young talent's last album. And I've been eagerly anticipating her triumphant come back. The Women that Rock artist I speak of is none other than Solange.  Okay, let me give some of you guys a little background on this underrated artist. This American singer songwriter hails from the Texas City called Houston. Now she may be Beyoncé's little sister, but, she's surely made a huge name for herself in the Industry as well. Solange is no stranger to the music business, at the tender age of sixteen the young star was signed to her father Matthew Knowles's label Music World Entertainment. She also recorded her very first studio recorded album at this time entitled “Solo Star”. She has always expressed a very strong interest in music. thus, developing her creative writing style that encompasses all genres of music. Her music even transcends between different eras as well. Her very grown up sound, could be felt very strongly on her second debut album entitled “Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams”. This album celebrated the music of the Motown Sound of 60's and 70's. Do you guys remember “T.O.N.Y.”? That was my absolute favorite cut off that album. Then we come to the third studio album following that entitled “True”, this album I believe, wholeheartedly was completely slept on by the masses. True explored more with one of my favorite genres of music down-tempo and electronica sounds. Now I must tell you she's back, with what I've clearly deemed as her best work to date. The album is entitled “A Seat at the Table”. The album features several excerpts from the legendary “Master P”.  P. Tells of the journey of how he first got his deal in the music Industry and how that was unprecedented for a young black man being from the South. I absolute salute this young lady for paying homage to the ones that paved the way. She also expresses her love for wanting to express and celebrate her blackness. This is clearly what speaks to the climate of the country right now. This is so needed right now. There are several tracks I absolutely love on this album, but I would say the one I'm feeling the most is entitled “Don't Touch My Hair”. This track is an expression of all of us embracing our hair. So guys, if you are known for loving an album with substance then this is the one. The album gets my strong stamp of approval. But, don't take my word for it. Give it a listen and tell me what you think. I look forward to the conversation. Remember to support indie artist and their craft. Cause, without the music what type of life would this be. Until next time, remember to play your music loud and often.  Leslie A. Thomas is Music Blogger and lover of all things music follow me on Twitter @lboogie252005  

Women That Rock- Syleena Johnson

Well guys, it’s officially the beginning of a new season. I absolutely love summer. Here's your chance to catch all the latest festivals and concerts of year. Just this past weekend, I've had the pleasure to catch the ATL “Soul Life Festival” hosted in the great city of Atlanta Georgia. It's a two-day festival featuring some of the best Neo-soul artists in the game. I had the pleasure of seeing a very talented female. Some of you may know her from the reality TV show “R&B Divas Atlanta”. I'm speaking of none other than “Syleena Johnson”. Now guys, I've been following this young ladies career since the very beginning. Syleena is the daughter of legendary R&B singer Syl Johnson, so she's no stranger to singing the rhythm and blues music. Syleena took to music very early idealizing such artists like Aretha; Chaka and Whitney to name a few. Now, let's talk bodies’ of works. Before they were the Chapters of her life. There was an album that she recorded with her legendary father entitled “This time together by father and daughter”. Then there was the album entitled “Love Hangover”. These albums were the precursors to the Chapters of her life that literally follow into her career. Syleena's music embodies pure life lessons on being in love and all of loves hang ups. The richness and pure soulfulness in her voice gives the listener a sense of how traumatizing the pain she's feeling being broken by her lover. From the very first song I’ve ever heard from this amazingly talent woman. “I'm your Woman”, is my favorite track from this artist. Written by R.Kelly. Syleena clearly delivers a very heartfelt plea for her man to treat her with some respect. Syleena sung several of her hits at the festival. She also sung some cuts from her latest project entitled “Chapter 6 Couples Therapy”.   The First single is entitled “Harmony” featuring Dave Hollister.  Check it out here: Let's also mention that she also has a new book out entitled “The Weight is Over”. Coming to a bookstore near you. What's great way to start off the summer season with the sound of music and a great book. Can't wait to read it this one. So, if you guys are looking for nice summer album to groove to feel free and check this artist latest. And if you're looking for a book to read on that much needed summer beach vacation, then why check out this one. Then, tell me what you think. Remember, it’s important to support your favorite indie artist and their craft. So guys get out this summer and check out the many summer festivals and concerts taking place across the nation.  Leslie A.Thomas is a lover of all things music. Follow me on Twitter @lboogie25.

Women That Rock- Tarica June

I have a question for all my music enthusiasts out there. Is there a viable movement being pushed for pure conscious music to return by the people, or is it all hype? Well, I'd like to believe that idea of socially conscious music is coming back and with a vengeance. I believe that I have a young lady, making a loud noise for change. “Tarica” a DC rapper, has been pleading her case of speaking out on issues that are affecting our communities for quite some time now. She's spoken out on everything from political and social charged issues plaguing the nation, and her very own city. To the constant presence of gentrification running rampant in every urban dense population in the country, this female rapper isn't a virgin storyteller. While starting out delivering her powerful words as poetry, then getting known for dropping knowledge, she eventually turned those poems into conscious rhymes set to beats. In 2010, the mixtape entitled “Moonlight Revolution” gained critical acclaim of being the first modern day outfit albums to address issues of empowerment and misogyny, that has a heavily presence in the rap and hip hop community. This also led to Tarica, traveling and performing at events centered around uplifting and empowering young women. Tarica has also raised awareness regarding other socially and conscious issues organizations. She is now promoting a new project entitled “Streams of Consciousness” and it’s hot. This mixtape is filled with jaw dropping lyrics and fresh beats. The first single to drop from the project is entitled “But Anyway”. The track features a sample from “Susan Vega's” “Tom's Diner” and “PM Dawns” “Set A Drift On Memory Bliss”. Tarica shows off her lyrical styles on this one to times past, of “Marion Barry” running the city and giving a damn about the people. The song also addresses the fact that the record labels really don't want music to feed your intellect to resonate over the airwaves. This is just one of the many voices out there speaking on behalf of the voiceless. We as the consumers must stand with this artist and many others to change what is being played on the radio and what the record label believes to be what the masses want to hear. Supporters of pure impactful music and artists like the one I've introduced to you today, need to know that you stand with them, because they cannot change it by themselves. It takes all of us a collective force to impact change. Until next time, attend those concerts and festivals and discover a few new artists. https://youtu.be/EMZIK3dAOR8 Leslie A. Thomas is a lover of all things music follow on Twitter @Lboogie252005    

Women That Rock- Nik West

After spending an awesome weekend with my siblings talking about, well you've guessed it, Music. I discovered that the conversation the industry should be having is, what it takes for an artist to become a superstar or to even be heard from the sea of individuals that are all competing for their shot of stardom. I read an article earlier this week in regards to artists using online streaming sites as a tool to gain a ford for fan base of support I like to think that this is a viable tool to use to let everyone know who you are, but it just doesn't stop there you have to develop a brand. We discovered that there are a lot of awesome artists that are out there, but without a true defined brand you're just that, out of there. So, I went out on Twitter and other social media sites to see what was fresh and new on the music scene. I uncovered a very gifted young singer, bassist. Her name is “Nik West”. She hails from Phoenix Arizona; it's also where she began her musical journey. Her father, an accomplished guitarist, taught Nik to play the rhythm guitar at the tender age of 13 years old. Nik has always been surrounded by musically creativity. The left handed bassist has a unique style of her own. From her colorful Mohawk styled hair piece in the shape of a bass clef, to her high impact stage presence. West has truly made a name for herself; she has worked with some amazing artist. The likes of Eurythmics, Prince, John Mayer and my favorite Marcus Miller. Now, the last time we were excited about a female bass player was when the world was introduced to Meshell Ndegeocello. I strongly believe that we maybe on the cusp of a paradigm shift in the industry when it comes to female musicians gaining media attention and exposure. I began this conversation on the importance of artist branding themselves and becoming more visible in the industry. Nik has done an awesome job of branding herself. Whether it's following her Video blogs on YouTube renditions of some of your favorite artists. Nick also managed to become the new face of a new line of basses called Dimension Bass by Fender. This amazing artist spearheaded the Queen of Strings Competition which is a tool to discover and develop young women self-esteem and discipline for the instrument. By providing this and many other platforms she's managed to formulate a huge following. From her high energy packed performances to her valued work ethic from fellow musicians in the business. One of her most notable branding traits is the colored hair piece in the shape of a bass clef. The other is definitely her amazing voice. Not only does she play well, she can sing. Nick has an amazing voice that sort of matches the funkiest bass strumming note for note. Some have referred to her as the female version of Lenny Kravitz. I

Women That Rock- Tweet

As we embark on yet another season change, I'm often eagerly anticipating which artist is going to have the biggest spring and summer hit. Warmer months also bring the start of outdoor concerts,festivals and backyard barbecues. So, I'm officially suggesting the hot new spring and summer album to listen to is by a young lady that's no stranger to the R&B scene. Her name is "Tweet", and she brings some much needed music therapy this season. Charlene Keys, a.k.a. Tweet is a profound American Soul and Neosoul Grammy nominated singer songwriter. Tweet got her start like so many other accomplished singers, by singing in church with her family. Now, this young lady has a long string of hits throughout her musical career. Then in the early nineties, she joined a female group Sugah. She also gave birth to a daughter for whom she left with her parents, while in pursuit of musical stardom. The group consisted of Tweet, Susan Weems and Rolita White. The ladies were apart of Devante Swing's Swing Mob collection. This also gave way to Tweet meeting and developing a relationship with Timbaland, Magoo and Missy Elliot. Tweet has landed her vocals to some of the defining music albums in the music industry. In 2002, she debuted her own solo project entitled Southern Hummingbird. This album can be deemed a true expression of that Southern Soul vocals mixed with hardcore hip hop flared beats. Oops (Oh My) and Smoking Cigarettes were my extreme favorites off this a timeless album. The album debuted at number three on the billboard 200 chart. Then in 2004, Tweet released her second studio album It's Me again. The album featured a host of producers. This album also featured vocals from her then 15 year old daughter Tashawna, on Two of Us. In 2013, Tweet gave us what I'd like to call the best musical appetizer I've have ever had. This five track EP. literally left you salivating for more. Now, the Southern Hummingbird is back with her long awaited album entitled Charlene. Let me begin by saying it's been a long time since I could just press play and let the album sail through. This is the best project by any artist this year. Her voice is like fine silk gliding over the infectious guitar strings and soulful melodies of each and every tune. I absolutely loved the artists musical direction taken on this project. From the instrumentation choices used on every track to songwriting and the professional arrangements and song placement. This album was carefully constructed and crafted. The debut single Magic has been burning up the charts. I think that this project shows the growth of this artist emotionally, spiritually and musically. Something that's clearly lacking in this genre called R&B Soul music. Here are just a few of favorites off the album. Magic, Neva Shouda Left Ya, I Was Made for This, The Hardest Thing,  and I Didn't Know, just to name a few. So for all my fans of good ole soul music, then this is surely

