Happy Birthday to “Little Stevie” Wonder!

Another one of the greatest who has inspired my love for music ~
Stevie Wonder is testament to show that music is universal. Definitely a blessing to the industry!

“I am what I am. I love me! And I don’t mean that egotistically – I love that God has allowed me to take whatever it was that I had and to make something out of it.”
– Stevie Wonder

stevie-wonder-album-guide.jpg

Feel free to purchase the original single here:
Signed, Sealed And Delivered

Voice Over work with GoCountry 105 KKGO ~ I ALMOST made it to the air!!

Go-Country-105

Ahhh, never thought in a million years this would be possible.

Before I begin I thought I’d drop a little backstory for those who are not familiar with who I am and what my blog is about… So as you could probably infer from my blog, music is a passion of mine, one I only recently rediscovered as in my late teens. Fast forward 2 years late and I am currently interning for a radio station called KJazz 88.1FM located adjacent to radio station KKGO 105, also known as GoCountry. I’ve been with them for a while now (only possible through God’s grace), and am extremely grateful for the opportunities I have had with the radio station thus far. Though I am only an intern and my work mostly consists of admin/ office work, just being in a field that I am most passionate about suffice for me. Not only do I get to develop bother personally and professionally, but being present around those with the same passions just reminds me of my deeper purpose in life– which is to one day start my own nonprofit organization while also keeping my dreams of pursuing music alive as well.

So long story short, last week I was approached by the Production Director / Operations Manager of KKGO at my desk. Because we are often indulged in our own work at the office, I never got a chance to formally meet him since I had started working there. He began to introduce himself and asked if I had ever done some voice over work. I responded quite confused and responded with “Professionally, never”. Apparently it did not matter, because he invited me to the studio where he sat me down and had me rehearse a script about some advertising commercials. I honestly, had no idea what to expect, but all I knew was that I had never done something like this, but it didn’t exactly feel foreign either. To me, sitting right in front of a mic was where I belonged if that makes any sense. Things kinda flowed naturally for me and felt right. He proceeded to teach some lessons, dropping words like “elocution” describe how certain syllabus of a word are pronounced. After about 15 minutes of being in the studio, we cooked something up. He told me he was going to edit it just a bit and send me the final product. Before leaving he told me that he was impressed with my work and how I caught on fairly quick. He said he wouldn’t have guessed that it was my first time working on a voiceover project. For some reason, this compliment meant the world to me.. While it was a bit tough for me, all I knew was that I liked doing it. He planned to come up with new stuff for us to work on in the future to get something on the air. While my 10 minutes in the studio lasted only a short while, it was definitely worthwhile and a moment I will never forget.

While unfortunately this bit did not make it on the air as the client preferred a male voice for this commercial ad (I know!!), it’s crazy for me to say that I almost made it to the air! However, this experience definitely didn’t hurt and only has me looking forward to the future and what God has in store for me. Super super grateful and wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

Below is the script of commercial advertisement along with the recording:

“This weekend takeover’s brought to you by Hoffy Premium Beef Franks. Hoffy Franks are always the highest quality with great taste and bite. That’s why people say they’re cravelicious. Stop by Walmart and pick some up for your next barbecue.”

“Enough” by Fantasia 2019

Ahh, so Fantasia has been shown’ up lately have what seems like taking a small hiatus. She recently released her new single “Enough” and I’m so glad to see her back in the business doing what she does best, making music. As Fantasia says, the song was inspired by Anita baker “Sweet Love”. It’s always refreshing to have new music, soul old-school music, back in the mix. This song is a reminder of how much music has changed and how much more great music artist can make. So excited for her continuing success!

To celebrate the oldies music, feel free to purchase this single here:
Enough

The Voice: Top 13

So sad that my favorite Matthew Johnson did not make it to the Top 13! I thought he did amazing, but as always, these shows are so unpredictable.

Here is the video of Matthew Johnson, for those who have missed out or simply would like to replay his performance.

But on the flip side, I am so glad that my other favorite Shawn Sounds made this round! He never fails! Coming through with Luther Vandross vibes. I swear, he got that Vandross blood running through his veins!

