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Thursday, April 20, 2017
*Double-Feature* mikejudyprsnts: @leelajames @DALEYmusic 4/20 @TheReadyRoom presents:@whywithaqmark #Eskimeaux ( Now called #O ) 4/21
Leela James & Daley will be bringing "The Undeniable Tour" to The Ready Room today 4/20 (Thursday). This show is brought to you by Mike Judy Presents. The show happens from 7 pm to 11 pm. Visit the official Facebook event page HERE for more info. Posted below is a video by each artist and information on each artist. After that, you will find the second part of this article featuring the event happening Friday night also.
Leela James speaks the truth. Never mind hype or spectacle. The acclaimed recording artist appreciates the eternal qualities of an undeniable star — raw talent, musical substance and an authentic voice that’s timeless. All of which are embodied on Leela James’ fifth studio album Fall For You, an album highlighted by the soulful “Say That” feat. Anthony Hamilton, and her heartfelt single “Fall For You”.
Ms. James first burst onto the scene with her 2006 debut album A Change is Gonna Come, introducing audiences to her considerable vocal chops and garnering nominations for Outstanding New Artist at the NAACP Image Awards and Best R&B/Soul or Rap New Artist of 2008 at the Soul Train Music Awards. James has gone on to record three subsequent albums including My Soul, which reached #7 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip Hop Albums Chart and #37 on the Billboard 200 chart, and earned acclaim from critics for her songwriting skills. Fall For You has similarly climbed the charts, its single by the same name reaching the top 15 on the Urban AC charts in 2014/15.
What sets Ms. James apart is her fearless approach to making music. She travels the gamut of emotions from self-doubt to self-confidence, and reminds her audience of what it is to be human – to love, to regret and to dream. “The best artists stay true to who they are, no matter the scale,” says James. “I think you can be relevant and still have substance, so I try to never stay in a box. My sound today may be different than where I was five years ago, but my core is always the same. My soul is intact.”
For Leela, it’s always been about the soul. So much so that she was nicknamed Baby Etta as a little girl growing up in Los Angeles. Along with Chaka Khan and Al Green, she counts Etta James among her vocal heroes and paid homage in 2012 by recording her album Loving You More…In the Spirit of Etta James. Leela’s influences run the gamut of vocalists from soul to funk, and jazz, and her interpretation of music touches on synesthetic. “It’s the feel of the colors in an artist’s voicing and their power. Some artists make the hairs rise on my arm when they hit a certain note. Anybody can hold a tune, but make me feel it. Now that’s a sanger.”
James has that kind of a voice — that of a sanger. Her power is obvious when she takes on the soul classics, and what truly resonates is her ability to harness it in the context of her own writing style. “I freestyle in the moment,” she says. “I vibe with the music and whatever comes out, that’s what it’s going to be. I tend to fool around with melodies I’m hearing, and then I go back and fill in lyrics. If the music is making me feel good, that’s all I need.”
This newfound ease is apparent on her most recent work with tracks like “Say That” and “Fall For You.” A magical studio session with her contemporary Hamilton produced the infectious up-tempo single “Say That,” which captures James’ gutsy range and vocal abilities. The writing process was effortless when working with J Rilla (Jill Scott, Musiq Soulchild) on “Fall For You.” Leela explains, “We knew we wanted to do something special. What it was, I wasn’t sure. He sat down at the piano and he said, ‘just sing.’ It was amazing how it came about. He’s playing chords, and me, I’m just opening up my mouth. It was so special.” The result is a tender, introspective, and poignant ballad that demonstrates James’ maturity, vulnerability and vocal command.
James expanded her musical horizons by procuring a talented cast of collaborators to capture her vision on her new project, including producers Tim and Bob, Shannon Sanders, and Joe Ryan III and writers Rex Rideout (Ledisi, Kem, Luther Vandross) and Francii Richards (Fergie) “I’m drawn to producers that are musicians first and foremost, producers who know how to produce vocals and who want to see a song from beginning to end. I’m drawn to artists who share a love for music.”
James is on a slow, steady burn towards musical success. As an artist who is devoted to her craft, she’s taken the past several years to cultivate her home life too. “I’ve become a mommy. I love being a mother. You think you know love, but you don’t understand true love until you have a child. I’m in a happy place personally.” On her new album she channels that happiness and new sense of self, giving her audience the sound of an artist who is in a truly good, profound space.