Women That Rock- Candice Nelson

Well guys I know there has been a lot of things happening in the news and the entertainment world in past several months, addressing our issues as a black people. From Stacy Dash's stupendous comments, regarding whether or not to get rid of black history month to Jada Pinkett Smith's heart felt plea to the black community to lift every voice and shut out this year’s Oscars. Everyone seems to have something to say regarding the state of all things black. The state of black music was also up for grabs. I was able to catch a video on “YouTube” showcasing a young female singer in a nightclub giving an interview on the state of R&B music. The artist provided a very heartfelt and passionate response to the question. The artist explained to a packed audience that songs like “Hello” performed by UK artist “Adele” wouldn't be allowed to get much Airplay, if recorded by a black artist. She then goes to say, that it's the record companies who dictate what artist can and cannot record. Now, this artist is saying something I deemed as very interesting. She also states if a black artist recorded a song on the same caliber as Hello, their fans wouldn't buy it and it wouldn't get played on the radio. And I must say she's absolutely correct. She continues stating, that when you have a person who isn't African American sing a powerful song such as Hello, the masses call that blue eyed soul. She firmly exclaimed that's not soul music. Now, I could go on to back up this artist's statement. But I said to myself I need to find the answer in the music. So I took to the Internet in search of that fresh new artist with that great songwriting and composition background. This is where I discovered a very talented young lady. Her is Candice Nelson, some of you may have never heard of this artist, but then again you have heard of the multi-talented artists that she's penned their greatest hits. Candice got her start by singing backup for the boy band “Immature” in 1996. Throughout the next several years, Candice was developing her signature writing style. While writing for artist like “Beyoncé” and “Mary J. Bilge” she seemed to focus on songs about love and being in love. And now, she's stepped out on her own. Her latest project is entitled "Moments”. A collective body of work focusing on lessons learned from past relationships. The project includes Classic R&B and soulful folk elements. The titled track Moments is telling the story of a young girl reminiscing of her first love and later relationships throughout her life. This track reminds you of a simpler time, when dealing with life issues seemed so cut and dry. After my discovery of yet another extremely talented artist, it sums of the fact that everything the young artist in the nightclub interview was indeed true. But, I truly believe that we as the consumers and lovers of

Women That Rock: PJ

Every now and then music will change course right in front of your very own eyes. This week I'll be introducing you guys to a very special up incoming talent. She goes by the name of PJ and this singer songwriter has a lot to say. Her musical approach is somewhat refreshing. This fresh hot talent has been on her grind for quite some time now. The list of artist she's written for is pretty lengthy. Artists like Chris Brown, Meek Mills, Wiz Khalifia, Tyga just to name a few. But, this year appears to be a tad bit different for this fresh new talent. With receiving a Grammy nod for the Wiz's album. PJ, seems to have finally found her voice in the industry. PJ has been riding high off her new EP entitled “Walking around Pools”. In keeping with the new theme of self-worth, self-motivation. This young lady clearly delivered with several tracks off this album. The track entitled “I Mean It”, really speaks to me as a bona fide declaration of self-worth and going for what you know. Now, there are other tracks like “Own” and “Nickels and Dimes”. You're sure to find your very own motivational anthem. But, don't just take my word for it. give a listen and I'm sure that you guys would agree that there's clearly something genuine and rare regarding this gifted young artist. PJ has been grinding and doing her thing for quite some time and like so many others their sound and style is still yet to be heard by the masses. Well, it appears now that too may be changing. I cannot stress enough, to all my fellow lovers of the art form music. We the consumers, set the tone for what should be played on the airways. We have the power to change what's streaming on the radio stations. And don't believe for a minute that the record labels aren't paying attention. They most certainly are, that's why we are now seeing more old school 90's music stations springing up on the airways. So check out this latest artist and her body of works. I'm sure you'll come to want to hear more and more from this talent as I did.  Leslie A. Thomas is a lover of all things music follow me on Twitter @LBoogie252005.

Women That Rock- B.O.Y. (Be Only You)

Well guys, it's officially 2016 and now that the New Year is here, and everyone is currently making New Year’s resolutions on self- preservation, I thought why not give my music fans a motivational soundtrack to help keep you encouraged as you go on your journey in becoming a better you. This week’s choice is a four member all girl group “B.O.Y.”, coming straight out of Atlanta, Ga. That's right I said a girl group. This is very rare in this day and age, but these girls may be what is needed to bring back this dynamic of R&B music. The group consists of Myiah (Hot Boy), Meisha (B Boy), Summer (Rude Boy) and Gianni (Wild Boy) known widely among the Atlanta area. I love how these young ladies sense of style and fashion sets them apart from the norm. It appears that the ladies don't feel the need to blend in with others. This group certainly is promoting individual creativity expression, along with unprecedented self- confidence and esteem that is greatly missing from artist development these days. It appears that by the girls developing this ongoing reputation of positive attitude and behavior, has garnered a huge fan base and following. Which is so needed help the younger generation to love and accept who God created them to be. The ladies are currently in the studio working on their debut EP. I just want to give the ladies a nod on bringing forth a greatly crafted body of work. My favorite track off the EP is entitled “1996”. The song tells of a young woman who has realized that she's falling in love with the one. This track embodies those melodies of those awesome tracks from the 90's. The rest of the EP tells of tales of being in and falling out of love. I sure we'll be seeing and hearing more from this awesome girl group. I hope their success will spark an explosion of R&B groups back in the mainstream population. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLWTL7d7nd4  Leslie A. Thomas is music blogger and lover of all things music follow me on Twitter @ lboogie252005.

Listen: Erykah Badu Has Some “Trill Friends”

Badu is at it again!  She loves remixing songs and we love it even more!  Kanye West dropped this single last Friday and already, Badu is giving us her version.  Yes, we can relate!  We all know someone that fits into this role.  I'm thankful for my Trill Friends!!  Do you have some "Trill Friends"?  Check it out and let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Women That Rock- Ashley Dubose

I want to ask you guys a question. With shows like the Voice and American Idol, which will be celebrating their farewell season in 2016, can we say that shows of this caliber have provided the stepping stones to launching the musical careers of some of the most talented singers in the country? I pose this question due to my recent discovery of yet another "Women That Rock" feature. Her name is Ashley DuBose, and this incredibly talented artist has a lot to say. I uncovered her, after listening to Spotify's discover new talent play list. Hailing from St. Paul, Minnesota, this single mother of a three year old, also has a bachelors in mathematics plus holds down a full time job as a programmer analyst. Now, those are major accomplishments in itself. and she still found time to record an EP. DuBose made her debut on season 5 of the hit NBC reality singing competition "The Voice", she wowed the audience and judges with an amazing rendition of "Diamonds" by Rihanna after which all four of the judges turned their chairs around. Resulting with Ashley's decision to work with Adam Levine as her on air coach. Now let's talk about her new EP. "Be You" is latest project that I must say is a breath of fresh air. This album embodies a variety of musical tastes and forms that capture several musical expressions. Ashley's style is reminiscent to those artists from the nineties. One track that I currently keep on repeat is the title track entitled Be You. This track is full of empowerment and a self proclaimed woman's anthem. It's a track that truly deserve coverage and needs to played constantly on today's air waves. So as many of you set your New Years resolutions to better yourself and become an inspiration to others, play this album to provide a great soundtrack during your transformation. Remember we as the masses can change what is streaming on the air waves. Just simply support your favorite indie artists. Go to shows buy CDs or download their latest projects. Remember whatever and whenever you contribute to the success of others goes a long way. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72kEZh_uYVM  Leslie A. Thomas is a music blogger and lover of all things music follow on Twitter @LBoogie252005.

Women That Rock- Jaime Woods

Well guys it's that time of year again, Christmas time. And if you're anything like me you're probably waiting to the last to start your Christmas shopping. Well, as always I do believe that music is the best gift to receive at Christmas. I don't know maybe it's the thought of turning on that special piece of music at holidays to get either get you in the spirit of the season or to help you cope through the season. Whichever way you prefer, I have something very special for you guys this week. Her name is Jaime Woods and she's this weeks' Women that Rock feature. Now, I first discovered this talent listening to my trusted streaming music service Spotify. The track that was playing was entitled "Talk to Me". The song is about a young woman passionately expressing to a love how they will be able to weather any storm that may arise as long as they communicate with one another. You can definitely hear Jaime's gospel roots in the presentation and delivery of this great track. Not, only is she an amazing songwriter but, I guess you can describe her sound to be similar to Tweet. Another awesome singer. You can check out this track and others on Jaime's EP that was released summer of 2015. Woods development of her craft can be contributed to her engagement with the gospel scene in Chicago. Where after she moved to the east coast playing in various clubs. She had the honor of either opening or performing duets with some of the most influential artists of modern time. Artists like Bilal, Emily King, Roy Hargrove and Lalah Hathaway just to name a few. I do believe that we'll be hearing lots more from this artist. So, remember if you're not sure what to give someone this season, don't forget that a really good cd would make a great gift idea. As we embark on a new year let us not forget to support indie artist and their musical craft. Remember we can change what the mainstream media dubs as popular music. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pWxIq_x_rA  Leslie A. Thomas is a music blogger and lover of all things music follow me on Twitter @LBoogie252005

Women That Rock- Caretta Bell

With great appreciation, I was granted the opportunity to DJ this weekend in Houston TX, at the Nzuri Natural hair expo. While attending this amazing event I also had the chance to uncover a brand new “Women that Rocks” artist for you guys. Her name is “Caretta Bell”, she hails from Houston TX. With an amazingly, soulful, silky voice she also blessed the “I Hear That Girl” stage with an awesome performance, as the women that rock live musical act for the weekends event. Caretta has been nominated 7 times by the Houston Press Music Awards. Not only is she a great singer, but she's also a gifted songwriter as well. I'm always stressing the need for more songwriters in the business. Those singer songwriters that make you feel the emotions and the experiences that all come together to provide the perfect soundtrack to one’s life. Bell provides a complete and in depth look into her soul. Just check out her latest project entitled “Love's Eye View” released in 2008. Her latest single and video is entitled “Growing Painz” and it is produced by Swedish producer “Red Astaire”. This track features soulful melodies, richly involved around an infectious voice. Caretta has also had the pleasure of sharing the stage with some of today's major artists in the game. Artists like “Ledisi”, “Keith Sweat”, and “Bilal”, just to name a few. She is no stranger to working with some of the best in business. But, don't just take my word for it. Research this awesomely talented artist for yourself. I'm sure she will keep you wanting more. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzTvMwXzvJs Leslie A. Thomas is a music blogger and lover of all things music.  Follow me on Twitter:  @LBoogie252005

5 Reasons We’re Loving Missy Elliott’s Return!

You guys know I am a HUGE fan of Missy Elliott!  When she started making appearances this year and the rumor mill began rumbling that she was working on new music, I was elated.  FINALLY!  Innovative, creative, fun, dance music is what she is known for and she did not disappoint!  Check out her new single, "WTF" (Where They From).  There are so many reasons I love this song, but let me give you 5 here:    This is an official dance track!  You cannot listen to this without moving your body.  Even if you can't dance...you will officially be a dancing machine with this one. Missy brings sexy, hip-hop glam to her video without having to show ANY skin!  Can we get an amen on that?  And the girl looks AMAZING!  So glad she is back! Hip-Hop's essence is fun and dance.  The marionettes take me out every time!  LOL.  You definitely get that here. This song sounds like NOTHING that is currently on the radio.  YES!  Can we say innovative?  Always.  Classic Missy. Missy made sure to give 2015 Hip-Hop fans, MISSY!  She brought the originality that is Missy to 2015.  She didn't have to assimilate to what is trending right now to make a hit.  This is Missy and it is a straight BANGER!! Check out the video for yourself below and let me know what you think. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KO_3Qgib6RQ

Women That Rock- Sheena Player

Is R&B music dead? This is the question I have to ask you guys this week.  I recently asked myself the same question.  After doing my weekly research to find the next “Women that Rocks” feature, by searching several online music magazines, I discovered there's a growing shortage of what I would classify as true musicians.  Wait, let me explain my thought process. First of all, I'm pretty sure that there are qualified R&B artists, but I'm just saying sometimes it's like you have to move heaven and earth before you can even scratch the surface, If you don't believe me just try to google R&B Indie women and the results show our white sisters singing over hardcore funky, hip hop driven beats. I guess it's safe to say that this is just another result from the tanning of America. There's nothing wrong with this picture, I'm just a little worried that we may be losing ground in my beloved genre of music. Well despite all of my concerns, I was able to uncover yet another special treat for you guys. Her name is “Sheena Player”, the Inglewood, Ca. native is best known as a great songwriter as well as performer.  I discovered this gifted artist from a song that was featured on Bet's hit tv show” Being Mary Jane”.  The song is entitled ” You can go”.  Instantly, I was moved to uncover more from this fresh new artist, that's also when I discovered that the artist has been on her grind for quite some time now. Once again, this is what I believe is some wrong with the current state of  radio. A talent like Sheena, can get a break using radio like you once could back in the day. Why, you ask. It's because for one thing, there's not a viable media outlet for these artists. Let's take a closer look into the issue. Currently mainstream media markets are geared solely to hiphop artists and what they classify as Hiphop is better much the same five artists being spun throughout the day.  Lately, I've noticed a shift in the music that is being incorporated and the shows like Being Mary Jane and others are indeed looking outside of the box to gather untapped artists. This makes my heart sing. Sheena's artistry can be compared to some of the elders that have paved the way. You can truly hear the creativity and passion that eludes from her works. Her vocal ability is very rich and soulful in her delivery of the song. After listening to that one song I was hooked. I immediately wanted more from this amazing artist. I found that she has an EP entitled “As heard on Tv”. The album is a combination of carefully written stories and experiences set to smoothed out sexy vibes, by far a real nice body of work from the fresh talent. So, if you guys are in need of a break from what's being played constantly on the airways. Then, have I