Could purchase the originals of both songs here:
Ordinary People
A House Is Not a Home

New Series: More Music Mondays

Hey guys, as you know, I am always trying to come up with new ideas for my blog for you guys because I believe in the quality of the content I create. I always want to make sure that it is something that my audience enjoys and finds some value/ worth in. So this time around I thought that I introduce a new series, called “More Music Mondays” one where I share my love of writing through song-writing— a skill that I plan to hone in on now and in the years to come. Though I do not practice song-writing as much as I’d like to, I do recall moments in time when I had the itch to do so. I remember the first time I discovered my love for poetry was 3rd grade. I want to say the title of the poem was something along the lines of “bright stars”. It was a poem about the stars and how natural it is for a star to stand out from the rest. I really don’t know what came into me or what I was really thinking when I wrote it, but it just kinda flowed out from my little 7 year old brain. My teachers took notice of this poem, and had me recite it in front of the class. I believe that was the very first time I realized I had some sort of skill in writing. Though I did find joy in writing, I didn’t truly believe I had some talent in it. If that makes sense. Fast forward to high school, and I turned in another poem for one of my theology course assignments. My teacher, who happened to be a graduate of Yale University, guess saw something in my writing and ended up praising me for it in front of my classmates. I would like to thank my 3rd grade and my teacher Mr. Grindon for taking notice in something I subconsciously loved, even when I didn’t believe in myself.

For me, poetry is something that I find very sacred and intimate and now that I have rediscovered my passion for music, I thought that I could somehow combine the two together. And what other way than through songwriting? I think I was around 11 when I attempted to write my first song with the guitar. I remember sitting on my bed as words floated around in my head to match the melodies I had in mind. Though I did find joy in it, I stopped half way and never finished it. Fast forward to college, and I carried that song-writing itch with me. I think the biggest regret I have is never finishing what I started. There’s this song-writing/ singing/ rapping challenge called “Gone”. The challenge is to rap and/or sing over the beat of the song “Gone” by Monica. I took to my notebook and drew inspiration from what I knew I love best, poetry and writing. Most people wrote about heartbreak over their ex or past relationship on the beat, but I thought I’d put my own spin to it. Because to me, there is much more important things (not that heartache isn’t one of them, just that there is more to life than boys and lust). I wrote this almost two years back in December of 2017. And came up with this. Probably not as catchy without the beat, rapping, and all but looking back, I forget how much writing means to me. Here it goes:

“I know what you’re thinking, no I ain’t lyin
this rap bout to fire
just me, a pen, some rhymin’
I got some things to say
penny for your thoughts
here we go, let’s get it, bout to drop some bars
I’m young, 21, with a future so bright
with some ride or dies, family so tight
we got our fights, but we come out alright
we good, hood, chill like a Saturday night
let’s talk dreams, your vision, one of a kind?
I’m talking’ what got you feeling’, what says on your mind
is it the money, the lamb, them yeezy boost shoes
is it the protests, president, what you hears on the news?
hard to find real in a world of fake
where we got disbelievers, lurkin’ ass snakes
our system corrupt killing’ those with guts
who inform, who teach, who inspire the rest of us
we take, we get but don’t remember their names
we think lust, drugs, the glory, the fame
but that really enough to fulfill us inside?
to focus on love, all distractions aside?
Imperfect’s perfect, but where’s the line
we fools sit-in’ here, pretendin everything’s fine”

Again, rough work. We all start somewhere.
To me this is only the beginning. Here’s to the music.

 

 

Billboard Music Icon Award: Living Legend Mariah Carey

At a loss of words. Mariah Carey’s speech just left me… speechless.
As an aspiring singer, I am extremely grateful for the power of music. How music can simply lift spirits in times of despair. How music can takes us to a different time, and place. How music can simply move us.
For me, Mariah Carey was one of the few who I drew great inspiration from.
Although, I know she is incomparable as a vocalist, I also know that great music is possible. It’s amazing how a series of notes can make one feel. How a few notes can get one to break out of the ordinary state and start.. singing. And if the music is great, it can take one to a state of nirvana. Music is pure beauty and I think anyone who identifies as a singer at heart truly feels this sense of nirvana through Mariah’s music. I also love how she referenced the concept of highs and lows, because to me, that’s all it’s really about. Hence my choice of name for this blog. Nonetheless Mariah’s drive is immeasurable. As she makes evident in her speech, it is the purpose and passion one finds in music that keeps great music alive, and living.