Hailing from Manchester, UK, singer, songwriter, and recording artist Daly first came to prominence with his co-write and feature on the Gorillaz hit "Doncamatic," under the wing of the band's creator Damon Albarn. He has since become one of the UK's most respected musical exports, recording and touring both sides of the Atlantic, and working with the likes of Pharrell Williams, Miguel, Jessie J, Emeli Sande, Maxwell, Jill Scott and Marsha Ambrosius.
His first solo work, the EP entitled Those Who Wait, was released independently, introducing the world to Daley's unmistakable voice and own brand of Alternative R&B / Soul / Experimental Pop. The EP gave rise to an unexpected surge of popularity in the U.S. with the Marsha Ambrosius-assisted duet "Alone Together" - which became a runaway Top 5 hit at R&B radio. Largely hailed a 'new classic’ the song garnered Daley kudos from The Grammys, BET, Soul Train and MOBO awards and his loyal State-side fanbase.
The following year saw Top 20 singles in the UK charts - "Remember Me" featuring Jessie J and "Broken." His debut album Days & Nights was released to critical acclaim shortly thereafter via Universal Republic Records, and boasted contributions from Pharrell Williams, Illangelo (The Weeknd), Bernard Butler (Suede) and Andre Harris (Usher, Jill Scott). The album gave rise to another Top 10 R&B radio single "Look Up" and was followed by several sold-out headline tours around the U.S. and Europe.
This Friday 4/21 Why? will be at The Ready Room joined by Eskimeaux (Now called "O"). The show happens from 7 pm to 11 pm. For more info. on this show visit the official Facebook event page HERE. Below is a video by Why? and an album by Eskimeaux along with more information on each artist, as well.
While WHY? fans will certainly encounter familiar sounds on Moh Lhean -- Wolf's sour-sweet croon, deadpan poet's drawl, and ear for stunningly fluid arrangements with obsessive attention to detail -- the album also reveals that a transformation has taken place. The singer's self-depricating swagger and cynical squint is replaced by a sense of peace in the unknowing; his wry smirk traded in for a holy shrug. This cosmic sense of calm and acceptance woven throughout the album is due in part to Wolf's circumstances during the writing process: he suffered a severe health scare far from home, but rather than let it drive him to depression, he gained a stronger connection to the living. Album track "Proactive Evolution," which features mewithoutYou's Aaron Weiss, even samples Wolf's doctors -- the very voices that helped shape his new outlook.
Movement is a key theme of Moh Lhean -- it's a breakup album without a romantic interest. "Easy" plays like a ward against the old ghost who haunts "January February March," while "George Washington" finds Wolf on a tiny watercraft, paddling away as that malevolent force stays ashore. "The Water" morphs a moody folk tune into some strange new form of full-band dub, while "Consequence of Nonaction" wavers between a quiet meditation for guitar, clarinet, and voice, and wild, sax-strewn art-funk. Psychedelic album closer "The Barely Blur" -- which features Son Lux -- explores the nature of existence, focusing on the infinite instead of leaving listeners with the macabre chill of death.
There's something about the album that's both ephemeral and distinctive, like something the Wolf Brothers might've heard on a praise album in their father's synagogue as kids, or on some '60s hippie LP they thrifted in their teens, or, perhaps, on the other side of the records they've been making their entire adult lives. While the meaning of the words "Moh Lhean" remain a mystery, they most likely have something to do with letting go, rebirth, coming home to a familiar feeling...or venturing out to discover a new one.
Eskimeaux (New York) is the songwriting and production project of Gabrielle Smith. The live Eskimeaux band is Gabrielle Smith, Oliver Kalb, Felix Walworth, and Jack Greenleaf. Smith started using the moniker in 2007, releasing experimental and noise albums through 2010, and developing the sound over the years into the realm of more structured songwriting (2011's Two Mountains), EDM (2012's Eskimeaux), and more recently, as evident in her new album, O.K., beat-driven and poetic bedroom pop. Eskimeaux is a founding member of The Epoch, a Brooklyn-based songwriting and art collective.