Women That Rock- Melanie Fiona

What happens if a well known artist happens to use their musical platform to raise awareness around social issues that plague this nation. Well, let's see. Marvin Gaye gave us one of the most prolific albums to date. Then there was Stevie Wonder's  "Songs in the Key of Life"  masterpiece. This is just to name a few, every now and then life will imitate art.  This week's Women that Rock artist is embarking on yet what may perhaps be the soundtrack to this years most important election cycles we've ever witnessed. "Melanie Fiona", is no stranger to the musical world, yet I  feel this powerful soulful artist has yet to get her just do. The Canadian Born R&B artist started her musical career in a girl band X-Quisite and she also recorded a few reggae joints under an alias Syren Hall. Melanie, also was in a group called, The Renaissance along side the rapper Drake. In 2009, she released her debut album entitle "The Bridge".  This great album featured the breakout single "It Kills Me" which topped the Top 50, HipHop and R&B charts. This also later, earned her a grammy nod for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. In 2011, she released "The MF Life", which provided such hits as "4am", "Gone"and "Never Coming Back". Melanie's artistry can be measured as a very soulful and powerful vocalist as well as a songwriter. She can be compared as one of the best vocalist in the game if not better. I've had the chance to witness the passion and tonality from this artist first hand at one of her concerts. It's like she pulls you into the song making you feel the hurt and the pain or the passion in the music. And now with her latest single, she's doing again just that. This track is entitled "I Tried", which provides a deep look into several social issues like police brutally, teen rape, domestic abuse and human trafficking and also mass shootings.  These are some of the most troubling issues that have plagued the nation recently, but mainly in the black community. It's a clear message that the artist is writing in regards to what she feels strongly in protest of and what she believes everyone should be concerned with. Because these are issues that have affected every black life in America one way or another. The depth from this powerful track can also be seen as well as heard with the video that was released for the song. She paints a clear and vivid portrayal of an abused woman in need to have her voice be heard, this surely is a must see.  Melanie is gearing up for her third album release entitled  "Awaken" and  tracks like I Tried and more. Let's hope it awakens our mind and heart to conversations and solutions to the never ending issues that we face daily in the world we live. So remember, support your Indie favorite artist and their craft. So their voice can be heard. Leslie A. Thomas is a music blogger

Women That Rock- Lianne La Havas

After catching up on reading several music blogs this weekend, I stumbled across a fresh new voice. Her name is “Lianne La Havas”. By now, you guys should know that I absolutely love all types of music. This young lady's music embodies several different types of genres. La Havas began singing at the tender age of seven, and credits her musical diversity from her parents. Her father, an accomplished multi-instrumentalist, taught Lianne guitar and piano which helped develop her gift for producing and arranging music. I must say I haven't come across an artist like this since discovering “Amel Larrieux” or “Corrine Bailey Rae”. This London born British folk and soul singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist began her career as a backup singer. In 2010, she signed with Warner Bros. developing and honing in on her songwriting skills. Then in 2012, she released her debut album, “Is Your Love Big Enough”? By the end of 2012 the album was named iTunes album of the year. She's gone on to perform at several musical festivals both in the states and abroad. Now, she's back with yet another great masterpiece. This album was inspired by her reconnecting with her Greek and Jamaican heritage. The first single entitled Unstoppable, was co-written with “Paul Epworth”. She also has a track on the album which is one of my favorites entitled “Tokyo” where you can surely hear her finesse her skills on her hollowed bodied 1964, Harmony Alden Stratotone guitar. Her sound is a little like Amel Larrieux, Solange and Corrine Bailey Rae. She truly brings a sense of live instrumentation to her sets; this is highly missed from quality music these days. It's awful refreshing to see it being done on Lianne's projects. So, when you're looking for that refreshing album to just simply unwind to after a long day from work, slip this one on and grab a nice glass of wine and slip away to a long winding highway somewhere in the beautiful London countryside.   Leslie A. Thomas is a music blogger and lover of all things music follow me on Twitter @LBoogie252005

Women That Rock- Erin Stevenson

Hey guys, I have a question: does it pay off being in an all-girl group vs. becoming a solo artist?  Well, I'm guessing everyone wants to go solo. Cause, you can't even name one mainstream R&B group today. Another question for you, do you guys believe that there's a need for the girl group in today's music industry?  The 90's gave way to some awesome girl groups, like SVW, En Vogue, Jade, Blackgirl, Mokenstef, The Good Girls, Brownstone and Destiny's Child and so many more. Some of those girl groups have also given birth to some great solo career for some those ladies. This week's Women That Rock feature got her start from one of these great girl groups. Her name is Erin Stevenson, and at the tender age of ten she was once a member of the all-girl group called "Girls Tyme" who later became Destiny's Child. This Houston Native is taking us back to time when artists actually sang well written songs. And you literally feel the singer’s passion in the delivery of the songs they sing. This is becoming  a dying art form.  Erin has a very sultry voice that is also met with some electric dance moves and the ability to command a stage in her live performances, this is yet another quality that is so missed from today's so call artists. And it's with those attributes that has led her to open for some of the popular artists in the mainstream music industry.  Artist like, Justin Timberlake, Janet Jackson, Pharrell Williams, Nicki Minaj, John Legend,Yolanda Adams, Ciara, just to name a few. Erin's sound is said to be a fusion of 80's soul and current pop. Her current project celebrates her embrace of different musical genres. She has just released a new video for her single entitled “The One That Got Away” for her new EP entitled “Hot Damn” released on September 8th. The song is about a guy that's spending regular time with a woman that could be considered a great helpmate. Then she's passed over for the video girl, when she's ready to consider marrying this young man. You know that girl that's always so superficial. And how later  the guy realizes that the woman with substance was the woman that got away. On the track, Erin displays her strong vocal ability and flexibility on the song. She really delivers a powerful and emotional  performance on this track. Erin is truly an amazing rising star to keep on your radar. I'm very sure that we'll hear great things from this artist. So, to all my lovers of great untapped music, please check out the artistry from this talented young lady.  Until next time, remember to support your favorite Indie Artist and their craft. Leslie  A. Thomas is a music blogger and lover of all things music. Follow me on Twitter @LBoogie252005

Women That Rock- Alice Smith

Recently, I've noticed a certain trend developing with some of our favorite TV shows. Judging by the huge success of some of the most popular shows on network television, many of these shows can credit their huge following by the music that's being played. For instance, everyone is so infatuated with the very diverse musical soundtrack from the hit TV show “Empire”. The music seems to set the tone of the show. Other shows like “Scandal” and “Being Mary Jane” have also followed suit. My hat goes off to the ones in charge of the musical content added to these shows. I know it's not an easy process to actually determine what track needs to be placed where, in order to provide that climax to that dramatic scene yet alone finding that perfect piece of music to get the writers point across. So, after catching the season premiere of Being Mary Jane, last night it got me listening to music showcased on the show, which also seemed to tell a story within a story. I took to the internet immediately and began researching the awesome music used on the show. I found an artist that has lent her talents too many musical projects. Her name is “Alice Smith”. The song that is entitled “The One” off her debut album entitled “She” was featured on the show. Placement of the song in context with the episode was definitely on point. The song makes reference to a woman that is being told by a suitor that she's the one. When he and she both know different, this brother is trying to run game on her. But, that wasn't the first time the artist music has been featured on a series. The song “Dream” was featured on an episode of “Entourage” (season four). This amazingly talented woman was raised in Washington, D.C., as well as on a farm in Georgia. She released her first album back in 2006; Rolling Stones compared the artist to “Norah Jones” and “Alicia Keys”. Her style has a more complex variety of genres; she enlists musical tones from country, to rock, to funk. In 2011, Alice collaborated with “Aloe Blacc” to contribute the track Baby towards the Red Hot organization's most recent charitable album entitled Red Hot + Rio 2. Alice's current project is entitled She, which was released in 2013. This album consists of eleven powerful tracks, centered around falling in and out of love. It brings an eclectic feel of emotions, backed by elements of rock and funky beats. So I advise you guys to check out this artist on Spotify, Itunes and all other media outlets where music is sold. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQv-EZD0kro Leslie is a music blogger, traveler, festival enthusiast, and lover of all things music!  Follow me on Twitter @LBoogie252005.

Women That Rock- NAO

Lately, I've been listening to some amazingly talented artists from abroad. And I dare ask the question, "Who’s got more soul? Is it our sisters here in the states or our sisters across the pond?"  Now, I know what you may be thinking... is she crazy or what?!  I mean let’s examine the thought for a moment. There was the British Invasion in the 60's. British Soul artists have always been heavily influenced by the American soul vanguards of the 60's.  Artists like Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin, and let’s not forget the huge impact made from the Godfather of Soul James Brown, introduced the world to the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. So, now we fast forward to the 1990's and 2000's. This again birthed artists influenced by contemporary R&B soul and the explosion of the New Jack Swing.  Artists like, Mica Paris, Caron Wheeler, Amy Winehouse and Estelle,  just to name a few. "Who’s got more soul? Is it our sisters here in the states or our sisters across the pond?"   And yet again, I've discovered another rising star from abroad. These sisters are bringing it with a vengeance. They're mixing styles ranging from soul, hip-hop and deep house influences. She goes by “NAO” pronounced NAYO.  I was first introduced to this young lady listening to the online music site, Indie Shuffle. The song was entitled “Adore You”.  I was completely floored when I heard this huge raspy voice flowing from my speakers. I was instantly hooked and needing more. Not only does her voice captivate your ears, but you also take immediate notice to the structure and vocal placement throughout the song. This led me to also take notice that she was not only a great vocalist but also a darn good songwriter. NAO has a brand new album that launched February of this year. You guys can check it out on ITunes or SoundCloud. I can't actually tell you who she sounds like. I guess that's a good thing. All I know is for all my true lovers of good music and those who aren't afraid to experiment with different genres. Then you really should get to know this amazingly gifted artist. She will definitely blow your mind. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FN-R4X7-LU0 Leslie A. Thomas is a music blogger, festival enthusiast, and traveler.  Follow me on Twitter @LBoogie252005.    

Women That Rock- Jessica Jolia

What factors make an artist awesome?  Is it the artist's way of delivering their message or is it the complicity of their music?  Or could it even be the depth and range of the emotions that the artist feels and expels from their music?  Well, these are some of the few questions that I ask myself whenever I'm researching my next potential music fav. Music has to move and insight something inside everyone who listens or produces this melodic energy. So, when I'm looking for the next artist to add to my vast array of musical experiences, I'm always wondering what thought or emotion the artist is trying to give the listener.  Are they trying to tell a story or somewhat? Are they calling upon some universal emotion or spirit? Continuing with the ever growing series “Women that Rock”, I introduce to you yet another emerging talent. “Jessica Jolia”. This American recording artist, songwriter, musician and educator has studied in some of the most renowned schools of music. While attending Oklahoma Christian University studying Vocal Performance she later discovered her passion for performing on stage. Jessica performed in various Broadway productions and Operas like “Porgy and Bess” and “Oklahoma” just to name a few. In later years, the artist focused more heavily on songwriting, arranging, and developing a solo career. I keep finding that connection of the new artist visiting the blueprints laid by the vanguards of the craft, such as Stevie Wonder, Prince, Chaka Khan, Miles Davis, and others.  More and more, these artist look to the founding architects to help develop or cultivate their own unique sound. Jessica's music definitely exemplifies her tedious study and passion for the art. Her sound is melodic yet poetic in a way that's reminiscent of the vanguards of this genre we call Rhythm and Blues. Jessica's music answers those previous questions as to what message or feeling she attempting to convey through song. Her latest single entitled “Sometimes” is blowing up the internet. The song kind of reminds you of earlier works from “Tamia”. It's that classic love song from the past, when artist actually felt what they were singing about. I ask all music lovers to get to know this amazing emerging artist. I can't wait to hear more from this awesome talent in the future. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Of_BwyQUkOU Leslie A. Thomas is a travel enthusiast, festival lover, and music blogger.  Follow me on Twitter @LBoogie252005.