Her speech at the Billboard Music Awards was definitely one I needed to hear. Hope ya’ll find some inspiration in it as I had.

image

You can find the video of her speech here.

Below is the script of her speech:

“I’m so nervous! Seriously, thank you Billboard for letting me grow up on the charts with you and for this incredible honor. Icon? I really don’t think of myself in that way. I started making music out of a necessity to survive and to express myself. And I just wanted to create something so I could feel worthy of existing. And if I’ve learned anything, anything at all in this life, it’s that truly all things are possible with God.

Without getting into all the drama, all the ups and downs of my career—we’ve all seen them, we all make mistakes—there’s been a few memes [laughs]. I guess I’ve always felt like an outsider. Someone who doesn’t quite belong anywhere. And I still feel like that lost interracial child who had a lot of nerve to believe I could succeed in anything at all in this world. But, and this is the truth, but I did believe because I had to. The truth is I’ve dedicated my life to my music, my saving grace, and to my fans who are unlike any other entity that I’ve ever known. They’ve lifted me out of the depths of hell and brought me back with their devotion and love. I want to thank all the people who’ve been with me on this journey, through the highs and lows, through the struggles. Through your struggles and mine. And to anybody who doesn’t allow themselves to be broken. And keeps getting up, and keeps holding on, and keeps standing tall, keeps on believing and keeps rising—I celebrate you tonight. And to anyone who’s ever told me that a song I wrote helped save your life, I thank you because you saved mine. And I’ll be eternally grateful for that. I love you. Thank you so much.”

You could purchase Mariah Carey’s Albums here:

Mariah Carey
Daydream
The Emancipation of Mimi
Caution [Explicit]

New Series: Vocal Tips

Hi guys, so after some thought I’ve decided that I will be sharing my musical journey as a an aspiring singer with you guys here on WordPress. From books to the internet, I thought I’d invite ya’ll over for the ride in my vocal research. From tips, to new musical and biological terminology, hidden gems of legendary artists discovered on Youtube, etc.. useful stuff for other aspiring artists. As I become learn more about the technical terms of singing, I become more passionate about it. Singing really is a beautiful tool. And there are so many types of singing styles that I have yet to explore. Here is a video of Ella Fitzgerald scat singing. Most definitely out of my comfort zone, but very interesting to learn about. I hope ya’ll enjoy this video of the Ms. Fitzgerald singing some may call “gibberish”.. beautifully..

definition of scat singing: A vocal jazz style that consists of improvised nonsense syllables sung to an an improvised melody, usually over an instrumental accompaniment. This is similar to vocalese where voices replace jazz instruments with the addition of words. (music terms)

Here are some modern jazz artists, Michael Mwenso and Brianna Thomas from the Jazz Academy, singing scat:

 

❦ Happy Birthday Ella Fitzgerald ❦

Happy belated birthday to the jazz queen, Ms. Ella Fitzgerald!

 “Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.” – Ella Fitzgerald 

♫ Summertime, and the livin’ is easy
Fish are jumpin’ and the cotton is high
Oh, your daddy’s rich and your ma is good-lookin’
So hush, little baby, don’t you cry

You could purchase original here: Summertime

The Voice 2019 Cross Battles

Absolutely, so much talent on this year’s season. The Voice 2019 Cross Battles recently aired the other day and ya’ll know I had to put my two cents in for this one. I have a few that I am rooting for and they continue to deliver so much talent in every performance. My favorites are in order:

  1. Shawn Sounds

His runs are so precise! and his placement of every note, WHEW. TOO ON POINT.
If you know me you would know that I have always been a huge of Luther Vandross, which comes to a shocker to many of the older peeps since he is not a popular artist among the the young crowds. But I am an old soul at heart. And Sounds is so reminiscent of him, he was on the top of my list since day one. His low notes is just whip cream on cake! And his performances are just pure magic!

