Exclusive Interview: Ester Rada Opens Up Before Her US Debut

 

Next week on March 11, we will be introducing folks in NYC to a major new talent from Israel named Ester Rada. In the meantime, we got some interesting bits on the unique artist in the interview below. Read up!

Giant Step: Your heritage is that of a very unique Ethiopian-Jewish people. How does this background and being raised in an Orthodox tradition affect who you are today?

Ester Rada: I was born in Israel, and my family raised me in a religious house and tradition, as this was what they were used to from Ethiopia. When my parents moved to Israel they were “put” in Kiryat Arba, a very religious city. We moved from there when I was 10 years old, due to the security issues there.

GS: Coming up in one of the rougher neighborhoods in Tel Aviv, what it was like growing up?

ER: I was actually growing up near Tel Aviv, in Netanya, and it was a big change for me. Coming from a more religious village, you can call it the country side, to a bigger city, was a big move for me. I also became secular and not as religious as we used to be. But this change was blessing, and I started to know what freedom is like. In the neighborhood I had good friends.

GS: Your sound evokes qualities similar to Erykah, Jill Scott, Janelle Monae. Are these intentional influences? Who would you say are your influences?

ER: I am influenced by a lot of artists. Of course the ones you named, and also religious Jewish music from my early days, as well as Ethiopian and Amharic music such as Mahmoud Ahmed, Mulat Astatke, Muluken Melesse, Israeli music, jazz and soul legends such as Nina Simone, Aretha Franklin, Marlena Shaw, and contemporary music such as Corrine Bailey Rae, Nneka, Keziah Jones, India Arie and more.

Read the rest of the interview & get show details after the jump

Video: Corinne Bailey Rae – “The Sea” (Live at Maida Vale)

Corinne Bailey Rae recently sat down with John Wilson for a conversation, which included the inspiration behind her last album, The Sea. Also view a beautiful live rendition of the title track at Maida Vale Studios above.

The full interview will air tomorrow on BBC Radio.

According to Corinne’s Twitter, folks can look forward to a third album sooner than later!

Facebook | Twitter | Official Site

Congratulations, 2012 Grammy Award Winners!

 

Sending lots of good vibes and congratulations to all the Grammy nominees and winners this year! We are happy to have had several artists we worked with in 2011 nominated and even a couple winners!

Big congrats to Corrine Bailey Rae, who won Best R&B Performance for “Is This Love” from The Love EP. Such a beautiful tune by an equally stunning lady.

Also very nice to see that the late Amy Winehouse won Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for her “Body And Soul” duet with Tony Bennett.

The star of the night, without much surprise, was the enormously talented miss Adele. She managed to snag a win for every category for which she was nominated! Oh, and did we mention she is also the cover girl for the March issue of Vogue? Get em, girl.

Just for emphasis, these are all the different ways in which Adele owned:

Record Of The Year

Rolling In The Deep – Adele

Album Of The Year
21 – Adele

Song Of The Year
Rolling In The Deep – Adele

Best Pop Solo Performance
Someone Like You – Adele

Best Pop Vocal Album
21 – Adele

Best Short Form Music Video
Rolling In The Deep – Adele

Catch the full listing of nominees and winners on the Grammy website.

Michael James & Federico Grazzini – “Magnetic”

 

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Just loving this Michael James & Federico Grazzini track we stumbled across. Called “Magnetic,” the deep house track features super chill vocals from a lovely lady by the name of The Real O’C.

Definitely wait until the 1:20 mark so you can really hear her voice, which feels like a cross between Adele and Corrine Bailey Rae – loving the juxtaposition of the soulful vocals against the slightly trance-ish track.

The track is part of new label Channel Zoo’s first release, the 001 EP.

Purchase 001 EP on Beatport

Channel Zoo on Facebook | Soundcloud | Official Site