Women That Rock- Lorine Chia

I truly love discovering fresh new raw talent and then sharing my findings with like minded individuals as you, it's like finding lost treasure. Some of the artists that I've uncovered have really gotten a lot of people now taking a closer look again at real music. I mean paying close attention to the lyrics and what the artist is trying to leave you with. Well, you guys I've struck gold again, yet another great find. Meet “Lorine Chia”.   Born in Banso, Cameroon. She was named after “Lorine Okotie” her father's favorite African Songstress. The Ohio native has put out several mixtapes over the years.  Lorine's style is similar to a female version of “Future”, she can sing or rap on a track and just freak the track out. She first took a crack at singing in front of a lot of people, when her parents stood her in front of the local church choir. She was surprised by the fact that she actually fell in love with singing for a crowd of people, she knew that this wasn't just a fling. Lorine over the years horned in on her writing skills, while listening to several influential artists like “John Legend”, “Coldplay” and others... Her music is more of an acid musical trip. There's a great blend of Hip Hop, Downtempo, and soulful riffs. She's back with another project entitled “Naked Truth”.  OMG, this album has everything... edginess, raw uncut pure Hip Hop and raw soul all over some hard ass beats. My favorites are entitled “Da Fire” and “No New Friends”.  It's like listening to “Missy Elliot” and “Jah Cure”.  This track has that reggae feeling over a hard pounding beat and her voice is raspy yet soulful. While the album provides plenty of high intense dance grooves, she manages to showcase that soulful raspy sultry voice on cuts like “Strange Fruit”.  I would love to see this young lady perform this high energy music on a stage very soon. I'm sure the show is going to keep the party going. If you guys are looking for that summer road trip CD to jam too all summer long, this is it. Check out Lorine on Spotify or Itunes and discover a new favorite. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BMUKKgGSqgY Leslie A. Thomas is a Music Blogger and lover of all things music follow me on twitter @LBoogie252005

Women That Rock-Stacy Barthe

There's been a recent surge in social activity in our country over last couple of months; looks like we're constantly visiting some type of grief or striving on this tedious journey we call life. But, like I always say put on some soothing music and it appears to simply melt away your cares and tears. With that being said, I'd like to take this time to spotlight a woman that seems to know a lot about just simply going through. She goes by the name of “Stacy Barthe”. Her start in music is somewhat similar to my baby sister's start with music; Stacy too came up with her first original song at the tender age of eight. Stacy quickly developed her style from listening to the likes of Ella Fitzgerald and Nina, who soon became her idols. While some of you may have never heard of this amazedly gifted artist, I'm pretty sure that you've all heard some of the mainstream artist this singer songwriter has worked with. Not only can you hear her on “Flawed Beautiful Creatures” the theme song of the second season of BET's “Being Mary Jane”. The songwriter first revealed penning “Katy Perry's” ‘Hummingbird Heartbeat” and “Rihanna's” “Cheers” and “Miley Cyrus's” “Adore You”. But what Stacy's best known for is how well she articulates the variety of contrasts of the human psyche through her music. Stacy is strongly promoting her newly released album entitled, “Becoming”. Barthe teamed up with some of the heavy hitters in the game. “Benny Cassette”, “Kanye West”, “Sky Ferriera”, “DJ Camper” “ Nicki Minaj” and Chris Brown. This album provides a musical journey across different genres and eras in musical time, but still managing to staying current. What I also found amazing with this album is that Stacy relied only on live instrumentation for most of the production of this album. Now this album, is supposed to be like a living adaptation of her own personal accounts of her life. Her struggles with weight loss and excessive drinking and the overall lack of love for one self. It's also about that same person finally finding the courage to be honest with them self and asking themselves what are you running from. Stacy delivers such a gracefully crafted vocal arrangement accompanied over the beats and melodies on each track. But my favorite has to be “Walk on Water”. This track reminds me of “Fleetwood Mac” or “Genesis”. I love the message in this song reminding us to remember who you really are in this life. Then, there's the cover of “Anita Baker's’ “Angel” featuring “John Legend”, who is also an executive producer of the album as well. So when you need an escape from all the turmoil and headaches of this ole’ life. I would like to make a suggestion that you put on some Stacy Barthe. It may be all that the doctor ordered. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i4Odgf67Cns Leslie Thomas is a blogger, traveler, and music festival enthusiast.  Follow me on Twitter @LBoogie252005.

Women That Rock- Victoria Monet

While watching our country embarking on yet another series of triumphs displaying how far our country has come. I am still amazed at how much music still remains the soundtrack to what is going on with the times. After looking at all the artist that is either working on or coming out with projects this summer I find the summer is going to be a scorcher. I've got a real firecracker for you guys this week. This singer songwriter hails from Sacramento, Ca. “Victoria Monet”, she started singing at a very early age, but it was her love for the art of dancing that she discovered her passion to be on stage. After an exchanging of poetry, after one of her rehearsal this is when the passion of writing developed. This young lady has a well-stocked penmanship of songs that she's written over the years. She received an invitation from none other than the Dark-child himself “Rodney Jerkins”, the mastermind behind most of Brandy's greatest hits to come out to LA, to audition for a new girl group Purple Reign that he was putting together. The group ended up signing with Motown, but was later dropped. Out of that situation, birthed another opportunity to use those great writing skills in the industry, not soon after her hooks and lyrics found their way to the likes of “Kendrick Lamar”, “Arianna Grande”, “Chrisette Michele”, “Diddy”, “Dirty Money” and others. Now, if you're wondering what Victoria's sound is like, let me set it up for you. Picture the group “Jade”, “Brandy” and “Aayalih” and the sexiness of “Janet Jackson”. You can hear those artist and more from the 90's era in her music as well as in the structure of the songs. Is it me or did the songs back then have more structure and balance to them than some of the songs coming out now? Victoria has a brand new single that's blowing up the charts entitled “Backyard” off her latest EP, “Nightmares & Lullabies: Act II”. // Amazon.com Widgets I'm truly digging this joint. The pulse thumping beat and her melodic voice riding each percussion is so dope. This song definitely takes you back to the 90's with that hard hitting 808 sound everyone has come to know and love. But, don't just take my word for it. Check her out for yourself. I'm sure you won't be disappointed.   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWsI2PYidC0 Leslie Thomas is a music lover, traveler, and festival enthusiast.  Follow me on Twitter:  @LBoogie252005.  

Women That Rock- Kelela

In my quest of always wanting to find fresh new talent, I often stumble upon some fresh and exciting Artist. This week’s artist shines a spotlight on my Afro-Punk, Downtempo, Alternative and R&B crowd. Born in 1983,” Kelela” is an American singer and songwriter. This Ethiopian American has been based in the Los Angeles area since 2010, where she got her start singing Jazz standards in cafes on the west coast. Then in 2008, she joined an Indie band “Dizzy Spells were she tried her hand at singing progressive metal. Now, after listening to some of her work, you can surely hear the progressive metal as well as some of those melodic jazz flows in her music. Kelela's style is more like something you would hear from “Solange” and “Erykah Badu”, after practically listening to everything she's ever recorded. I would have to say that her style is more of a soulful mixture of that progressive metal meeting the complexity of a jazz standard. I mean the richness that every track gives the listener is so raw and true to form. She is definitely a true Avant Gard artist providing a completely different spin on what is deemed as traditional R&B. While being in LA, she has also had the opportunity to collaborate with some amazing artists, like hooking up with “Teen-girl Fantasy” and being featured on the group's album entitled “Tracer” lending her vocals on the track entitled “EFX”, which led to her meeting “Prince William” from the record label “Fade to Mind”, being on this album also allowed Kelela to offer her amazing gifts to other well known artists alike. In 2013 she released a mixtape entitled “Cut 4 me” that was available for download for free. You heard right, free download. Now, she’s back with a brand new single entitled “A Message”, off her brand new EP entitled “Hallucinogen”. Off of the re-released "Cut 4 Me". Available in our aStore!! <br /> I'm definitely feeling this track with its pulsating bass and Kelela's melodic flows it is sure to stir the sexual side in you. This is truly a sexy a song with its grime, deep-house, overt techno and dubstep sounds throughout the mix, it's got something for everyone. While it appears that Kelela hasn't been on the scene that long, she has been putting in work here and overseas. But don't just take my word for it. Check it out for yourselves. I advise you to check out her collection of work on “Soundcloud” and “Spotify” you won't be disappointed. Remember guys, to show your support for all artists, but especially those Indie Artist, cause you know as well as I know they just don't get the same exposure as the so called mainstream artists receive. So, until next time remember to play your favorite artists loud and hard. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4-9mYrbXVI L.Boogie is a music blogger, traveler, and music festival enthusiast.  Follow me on Twitter:  @LBoogie252005!

Women That Rock- Jill Scott

Being a lover of live music and concert going, I had the awesome privilege of attending the “Hampton Jazz Festival” for the very first time. I must say it was surely the best musical experience I have done in a long while. This Festival has been in existence for 48 years, this three day musical highlights a wide array of genres. The creation of the Festival began in 1968 to celebrate Hampton University's 100th Birthday. Needless to say, the festival was a big hit, so it continued on as an annual celebration that some have incorporated there family vacations as well as family reunions around. This festival is packed full of great African American History and there are great museums that also partake in the annual celebration as well. This year’s spectacular lineup included Jazz, R&B, and Soul Artists. It included several great women that rock like “Avery Sunshine”, “Myra Smith”, “Fantasia” and the incomparable “Jill Scott”. I had the opportunity to witness an awesome performance from the Grammy Award winning soprano vocalist Ms. Jill Scott. This was the sixth appearance for the singer songwriter at the Hampton Jazz Festival. The Philly born artist features a diverse plethora of talents, everything from poetry, singing, and acting. Jill's unique styling is what many of us have come to love about this diverse artist. The woman's catalog is totally amazing, from the very first Cd where she asked you “Who is Jill Scott”, “Words and Sounds Vol.1. 2015 marks the 15th anniversary of the album's debut. She's exclaiming from the top of her lungs that she's living her life like its Golden. The fact of the matter is, I've never seen how diverse and versatile an artist could be until I attended this show. This lady truly commanded the stage. You could absolutely feel the energy coming from the stage presence of this amazing artist. The most interesting thing I took away from her performance was the way she arranged and delivered each song that she sang. She explained the origin of the song and through the song she actually took you there as well. Scott Also performed several great cuts off her upcoming CD entitled “Woman”. Expected release date is July 24th, I'm so in love with the current single entitled “Fools Gold”. The single speaks about falling in love, but how sometimes following your heart can lead to foolish decisions. This is just one of many of songs that describe life situations and experiences from a grown woman's perspective. Once again, I express deeply that the proof of the healing powers of music is if you have a favorite artist that when you're having the worst day ever you can put your favorite record on and immediately your day is better. Jill is gearing up for a summer tour and I can’t express more than I have that if you guys have never seen this awesome musical treasure you owe it to yourself to experience something that really truly can't be explained. It's something that

