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Independent Artists, Page 2

Saun & Starr | Look Closer

Saun & Starr
 
Saun & Starr | Look Closer
By Peggy Oliver
 
Call it coincidence or better yet, call it destiny when two or more people immediately connect with each other while managing to continue their circle of life through various spaces of time. Sandra ‘Saun’ Williams and Starr Duncan-Lowe grew up a short distance from each other in The Bronx, New York. Yet it was their meeting at a local talent show that began their journey of a much respected friendship – musically and personally – and the rest is more than history.

Renee Dion & Jon Rogers | Moonlight

Renee Dion & Jon Rodgers - Moonlight
 
Renee Dion & Jon Rogers | Moonlight
By Peggy Oliver
 
On one of producer/beat crafter Jon Rogers’ mixtapes, (complex)ions: MAUVE’, he handed out major props to Renee Dion with a hearty, “keeping it live.” The feeling was apparently mutual as Dion hired Rogers to sonically guide her poetic soulful voice and to share head billing for her latest project, Moonlight. Though the behind the scenes teaching moments from Dion developed into a semi-rugged training ground for Rogers, who had never interacted with a vocalist, the end results on Moonlight capture Dion’s upgraded musical vision from her previous work.

Rajdulari | Journey of a Woman

Rajdulari - Journey of a Woman
 
Rajdulari | Journey of a Woman
By Peggy Oliver
 
Through the ever increasing social media tools, musicians are masterminding their Facebook page and hash tagging like crazy towards their fans and music industry insiders about their latest achievements in their career. When a relatively unknown artist is already tweeting about their road to the Grammy Awards, this could be someone with a justified confidence or they are stroking their ego a bit more then they should.

Gyles | Love & Denial

Gyles - Love & Denial
 
Gyles | Love & Denial
(2012 Duffmusiq)
by Brent Faulkner
 
Described as a “powerhouse vocalist and thoughtful lyricist”, R&B
artist Gyles releases EP Love & Denial via Duffmusiq, supported by a
lofty list of accomplishments. Amongst her artistic resumé, Gyles has
lent her vocals to a host of award-winning and nominated artists
including Juno award recipients Carlos Morgan and Jully Black, and Juno
nominee Camille Davis.

Julie Dexter | New Again

Julie Dexter - New Again art cover
 
Julie Dexter | New Again
by Brent Faulkner
 
Julie Dexter, a British independent soul/jazz artist, recently released her fourth LP, 2011’s New Again. As a vocalist, Julie Dexter is a ‘smooth operator,’ borrowing some cues from the past, namely from jazz vocalists and R&B vocalists; Sade’s cool sound comes to mind when making comparisons and descriptions of Dexter’s approach. Throughout, Julie Dexter’s voice is smooth, pure, and refined, never losing any of it’s sugary, sensual goodness.

John Jay | The Secret to Life

John Jay - The Secret To Life
 
John Jay |The Secret to Life
By Peggy Oliver
 
John Jay may not be a household name in the gospel industry — yet. However, by no means, does it diminish the fact that his talents have been solidified through his body of work and in a variety of musical settings. From appearances at Jazz Aspen Snowmass to the Holy Hip Hop Awards, Jay’s gospel journey can certainly not be put in any kind of box.

Dionne | Living in the Music (EP)

Dionne - Living In The Music
 
Dionne | Living in the Music (EP)
By Peggy Oliver
 
I must give kudos to 111 East Music for doing their homework in finding vocal jewels like Dionne, a singer/songwriter who paints plenty of vivid pictures with her music. The Texas born, now Washington, DC based neo-soul/jazz stylist simply loves to inspire those who want to live life to the fullest. Every time she blazes the stage, one seems to gravitate towards her sincere, energetic personality who takes the inspirations of India.Arie and Anita Baker right along with her.

Christina Simos | All About Me

Christina Simos II
 
Christina Simos | It’s All About Me
by Brent Faulkner
 
Christina Simos can be defined as a crossover artist. Bridging styles encompassing R&B, funk, pop, rock, and singer-songwriter, Simos’s full length All About Me can be described as a ‘musical melting pot.’ Simos seems to be on a stylistic ‘road trip’ throughout, sometimes with smooth transitions while at other times questionable ones.

Brenna MacQuarrie | Hybrid

Brenna MacQuarrie Hybrid
 
Brenna MacQuarrie | Hybrid
By Peggy Oliver
 
Brenna MacQuarrie is a seasoned performer who handles various genres from musical theater to electronica with ease. Ever since the age of eight, the Canadian native clearly enjoys her craft and it shows in her commanding vocals and poised stage presence. Through her career, MacQuarrie has been a regular staple in her birthplace of Edmonton, Alberta and more recently on the Toronto club circuit, where she continues to grow and mature as a performer in front of various audience settings.

Keke Palmer | Awaken

Keke Palmer - Awaken
 
Keke Palmer | Awaken Mixtape
By Peggy Oliver
 
Keke Palmer started chasing her dream of becoming a double threat entertainer since she was in grade school. And she had the advantage of developing her voice in her mother’s home recording studio. Once the very gifted Palmer (born Lauren Keyana ‘Keke’ Palmer) ventured out to make her dream reality, she went through the motions of various rejections, including her audition being edited out of American Idol’s short-lived spin off series, American Juniors.

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