Released On: Jul 11, 2006
Released By: Cubanita Groove Records
Hailing from the nascent music scene in Atlanta, GA, nu Latin jazz songstress Malena Pérez draws upon various musical influences like Minnie Riperton, Flora Purim, Omara Portuondo and Sade, while celebrating her Cuban-American roots in composing her own original melodies and lyrics in both Spanish and English. Raised by a Cuban father who started a Latin music series at Atlanta's public radio station WRFG in the late 70s and a mother of German descent who was a pianist and organist, Malena grew up around music. Her debut single, "Free To Fly" introduced the bilingual vocalist and her jazzy latin grooves to the house music scene in 2004. She then established Cubanita Groove Records with the mission of promoting art and music created by women of diverse backgrounds.
On her debut album STARS, released on her own Cubanita Groove label, Malena fuses downtempo and progressive nu-jazz sounds with Afro-Cuban percussion and rhythms. The lead-off single is the meditative, inspirational "Chase The Butterflies," which is also reprised on this CD with a Kenny "Dope" Gonzalez (Masters At Work) remix fusing the tender soulfulness of the original with bumping deep-house beats. Another highlight, "Praise The Day," showcases Malena's stellar vocals over a spicing of Latin drumming with sultry beats courtesy of Osunlade. Elsewhere, the self-written, produced and arranged album features production work/collaborations with Carlos Niño (Ammoncontact, Build An Ark, The Life Force Trio), Alix Alvarez (SOLE Channel Music) and Michael Johnson (KetchaVibe). STARS is an introspective, refreshingly pretty and uplifting album that is a true expression of Malena's soul and heralds the arrival of new world talent in style and grace.