Women That Rock- Ny’Aira Collins

For this week's Women That Rock featured artist I chose to do something a little different. I had the pleasure of interviewing a very special emerging artist. Not only does this amazing teen talent sing, but she’s also an actress, model, and radio personality. Yes I did say teen; she's 16 years of age to be exact.  Allow me to introduce to some and to present to others "Ny'Aira Collins”. Ny'Aira told me she began singing professionally around the age of six, when she scored the leading role in a musical production of Annie   in New York.  This rising star has roughly fourteen years in the game and some of which, has been acting as well as singing.  Ny’Aira has several acting roles on major television networks such as NBC, ABC and Nickelodeon.  When asked what artist have influenced her career, I was surprised by the caliber of artist that came up on her list. Some of her musical influences are “Prince”, for his lyrical content of course and some others are  legendary greats such as “Stevie Wonder” ,”Teen Marie”, “The Temptations”, “Diane Reeves” the late, great “Aaliyah”, “TLC” and the more current artist like “Sam Smith” and  “John Legend”.   Ny'Aira developed her passion and love for music at a very earlier age and it clearly comes out in her music.  I asked her “What was her take on the notion that R&B music is becoming extinct”?  She stated, she believes that the music has evolved in a way that it's becoming more pop and slightly watered down, but she also believes that it's not going to ever completely go away unless it stops allowing the people to feel.  Now let's talk about the music industry, I asked Ms. Collins did she think it's better to be an independent Artist versus signing with a Major label. She stated, there are some pros/cons with both. Obviously, remaining independent allows you to have the freedom of expression; the artist is more likely to freely express themselves. Whereas if you're signed with a major label, it is more of a packaged artist and the Label tells you what direction to go into. Then I asked Ny'Aira, how she would describe the type of music she produces, and I absolutely loved her response. She told me that it's more like bringing stories to the people; it allows the people to be able to feel. Ny'Aira is working on a new project. She is getting ready for the release of her first debut Album entitled “Shades of Memoir”, she also goes on to explain that the album speaks on Love; Self Love and hatred just to name a few of the different emotions that are layered through the album. The album is slated for a late August release. It will be made available on Itunes and other various music outlets. I was able to hear a snippet from the album and I must say my favorite is entitled “Addicted”.   I also need to mention that this amazingly talented young artist

Women That Rock- Netta Brielle

This week I thought I would ask you guys some questions as to what  goes into making an artist a superstar.  Well, the reason I asked the question is because I watched the highly anticipated film "Bessie" By Queen Latifah and after watching the film I had a lot of  questions.  First, does having a number one song guarantee stardom?  Or does having the hottest selling Album or Concert solidify your chances?   Well, after watching that film and watching the many hoops "Ms. Bessie Smith" jumped through herself, let's just say if you applied the same tactics and flair plus accompanied with the whole social media blitz, I wonder would that be enough to reach the stars yet alone the moon. So, I took to my computer to see who was the latest emerging artists I could find on the net to test my theory out on. Her name is "Netta Brielle" she hails from the Bay area.  Once again, this artist is everything that is wrong with the industry. I know that I keep saying this every week, but I'm dead serious. This is why I keep asking these questions what does it take. Yet again, I've discovered another amazing talent that is appears to be getting over looked. This young lady already has a rather large catalog of music, yet there aren't any singles being played in heavy rotation from this electrifying artist, nor do you see her name up in lights. Netta is signed to "Atlantic Records".  Yes, that's the home of the Queen of Soul "Aretha Franklin" and many more soulful singers past and present.  So, one could say that this young lady is in good company right?   Netta is like no other artist on the scene right now, her style is more like she's doing things her way and not really following anyones lead.  You can hear the difference in every track she puts out and as well as with every video she makes. My favorite track I must say is entitled  "More To a Kiss".  This track has that 90's flavor, it reminds you of all those great 90's love songs from back in the day.  This young lady really has a  great vocal direction on this and other tracks that the young talent has released either via mix tapes or EPs. So again, I ask what does it take for you to become a household name or just a flicker.  Well I'm determined to assist in getting those homegrown talents to the masses. Keep blowing up your favorite artist and showing your much needed support for their craft. Keep the flow of good music going for years to come. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGwxUJ3OsNM

Women That Rock- Andra Day

Andra Day Recently I received a link from one of my twitter followers telling me to check out a mashup song on Soundcloud featuring “Notorious BIG” vs. “Marvin Gaye”.  Now, this surely peaked my curiosity because I truly love both of these brothers.  But, to my surprise this lead me to Youtube where there's a singer doing the mashup of these great artists over an acoustic guitar. I am familiar with certain DJ's performing mashups, but not artist singing out the mashups. This really had me stoked, but what really had me going was the amazing voice coming from the young lady's mouth. Her name is “Andra Day”, she hails from San Diego, Ca.  I tried to get as much information on this amazingly, talented artist as possible. Well, let’s just say there's not a whole lot of information on this gifted young lady.  Now I did discover that she is indeed signed to “Warner Bros. Music Group” and here lies my problem.  Don't get me wrong guys, I'm happy that the sista has a major record deal.  But, I often wonder if getting a record deal was the best deal for any artist right now.  Let's be real, she's signed to a Major Label it should've been easy for me to find out more information on her.  Really, this sista should be everywhere. What happened to the days when labels would showcase their latest hot new artist, at showcases or debut their world premiere video.  Oh yeah, I forgot there are no more video shows on air. Nowadays it just seems that the record labels don't provide the artist with what they need to become a worldwide success anymore. Everything shouldn't be left up to the artist to be the artist and the promoter of the work, that's the reason why they signed with you in the first place because you promised to make them a household name. Andra's sound is refreshingly pleasant, it truly reminds you of singing styles of some of the greats, like “Billy Holiday”; “Nina Simone”;” Ella Fitzgerald” and even “Erykah Badu”.  I really think by doing those mashups and being able to see how well she could execute the arrangements played a very big part in growing her fan base. Andra is gearing up for her Album debut slated for release later this year. But, you can go check out her latest song "Rear view".  This song is a powerful ballad that really showcases this awesome talent’s vocal abilities.  This should be blowing up the airways.  I forgot once again. There's no outlet for songs of this caliber to be played on. But, that's a whole different conversation. This is why the “Women that Rocks” series is so special to me.  I really want to bring that awareness that consumers really want the chance to hear real truth and passionate music from raw talented artists that really have something to say.  So, remember to check out Andra Day and other amazingly talented artist I've had the pleasure of introducing

Women That Rock: Seinabo Sey

This week's woman that rocks hails from Sweden,“‘Seinabo Sey” is a Swedish singer, songwriter with a great musical talent.  Lately, I've come to discover that most of the new soul or alternative soul music has been coming from several artists abroad. Upon discovering this amazing talent I also noticed that there is an obsession with classic soul musicians.  Take for instance Seinabo, who says that she was inspired musically by artists such as “Alicia Keys” and “Beyonce”. Now I know some of you are saying that these artists aren't considered as classics.  But let me explain, both of these young ladies were said to have been inspired by some of the most legendary artist of our time. Keys stated that she was musically inspired by “Roberta Flack”. Beyonce claims that she was inspired by “Michael Jackson” need I say more.  We must look at how music has inspired and produced some amazingly gifted artist that we've ever seen and this younger lady is yet to change the musical forum as well.  Her sound is very rich and truly soulful, she gives you that sense that her spirit has been here before.  Seinabo has a true sense of artistry and creativity as it comes across in her music. Her father “Maudo Sey” was a renowned musician in West Africa so it's clear where she developed her musically gift from.  But Sey didn't always see herself as becoming an artist, she once saw herself  becoming a lawyer or something to that effect, instead music kept calling her so she decided to change course. Moving to Stockholm to later graduate from Fryshusets  esthetics program with a concentration in soul music. So in 2013, she started with producer “Magnus Lidehall” and released her debut single titled “Younger”, followed by my “Hard Time” and “Pistols at Dawn”.  The single Younger received a remix version by Norwegian musician “Kygo”,  dubbing it as Younger Kygo Remix and it peaked on the Norwegian charts for seven consecutive weeks and on the US Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs.  Sey also released an acclaimed EP entitled “For Madeleine” dedicated to and named after her mother in 2014.  On March 30th of this year she released another EP entitled For “Maudo” dedicated to and named for her father. Both EP's provide listeners with a glimpse into this soulful artist.  But don't just take my word for it, research and discover how music has once again bloomed yet another amazing flower in this field of amazing artists.  Remember to show your unwavering support for these amazingly gifted musicians and their craft. L.Boogie is a traveler, festival enthusiast and lover of all things music.  Follow me on Twitter:  @LBoogie252005!

Women That Rock- Tamia

Tamia After attending the Soul Food Festival in Augusta, Ga this past weekend, I discovered that there's resurgence in 90's music. You know,that New Jack Swing or Throwback R&B music. I recently came across a new track from a familiar R&B artist from that era. The track is called “Sandwich and a Soda”, and it's by none other than “Tamia”. The Canadian born singer, songwriter has given us some great music throughout her career and she’s back yet with another smash hit. The amazing artist is best known for her first Top 40 Hit “You Put a Move on My Heart” and her 2001 hit “Stranger in My House”. The track titled “Into you” by Fabulous which features a sample from her 1998 hit “So into you”. Then, there's her 2006 hit “Me and Her” 2012 smash “Beautiful Surprise”. Tamia was born and raised in Windsor, Ontario but grew up in the inner city near the Detroit border. Tamia was submerged into an array of diverse music at an early age from her mother. At an early age she was singing at the local church and in several musicals which helped her developed her musical craft. Over the years, Tamia has worked with a wide array of producers, from the legendary “Quincy Jones” to “Missy Elliot”. As I said, now she’s back with her sixth studio Album Entitled “Cocktails and Conversations” slated for a June 9th released, the first single off the album is titled Sandwich and a Soda. This up-tempo urban pop tune was produced by “Pop and Oak”. Tamia really delivers on this sassy track, with her sexy luscious voice gliding over this hard driven sexy beat. I'm really feeling this track. She is sure to win over the younger generation with this catchy groove. So, until next time remember to support your favorite musician and their craft. Leslie A.Thomas is a Music Blogger and lover of all things music!  Follow me on twitter @LBoogie252005.  

Women That Rock- Kay Dene

Kay Dene Last week, I came across an article discussing the state of Indie Artists and their music. The piece raised a lot of questions for me. First of all, why is it so hard for the Indie Artist to break into the mainstream audience? Now according to the article it stated, that even if the Indie artist has a single out that's creating a huge buzz, it gets evenly picked up by the majors and is re-recorded by one of the mainstream artist on the scene. Then this brings me to another question, why is it when you attempt a google search for an Indie Artist the one genre that always appears to be missing from the results is always of the Soul and R&B genres?   After doing some more research I came across a new style of R&B or soul music, it's called Alternative Soul. I also came across an amazingly gifted young lady name “Kay Dene” while I was exploring .   I wondered if the style of music that this awesome talent was giving her audiences would be considered Alternative Soul. Now, I’d like to give you guys a little background on her musical classification, you could say it consists of elements of Pop, Rock, Folk, Soul and Experimental. Her list of artists that have influenced her style is also what you could say as a wide array of artists as well. Her list reads from “Whitney Houston” to “Billy Joel” and everything in between. So now here comes another question. What is used to measure who fits that model? I mean let’s be real, if they are saying that Alternative Soul includes rock, funk, pop, and R&B plus soul. Then the same could be said for all modern day forms of this art form, like House, Downtempo, triphop and UK and Korean Pop. Since music itself always seems to be re-inventing itself and if I had to describe Kay's music you could say it's filled with passion and pure electric energy. This singer, songwriter can be described as a true musician embodied with a richness and raw eclectic sound that I grew very fond of, while listening to one of my favorites “Casualty of Love”. This song tells a story about an old to familiar state of mind when one falls deeply in love. When you realize that you have this strange feeling like you want to surrender yourself totally and completely and just simply let go and let love take over your mind, body and soul. Wow, this is pure genius. And for all of my music lovers in the Atlanta Metro Area, you guys can witness this extremely talented Artist live and direct next month, as part of the Women that Rock concert series. Check your local listing for show times. You can also visit ihearthatgirl.com for more information. Remember to support your favorite Indie Artist and their craft. Leslie A. Thomas is a music blogger and lover of all things music! Follow me on Twitter

Women That Rock: Vivian Green

This singer, songwriter and pianist from Philadelphia, PA took an interest in singing at a very young age. “Vivian Green” has credit for writing “Dear God” by “Boyz toMen” for their 1997 Album Evolution.