2. Jej Vinson

Let me start off by saying that no, I am not rooting for Vinson only because he’s Filipino– although it does not hurt that he is… I think it is safe to say that over the years, Filipinos have gained recognition in vocal competitions as many talented Filipinos have appeared on the show, haven’t failed to surprise the crowds every time, and continue to persevere. (e.g: Jasmine Trias, Jessica Sanchez, Charice Pempengco, etc. ) Vinson is one of them, and as one of my fellow peoples, he gives me inspiration to pursue my dreams regardless of the masses say/ think of Asians in the entertainment industry. Vinson’s vocal technique is prominent in his performances, and it is very clear that he’s had plenty vocal experience.  His vocals are solid and powerful, As an Asian contestant, I believe although he has a lot to prove, he can keep up and continues to deliver every time. Represent.

3. Matthew Johnson 

Oh, Johnson! Ya’ll heard that FIRST run he hit us with? PHEW. Almost fell off my chair, Johnson was most definitely blessed with such incredible vocals at birth. It’s like his notes just fly out of his mouth with almost no effort. The way he sings is just so natural and effortless, I have so many parts that I love about this performance but 0:48 definitely got me. Truly so much soul, I can’t get enough! Definitely look forward to more from him as well throughout the season and believe he will do amazing throughout the season.

While I am not discrediting any of the artists on the show, these are just my personal favorites. Again, my opinion does mean popular opinion. I only hope ya’ll enjoyed these performances as much as I have. Music is such a beautiful gift and these artists just remind me of how singing really is the most beautiful and purest thing in the world! Just pure, raw talent. There’s nothing else in this world that I am most grateful for, really!

Peace & Light,

Lo.

“Listen” by Beyonce

♫ Listen, I am alone at a crossroads
I’m not at home in my own home
And I’ve tried and tried
To say what’s on my mind
You should have known
Now I’m done believing you
You don’t know what I’m feeling
I’m more than what
You’ve made of me
I followed the voice, you gave to me
But now I’ve gotta find my own
You should have listened 

Artist: Beyonce 
Song Title: Listen
Release Date: June 22, 2009
Record Label: Music World; Columbia

You could purchase the single here: Listen (From the Motion Picture “Dreamgirls”)

“Old Town Road” Lil Was X & Billy Ray Cyrus

“Old Town Road” has been climbing the charts and there is plenty of controversy spewing about this new release. Who would of that country and trap would be a trend? We are slowly singing a shift in music, and this song might be the first we will see of 2019. I am not going to lie and say its not low-key fire cause it really is catchy. However, country radio stations are not in favor of this new hit single. They refuse to air it frequently and many are speculating its in actually due to racial reasoning as producers claim there is an issue in “compositional arrangement”. However, we all know that since the beginning black music always had a huge influence on white folk music. But reverse it, and it is unacceptable… its quite funny actually. Why can’t we simply enjoy music for what it is? Feel free to continue reading the details here on New York Times to find more details. In the meanwhile, hope ya’ll enjoy the video if you have yet to hear it.

If you’re a fan, feel free to purchase it here: Old Town Road (Remix)

Whitney Houston “I Believe In You and You”

No such thing as too much Whitney Houston.
This song really gets to me only because I love the message and melody of the song.
Hope this takes ya’ll back to a good place and time.

As you may know, Houston’s vocals are a force to be reckoned with. But I love when an artist can skillfully deliver the song with power and soul. Here’s a rendition of Ms. Little JoJo, which eventually sky rocketed her into fame at a tender age of 9.. I appreciate when I see so much vocal potential in young singers. Gives me life, really.

 

You could also purchase the original single here: I Believe in You and Me (Record Version)

Pop Music: “Dancing With A Stranger”

Soo, if ya’ll have been following me for a while, you must know that I am a huge fan of R&B/ Soul music. For me, R&B/Soul music is where my heart lies. I love old school music like Maxwell, John, Brandy, Boyz ll Men, the list goes on.. However, I do love my share of pop music. Occasionally, there are definitely some pop songs that do move me. And when I do find one that strikes me in an unusual/ enticing way, my first thought is to share it with you guys on here as I always do. One in particular is “Dancing With A Stranger” by Sam Smith & Normani. There’s something very soulful and deep about Sam Smith’s voice that balances out with Normani’s high soprano vocals. For me, it gives the song balance and not to mention, the message of the song that feels familiar and relevant. It’s been a while since it was first released, but something about it stuck with me.. Below, is the official music video for those who have yet to see it. Hope it meant something for ya’ll as it did for me. Enjoy, xox.

If you like the song, you could purchase it here: Dancing With A Stranger