Women That Rock- Deborah Cox

Is classic R&B making a come back?  Well, I certainly believe that someone has heard my cry.  I've got a special treat for you guys this week.  This multi-talented powerhouse, showstopper, performing artist is certainly campaigning hard to bring back good music.  The Multi-Platinum recording artist and Broadway star “Deborah Cox” is a Canadian born Singer Songwriter, that brought us her smash hit “Nobody's Supposed to be Here”, which held the record for the longest running single on Billboard's Hot R&B/HipHop singles and tracks for 14 weeks eight years running.  Deborah began her singing career at the tender age of 12 doing TV commercials.  Later, she entered the music industry in the early 1990's.  Ms. Cox has recorded numerous albums, but it was her very first Album that I knew she's an artist that is surely here to stay. My favorite track off that album was entitled Sentimental. Deborah has an awesome array of studio albums under her belt starting in 1995: with the self-titled “Deborah Cox”; 1998: “One Wish”; 2002: “The Morning After”; 2007: “Destination Moon”; 2008: “The Promise” .  While she always managed to provide her loyal fans with great music, she also found ways to remind us that she does possess a great set of acting chops. And now she's back with a brand new single entitled “More than I knew”.  This will be off her first new album in seven years. This strong emotional R&B/Pop Ballad is about a woman realizing the love she's lost. This is a well-structured track and Deborah gives great attention to detail in the execution and precision of the music the track is classic Deborah and I love it.  Deborah provides a richness to her style of singing. That something we haven't heard in a long time. It's with great appreciation and admiration to see this extremely talented songstress comeback to the Mic and bless us with her grace and presence of her artistry. The name of the Album is entitled “Work Of Art”, which is the artist's sixth Album to date. The release date for the album is slated for Aug.15th and Deborah isn't stopping there. She's also scheduled to play Josephine Baker in the Broadway-bound musical Josephine later in the year, I can't wait to see that.  Looks like there are a lot of  great things on the horizon for Ms. Cox and 2015 is going to be her year! Leslie A.Thomas is a MusicBlogger and lover of all things music! Follow me on twitter @Lboogie252005    

Women That Rock- Ginette Claudette

I'm always on the hunt for refreshing new talent, and anyone that knows me knows, I love my true R&B music. Well, I was surfing several new music websites and stumbled on what I call a hidden gem. Her name is “Ginette Claudette”. This Uptown New Yorker is a singer/songwriter that was born to sing. Given the same name as her mother, which by the way is a Latin sensation, with a successful career in the Dominican Republic. At an early age Ginette discovered that she too shared a strong passion for music and this also became a great way for her to deal with life's obstacles through song. In 2010, Ginette inked a deal with “Universal Motown Records”. After performing a cover of Halo that was later uploaded to Youtube, this allowed the amazing artist to be around some great company, artist such as “Rico Love”, “Usher”, “Beyonce”, “Babyface” and many, many, more. But after an organizational re-structuring, she parted ways with Motown. This prompted the artist to start her independent mark in the industry and in 2012 she launched her EP entitled “Everything's Coming up Roses”. In part, this helped the new talent create her own unique sound which includes classic R&B along with strong pop flavors. If I had to describe Ginette's sound, I would have to say it's like a fusion of “Brandy” meets “Christina”. Ginette's currently gearing up for her debut Album release entitled “Tainted Emotions”. The first Single for the Album is entitled “Better Love” which features “Rico Love”. This is one of my favorites on the Album, Ginette's soulful, sometimes gritty, vocals pair greatly with the hard hitting beats on this track. If you guys are looking for a nice spring soundtrack then this is it. But don't just take my word for it, you owe it to yourselves to experience this gifted artist. So, head over to Itunes to get your copy. Until next time, remember to support your favorite Indie Artist and their craft.     Leslie A. Thomas is a Music Blogger and a Lover of all things music follow me on Twitter @LBoogie252005

Women That Rock- Justine Skye

Justine Skye   I have a question for everyone, Can singing covers on YouTube make you an overnight sensation? Well, for one Brooklyn born native it surely did. Her name is Justine Skye, and some of you may already know this gifted young artist. This twenty year old is no stranger to the music industry after attending a BMI industry conference where she grabs the mic and ask the music executives could she sing for them. This was the defining moment that changed her life. What I love most about this fabulous artist is that she's not like anyone on the scene. She surely sets herself apart from the competition. From Rocking her purple hair to referring to her fans as unicorn nation. Her uniqueness is very refreshing in the this day and age of the industry. Justine's new project is a seven track EP on Atlantic Records. First single off the album is entitled Collide featuring Tyga. I am totally loving and feeling everything about this track. Justine has been working with some heavy-hitters in the game for instance Collide was produced by DJ Mustard, one the baddest in the game right now. This was surely an awesome collaboration between the two. Justine's smooth velvety voice seems to melt over the deep base driven track. Some of the other tracks on the album give you a sense of Justine's diverse approach to different genres of music. Which I believe will provide this amazing artist with longevity in this industry. Cause we all know that you must be able to change with the musical landscape as the listener and the artist evolves. This is another reason why I love young gifted artist like Justine and so many others, cause they manage to keep the music fresh and new without losing the creative artistic value of their music. So again support these amazingly talented artist. If you truly love the music and appreciate the creative process, do all you can to show your support to bring back good R&B music. Leslie A. Thomas is a Music Blogger and lover of all things music! Follow me on Twitter @LBoogie252005.  

Women That Rock- Kyndall

Kyndall   After coming off a huge high from watching the season finale of Empire, I realized that there's a huge urgency for great artist and good music to come back to the mainstream. I don't know about you guys but I'm so ready for true passionate R&B music. You know that stuff that makes you sweat out your new do. That good ol head bobbing beat banging summer bangers. Do you remember when there seemed like your favorite artists were in a race to see who was going to have that hot summer jam. Man, I've found a artist that brought back that good ole feeling. This young lady is bringing some serious heat to the game. Her name is Kyndall and I invite you guys to get to know this amazingly gifted talent. I discovered this artist on sound cloud and found she wasn't a stranger to the music industry. At the age of sixteen she was already signed to a major record label. Then, the Houston native quickly found out how important it was to know what who you are in this industry. Kyndall learned the ins and outs of the studio and the recording industry. Now, at the age 19, the young lady has developed her own unique sound in this musical playground. She's reached out to some heavy hitters in the game to retool her fresh new sound. Kyndall called on the likes of R.Kelly, Trey Songz, Jaime Foxx, and Kelly Rowland to assist in the project. And what finally gave birth from all that interactive influence came an amazing EP.  I absolutely love this album. My favorite track is entitled Playing Games. This track provides that edgy soulful Hiphop mixture that we found from our favorite 90's artists. She reminds you a lot of Aaliyah, Monica, Brandy musical genius.Then there's a track called Still Down, the guitar in this beat is so sexy and Kyndall's voice rides the beat effortlessly.  The track entitled Hol' Up featuring Kirko Bangz clearly defines this amazing talents diversity on certain tracks. She comes out the gate on fire on this track. The production of this beat is banging  as well. It's a truly awesome production along with a great arrangement .This one stays on repeat. There's still hope that somebody's going give the millions of thirsty lovers of great music what we've been clearly missing from mainstream music circles.  Remember when you guys fine that fantastic artist that you wish the world could all be turned on too. Support,Support, Support. I cannot stress it enough, cause there are so gifted artist doing their thang. So, for all my music lovers out there, don't forget to show your support for your favorite artists and there craft. Leslie A. Thomas is a Music blogger and a lover of all things music! Follow me on Twitter @LBoogie252005.

Women That Rock- Karina Pasian

Karina Pasian In the wake of the highly anticipated Album from the cast of the critically acclaimed show “Empire”.  It appears that R&B  has once again sparked that passion and love for the next hot new artist  to come.  While I was going through my normal routine of searching for good R&B, I stumbled upon yet another amazing song with an awesome message. The track entitled “Solitaire” performed by “Karina Pasian”.  This singer, songwriter and pianist hails from New York City.  Karina is of Dominican and Armenian descent with Russian as her first language, she can also sing in six different languages. This gifted artist started taking piano lessons at the tender age of three.  She also received vocal coaching at the age of eight. Karina met some very influential people on her way up the ladder of success, it's not every day that someone can say they've met the great  “Quincy Jones” who gave her and her family a personal invite to his home. She also performed at Quincy's event in Rome titled “We Are The Future” back in 2007.  Karina is no stranger to the politics of  the music industry.   In 2006, she found herself dead smack in a bidding war between three prominent record labels: “Def Jam”, “ Interscope” and “Bad Boy” , she chose Def  Jam.  She released her very first Album entitled “First Love” in August of 2008, but it wasn't till her album's second single “Can't Find the Words” that she was more successful. Later that year, the Album received a Grammy nomination in the category of Best Contemporary R&B.  Now, let's fast forward she's developed a YouTube channel recording covers. The one I simply loved is her cover of  “Beyoncé 's” hit single “Halo”.  Currently, Karina's latest project is an EP entitled “Trips to Venus” a special edition. When it comes to her styling it's really a mashup between the great songwriters of the pass meets the great vocalists of our generation. Her sound is unlike any other.  I guess if you had to make a comparison you could say “Alicia keys”, “Emeli Sande” and some “Marsha Ambrosia”.  That's some pretty darn good company, if I must say so myself.  Her attention to detail in her writing shines heaviest in songs like Solitaire and “When you're in Love”.  This song offered a very powerful message. Pasian is truly on her way to become an amazing artist to watch. So, for all my lovers of pure classic R&B music with substance I strongly recommend that you get to know this young lady.  Please show your support for great artist and musicians and the craft and let's bring back good R&B music. Leslie A. Thomas is a Music Blogger and a lover of all things music follow me on Twitter @LBoogie252005  

Women That Rock- V Bozeman

V Bozeman   As the 2015 Black Women's Film Network came to a beautiful close   Saturday 3/7/2015. I was privileged to bear witness to an awesome performance from a fresh, new, and talented woman on the scene. With a recurring role on the new hit TV show “Empire”, I give you none other than “V. Bozeman”. After mingling with the Who's Who in the filmmaking industry, partygoers were graced with the presence of   aspiring artists throughout the room. Where there were many there partaking in the red carpet events, there were others that enjoyed the screening of the unforgettable movie “Mahogany” which was celebrating its 40th anniversary. The atmosphere and the crowd was electric, Artists from all walks of life were all under one roof celebrating, networking, and collaborating on thoughts and ideas of how they could become the next Lee Daniels, Shonda Rhimes or John Ridley. But most importantly, the event centered around and celebrated women and what better way to honor these wonderful artists, then by a captivating performance from a woman that truly rocks. Before landing a recurring role on the new hit TV show Empire, this artist started from humble beginnings hailing from south-central LA V's approach to music has always been true artistry. While first capturing the attention of “Babyface”, this also setup the artist to go on to meet some powerful and influential artists on her road to success. While meeting and teaming up with” Cee-Lo” this opened other doors of opportunity of now working and being currently signed to “Timbaland's” record label, “Mosely Music Group”. As millions of viewers caught a glimpse of this talent for the very first time, singing the heartfelt track entitled “What is Love”. It was the song “Race Jones” that truly caught my attention of this artist; I was hooked ever since I heard its Afrocentric charged lyrics and gut wrenching vocals behind an explosive beat. Then there is the YouTube video for this single, which I was even more moved by the visual artistry that helped bring the lyrics of the song to life. So now here I was, privileged and in awe to witness this live rendition of the song. I was completely amazed with her delivery and her vocal inflection of this song; she made the execution of the song effortless. V's styling is more of a raw soulful and songstress driven Vibe, it is a fresh new offering of good music that's available in mainstream right now, you don't have to take my word for it, she will definitely be one to watch in 2015. I can't wait for the Album and more to come from this amazing, talented fresh new face. Leslie A.Thomas is a musicblogger and a lover of all things music. Follow me on Twitter @LBooger252005    

Women That Rock- Jade Alston

Some of you may have heard of the venture capitalists website called "Kickstarter".  The site is used in part to help start a new business or in some cases provide some much needed startup money to fund the production of an album.  Well, this week's woman that rocks artist is definitely no stranger to this site.  Fans of this incredible talent rallied in donations of support to help fund her very own Kickstarter campaign while she was recovering from a very serious health condition.  The young artist name is none other than "Jade Alston" this amazingly gifted artist hails from Philly and is no stranger to the music business.  At the age of fifteen, she was a video jock on the longest running video show in Philadelphia.  Then, at the rightful age of eighteen, Jade is given the opportunity to perform as a backup singer and hype girl for "Kelis".   The opportunity open doors for the young artist to launch an independent R&B EP series called "Single on a Saturday Night" parts 1&2.  These series also gained critical acclaim that attracted the likes of MTV, Bet, VH1, NPR, and the New York Times.  While most of us may think with all this attention Jade is attracting, she is surely going to be the next to blow up.  Then, the unthinkable happens she is diagnosed with a life threatening heart virus called Myocarditis but this doesn't keep this amaxingly gifted artist down.  Remember when I told you that her devoted fans supported her in the form of donations towards the efforts to fund help start an independent record label called (Art)its.   While she recovered from her illness, Jade used her ordeal to harvest new lyrical content and to develop a special musical styling sound.  Jade's sound can be best described as a very soulful sultry R&B artist.  Kind of reminds you of the "Love should've brought you home",  "Toni Braxton" mixed in with a little "I Apologize", "Anita Baker" very sexy and very soulful.  The track that really matters to me is entitled "Missing You".  I must say that this artist truly took extreme care in the production and placement plus the arrangement in this song.  Nothing about this track is over done in anyway.  The lyrics are genuine and the vocals are classic.  This is truly a job well done.  But, don't just take my word for it.  Go onto this artist website and take a listen for yourself.  Trust me you won't regret buying a couple copies.  Yes, that's right I did say buy.  Remember guys, when you come across an amazingly talented artist we must support the music and artistic expression.  So, show your support and the rest will follow. Until next time, play your music loud and hard. Leslie A.  Thomas is a Music Blogger and a Lover for all things music!  Follow me on Twitter:  @LBoogie252005  

Woman That Rock- Tiara Thomas

  www.tiarathomasmusic.com/ Tiara Thomas While sitting back listening to “Wale's” song “Bad” I began wondering , who was this young lady singing the hook on this track. After doing some research I discovered the sweet soulful vocals belonged to an American singer, songwriter, and record producer whose name is “Tiara Thomas”. Hailing from Indianapolis, Indiana she is also a self taught guitarist. Tiara became interested in developing a career in music by earlier performances in church and several talent shows. She debuted her musical career on Wale's mixtape with a track entitled “The Cloud”, in 2009. Tiara was in an Atlanta club during a Wale concert where she met the founding members of “The Board Administration”, after exchanging her contact information along with some of her music she received awesome feedback and later signed to The Board Administration in 2011. In late 2013, it was discovered that she had left The Board Administration to sign with “Rico Love” a division 1 record label in a joint deal with Interscope Geffen A&M. Tiara is widely known for her large online viral presence, she's also known for live concert streams and a huge online following. Tiara is back with a new acoustic single slated to appear on her new five track EP coming out later this year entitled “Up in Smoke”. The new single is titled “How It Is”, which shows her skills as a skillfully gifted guitarist. Her vocals are well constructed on this amazing track, her vocal styling could be compared to Brandy. I'm definitely feeling this very deep and emotionally charged song. I simply can't wait for this EP to drop. You guys can check out all of this artist creative works on sound cloud or YouTube. Indeed, this is another reason we as lovers of great authentic music need to support amazingly gifted artist such as Tiara Thomas to make the powers that be, know that the people have a voice and it needs to be heard. We want good music and not the same five songs in heavy rotation on every radio station across the land. Until next time, play your music loud and hard.   Leslie A. Thomas is a Music Blogger and a Lover of all things music! Follow me on Twitter @LBoogie252005.

Women That Rock- Jasmine Sullivan

http://www.jazminesullivanmusic.com/ Jazmine Sullivan This week we will go back to a familiar voice for our featured artist who has singing running through her veins. “Jazmine Sullivan” was born in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. Her mother sung as a backup singer for Philadelphia international records, so Jazmine is no stranger to good singing. Sullivan began singing as a contralto in the children’s choir, and then a few years later in the adult choir. Many have described Jazmine's vocals as being spinto-alto, taking a lot of her queues from “Kim Burrell” “Lauryn Hill” and “Brandy”, particularly there thunderous voices and smooth runs. Sullivan’s exposure to secular music was initially limited. When she was as young as eleven someone wanted her to sign with a gospel label but she wasn't ready for that type of exposure. Later she would enter McDonald's music competition for kids, then is when she had a chance to perform on “It's Showtime At the Apollo”. At age 15, Ms.Sullivan signed with Jive Records where she recorded an entire Album that was never released and she was eventually dropped from the label. While with Jive, she developed a great working relationship with “Missy Elliot”, who produced a number of tracks on her debut project, including the buzz single “Backstabbers” produced by “Timbaland” written by Elliot. While she was unsigned, this is when she started honing in on her writing skills. Finally, she signs with J. Records and reconnected with Missy Elliot to create several masterpieces. Jazmine recorded “Fearless” and “Love Me Back” with the help of Missy Elliot and other noted producers in the game. Jazmine had also lent her pen to some A-list artists like “Jennifer Hudson” “ Tamia” “Monica” and “Fantasia Barrino”. Now, she's back with a new project entitled “Reality Show”. On January 13, 2015 she released the album which positioned No. 1 on the Billboard r&b album charts and No. 2 on Billboard r&b Hiphop album charts. The track “Let it Burn” is one of my favorites. The first single off the album is entitled “Dumb” featuring “Meek Mills”. This song cleverly written, is describing a brother getting caught in a lie but thinking he's getting away with it. This is an awesome track, carefully written and directed. I can't stress enough how the need to support great artist and their craft. I truly believe that this is the time to bring back great soulful r&b like we once knew and Ms. Jazmine Sullivan is clearly leading the way.     Leslie A. Thomas is a Music Blogger and a lover of all things music! Follow me on Twitter @LBlogger252005.      

Women That Rock- Asa (Ah-Sha)

While visiting my Mom the other day, having one of our many discussions about music as we often do, I noticed a very soulful but yet youthful voice bellowing from the speakers. I asked my mother who is this we're listening to, she exclaimed "Her name is spelled Asa pronounced as Asha".  I was immediately taken by the amazing sound of this young lady's voice and the control she has over it, I found myself suddenly grabbing my iPad and went to work trying to find out more about this fresh new voice.  Asa is a Nigerian French singer, songwriter and accomplished artist. Her name means Hawk in Yoruba. Born in Paris, then at the tender age of two her family moved back Nigeria where she grew up in Alagbola, a border town in Ogun a state border town near Lagos. Twenty years later she returned to Paris where her passion for becoming an artist blossomed. While Asa was in the pursuit of educational excellence, she discovered a few wonderful talents like Erykah Badu, D'Angelo, Raphael Saadiq, Lauryn Hill, Femi Kuti, and Angelique Kidjo.  These greats eventually helped to shape this amazing artist. As I listened to Asa's first listed track titled “Jailer”, I was completely blown away by the lyrics in this amazing song. Her raspy voice is shown off alongside well placed live instrumentation. This is by far one of my favorite songs off the Album titled “Asa”.  In October 2010, she released her sophomore album titled “Beautiful Imperfection”, which spawned a track entitled “Be My Man” yet another awesome track.  And now, she's back with a new project, released in late 2014, titled “Bed of Stones”.  The first single is entitled “Dead Again”.  I'm asking you guys to please check out the video for this wonderful song, the visuals really add to the strength of the song. It's like watching poetry in motion and the rest of the album takes you on an amazing journey through this young talent's gifted mind.  So, for all my true lovers of great story telling through song, I advice you to research this amazingly fresh new artist, hailing from Paris, France. You'll definitely become hooked.     Leslie A. Thomas is a Music Blogger and a lover of all things music follow me on Twitter @LBoogie252005  

Women That Rock- Polly A.

Meleni Smith better known by her stage name Polly A. was born in Flint Michigan , but raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  After listening to some of the tracks on Soundcloud, I discovered that she was credited as one of the composers for the song “Happy” from the popular movie “Hitch”.  She  lent her amazing writing skills along with well known artist in the game, “Alicia Keys” 2009 song “Love is a Disease”.  In early 2012, she released an independent album titled “My Heart in Focus” and in 2013, Smith was nominated for the Soul Train Music Award Record of the year for penning the hook to “J. Coles” hot summer single “Crooked Smile”. Now, Polly A. is back with a new EP titled “Distorted Fairytales”, which was released back in December of 2014. “Nature” is the first single off this amazing disc. This track shows off Polly A's edgy style of writing and singing, the track provides a feeling of ole Skool  Hiphop meets trip hop, like when “Salt N Pepa” recorded “What-A-Man” featuring “En-Vogue”. Nature is surely one of my favorites off the album and then there's another track entitled “Pick your Poison”.  Simply put, this young lady's ability to interpret life situations into song is well done on this track, the song gives you a profound look into doing something you know better than to do, but you do it anyway.  Structure of the song is well thought out and articulated and the production of the beats are well crafted as well. I'm already looking forward to catching a live show or too from this amazing artist.  I do believe that this artist is going to be one to watch in 2015 and the years to come. I hope to see and hear more from this young lady soon. So for all my lovers of great untapped music, you guys can check out some of her work on Soundcloud and YouTube. Show your support for good music and the great artists who make it.   Leslie Thomas is a music blogger, traveler, and lover of all things music!  Follow me on Twitter @LBoogie252005.

Women That Rock- SZA (Sizza)

This week's latest addition to the ever growing list of phenomenal "Women That Rock" is an American singer songwriter hailing from St.Louis Missouri. SZA, is a twenty-four year old very talented artist that was born in St. Louis, now residing in Maplewood New Jersey. Born as Solana Rowe, she formed her stage name from the Supreme Alphabet taking influence from RZA, the last two letters stand for Zig-zag and Allah. The first letter SZA  found herself changing it from Savior to Sovereign.  This  versatile artist showcases her love for all genres of good music. Her music can be best described as Alternative R&B filled with elements of soul, chill wave, and experimental house. SZA's lyrics express themes of erotic sexuality and complex relationships. You also can hear her love for poetry and the ability to express whatever is on her mind. The depth of most of music reminds you of various artists like Billie Holiday, D'angelo, Bilal, and Bjork with touches of Jamiroquai. In 2012 she released an EP titled See.SZA.Run, which she then followed up with her second EP titled S. Then in October 2013, she signed with Indie Label Top Dawg Entertainment through which she released her third EP and major retail release titled Z released in April 2014. Her latest project includes various collaborations with several known artist. This extremely talented artist has worked with high profile artists such as Jill Scott on a track entitled Divinity which lasts seven and a half minutes. The first release off the album is entitled "Child's Play" featuring Chance the rapper. I'm definitely feeling her laid back vibe of this track. The follow up release is entitled Babylon which features Kendrick Lamar. The rest of the album is a combination of electronic, downtempo mixed with neo-soul influences. The album debuted in the UK. at number thirty-two on the r&b charts. The album also peaked at number nine on the U.S. Hiphop and R&B charts. In May of last year she announced she headed out on an international tour and has begun recording her fourth album. I can't wait to catch this amazing artist on a stage on the east coast doing her thang. So, for all my neo-soul, experimental R&b and chill out music lovers I truly recommend checking out this extremely talented young lady.     Leslie Thomas is a music blogger, traveler, and lover of all things music!  Follow me on Twitter @LBoogie252005.

Women That Rock- Jessica Reedy

Well with the start of a new year upon us, we all tend to set New Year’s resolutions or just turn over a new leaf. For some of us we need a little spiritual motivation and I have just what the Heavenly Father has ordered.  This Saginaw, Michigan sister first gained national attention as the 2009 1st place runner up on the widely popular BET show “Sunday's Best”.  I'm speaking of none other than Jessica Reedy, and she has a brand new project out entitled “Transparent”. This is the second album released by the gospel singer on November 14, 2014. The album also debuted at #5 on The Billboard Hot 100. The First single from the album that is in heavy rotation is a track called “Better”.  It's a song that signifies knowing your own strength and being able to endure life's challenges by letting God take the wheel. it's truly my new take charge of my life anthem. Then there's a track called “Hold On” which features the singer's mother Mary Reedy.  This track reminds you of that ole time singing that many of us grew up with.  Literally, transporting you back to a time where the only music accompanying the lead singer was coming from the congregation stomping their feet upon those old wood floors of the church house.  Man, how I miss that type of down home good ole gospel music. The album is jammed pack with songs of encouragement triumph and letting God be the captain of your life. After listening to this album I've discovered that this artist delivers that much needed, my mind stayed on Jesus look at life, along with giving you that food for the soul Gospel music. I certainly love how Jessica's able to connect greatly with her listeners as she shares her testimonies through song. Reedy's vocal range is simply amazing. I Love how this artist can scale down deep unleashing powerful baritone sounds that make you weak at the knees. I'm definitely adding this amazingly talented artist to my one to watch list in 2015. I'm most certain that this artist has more to come. Can't wait to see what heights this artist will reach. Remember, “Transparent” is in stores everywhere. Please support this talented artist and her craft. Leslie Thomas is a certified music junky, music traveler, lover of all things music, and music editor for I Hear That Girl.Com.  Follow her Twitter @LBoogie2520005

Women That Rock- India Shawn

While looking for some good Christmas music to play in time for my holiday parties, I checked out the latest from the artist India Shawn.  India's rendition of “O'holy Night” is simply classic. You can check out the track on Soundcloud music service.  After hearing this track I received this great impulse to check out some of her other works and I must say, I've definitely found a new favorite artist. This talented young lady hails from Atlanta, Ga., I also discovered she's currently promoting her latest project entitled “Origin”.  This album is filled with smooth laid back sounds to keep you completely entertained.  India's vocal styling can be compared to R&B artist Brandy and down tempo artist Jhene Aiko. The album does provide an ambient techno vibe.  There's a lot of layering being done on most of tracks between the stacking of India soft calming voice and the use of live instruments throughout the album.  One song from the album entitled “All I Have” featuring Hit-Boy and James Flauntleroy is an expression of being grateful for what you have, because at the end of the day it's all you need. So you guys can download a copy of the album for free by visiting indiashawn.bandcamp.com.     Leslie Thomas is a music blogger and lover of all things music.  Follow me on twitter:  @LBoogie252005.

Faith Evans

With the holiday season fast approaching, what better gift idea then to give the gift of music and I have just the CD, one that'll definitely keep you dancing all year long. Born in Florida raised in New Jersey this Multi-talented artist has been singing since the age of two, Faith Evans was raised in a Christian home and at an early age began her career singing in the church. She is a multi Platinum Grammy Award winning artist that has released several albums throughout her musical career.  And now she's back, with a fresh exciting new project. The album is entitled “Incomparable by Faith Evans”. This album was released on December 5th, 2014.  I stumbled upon this album while checking out what's new on the Spotify music service. And I must say after listening to the very first track I was hooked. The Production on this album is very raw and organic, I loved how this awesome talent showcased her love for different genres of music. Faith worked with several great artists on the album such as Missy Elliott and Keke Wyatt and these ladies really brought their A-game when it came to laying down their parts on these tracks. Oh boy, did I really love the track titled “I deserve It” featuring Missy Elliott and Sharaya, they really go hard on this one. Faith's powerful voice is surely evident on this track without being too overpowering, the song provides a great balance between hip-hop and R&B. I sure hope this is going to be the next single off this album. The album is jammed packed with several rich soulful tracks mixed with her love for Classic Hiphop and gospel music, several tracks on the album are reminisce to music from the 80s and 90s, you know, that feel good music we all miss and love so much. With rising interest in the quest to bring back good R&B music Ms. Evans has surely answered the call with this one.  So for that last minute stocking stuffer pick up this CD at your local music store or online and remember to support your favorite artist and their craft.  So till next time play your music loud and hard.     Leslie Thomas is a music blogger and lover of all things music.  Follow me on Twitter @LBoogie252005.    

Meshell Ndegecello

This American Singer-songwriter, bassist, vocalist, and sometimes rapper has found a way to bridge multiples of genres like R&b Hiphop, Jazz, Folk, and Electronica music through her career. It appears that this accomplished artist has done it again.  Meshell's new album is called "Comet, Come to Me" which is out now. I am super excited about reviewing her latest project. I've waited a while for something new from this extraordinary underrated amazing talent. I introduce to some and really discover for many, Ms. Meshell Ndegecello . From the very first track on this album Meshell shows her love for all genres of music. She takes the rap group Whodini's" classic hit "Friends" and provides her own interpretation of this classic taking you on a trippy-hop experimental version of this dubbed out song. Then there's a track entitled "Tom" which simply describes the feeling that two people feel when they know that what they once shared has ended or has come to an end. It is the feeling of emptiness. That there's nothing there but you just simply holding on till one of you finds the courage to say, hey it's truly over. I love this song. From The funkiness of the baseline to the silky smooth strumming sounds of the electric guitar that's being played in the background of song.  Then there's the way Ndegecello 's  voice is stacked on top of each other creating this double harmony effect featuring alto and tenor. It's simply amazing. Then we come to the title track "Comet, Come to Me". This track opens up with an amazing piano solo then it's accompanied by her amazing vocal range I'm loving this truck from beginning to end.  Those are just a few of my favorites from this highly anticipated CD from an underrated  amazing talent. And for all of my music lovers who have yet to discover this amazing talent I would also advise you to  familiarize yourself with some of her earlier bodies of work as well. I'm sure you will discover some old new favorites. So if you haven't picked up the latest CD from this extraordinary artist I advise that you run and do so immediately you will not be disappointed as this album provides something for everyone. So till next time remember to support your favorite artists and their craft. And don't forget to play "Comet, Come To Me"  loud and hard.       Leslie Thomas is a music blogger and lover of all things music.  Follow me on twitter, @LBoogie252005.

Tracy Chapman: Soundtrack to Ferguson

Young people in Ferguson or around the country may have never even heard of Tracy Chapman, but if you are looking for a soundtrack to ease the hurt anguish and despair that you’re feeling then this album “Crossroads” may be the perfect soundtrack to help you cope and make sense of what’s going on, not just in Ferguson or just in United States but in the world.

Sevyn Streeter

This young lady is no stranger to most. Some of you may know her from her humble beginnings with two groups. “TG4” put together by Chris Stokes who was responsible for the success of the group “B2K”. The other is group called “RichGirl”.

Tinashe

By now, I know that every club and radio station in the country has been spinning the fresh new hot song ” 2 On”. For all those who are wondering who is this artist. Her name is Tinashe. Which means “God is with Us”.

Laura Mvula

About this week’s “Women That Rock” artist: “She reminds me a lot of Nina Simone with her storytelling approach to her artistry.”

TIANN

I discovered TIAAN while listening to music on Spotify late one night. My first thought about this Amazing talent was the depth of her vocal range and the richness of her complex beats.

Alex Isley

I discovered this artist by what is becoming to be the norm with music lovers of the age…searching YouTube for the latest smoothed out mixes. With the music world being under the spell of down tempo Artists like Jhene Aiko, Banks, Seyvn Streeter, and others; I believe to have found something very iconic in Ms. Isley.

Jasmine V

Jasmine Villegas, a phenomenally popular young singer who has soared to the top of the social media universe, is set to release her first Interscope Records single. The catchy summer anthem “That’s Me Right There,” featuring award-winning, platinum-selling Kendrick Lamar, will be available digitally beginning August 5.

Alexandrea Lushington

American Idol Season 7 Contestant, Alexandrea Lushington, is preparing for her debut release, “Think” this fall. To reacquaint herself with audiences, she is allowing her music to take center stage. An exuberant breath of fresh air, she seems poised to become the new face of r&b music. We had the opportunity to get an intimate listen and conversation with her and instantly became fans. Check it out!

Powerful!! Michelle Williams New Video

If We Had Your Eyes is a powerful new release from Michelle Williams.  The video, directed by photographer, Derek Blanks, gives even more meaning to the song.  This combination of lyricism, message, and visual relay is an amazing result of talent!  If this is any indication of what to expect from Michelle's upcoming releases...I am now a fan!  Pay attention artists, a true message is important to what you are relaying to the public!

Carmen Rodgers

Recently, I attended a listening party for The Remnant...thoroughly entertained by thought provoking hip-hop, I was introduced to the soulful melody of Carmen Rodgers.  As the crowd swayed to the beat and got lost in her sweet timbre, I said to myself, "She is my next feature!"  I had the opportunity  to chat with Carmen and we discussed the need for platforms such as "Women Who Rock" for independent artists.  Once home, I googled this musician, writer, artist and was amazed with what I saw.  I am looking forward to hearing new things from this woman, she is definitely worth a listen.            

K’iah Victoria

I'm a natural girl, so on the night I am looking for a Havana twist tutorial, I visit my girl Jouelzy's YouTube page.  There's awesome music playing in the background and that is where I hear for the first time, Ms. K'iah Victoria!  Immediately, I begin searching for information on this lady.  Her voice is melodic and light.  Her themes...classic love, life, fun.  The production...outstanding.  I've listened to the entire EP and I can't wait to hear an album from her.  I am a new fan of Kiah Victoria!  Check her out, I'm sure you'll join me!          

Shameka Dwight

Shameka Dwight is a South Carolina native so she gets a plus from me instantly!  Moreover, she is extremely talented and delivers a sound that is immediately embraced by listeners.  Reminiscent of Chrisette Michelle with inspirational lyrics that tug at your heart strings and lift your spirit, she is a breath of fresh air to the gospel arena.  Shameka’s debut release, Lovelations, is available for purchase now wherever music is sold online.  If I haven’t convinced you to add her to your music library and follow her immediately, listen below and comment to let me know what you think.  

Passionate

Music does a lot for the soul.  It can take you back to a moment in time of love, joy, happiness, and even pain.  And sometimes...you can find that rare song that lifts you out of the valley and gives you strength to move forward and upward.  Passionate has delivered a song like that.  Hailing from Augusta, GA; she yearns to inspire with her songs of trials, tribulations, acknowledgement and overcoming.  "Stronger" is a song that takes all your pain and turns it into the fuel of accomplishment.  The video for the song is even as inspiring as the lyrics itself.  Watch as she tackles issues of domestic violence, sexual assault and how love conquers all.  Let this song start your day and I promise it will change the outlook on your situation.    

Jamie Grace

  I love all types of music because it moves the soul, good music anyway.  I was sitting in bed preparing to write a few posts and on JCTV, I hear this catchy number.  I instantly Googled & YouTubed this young lady and I'm a fan!  She hails from Atlanta, GA and she is a delight to listen to.  I'm sure you'll be hearing her on The Radio Revival Show really soon!  Check her out for yourself then comment below to let me know what you think!  

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