Video: Natalie Imani – An Introduction

 

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We love to see when talented backup singers decide to go solo. Former Erykah Badu backup singers, Yahzarah and N’Dambi are great examples of fiery solo talent with a history in high profile background singing gigs. New Jersey based singer Natalie Imani is paving her way to be yet another vocal force. Touting John Legend, Jennifer Hudson, Jazmine Sullivan, and Nicki Minaj as lead acts she’s backed, her resume is definitely quite impressive.

Above, Natalie speaks candidly about her journey from a 9-to-5 to embracing singing as a career. Below, you can take a listen to Natalie’s debut EP, Passion Mark, where the rich toned lady showcases a comforting classic R&B voice. If you like Jazmine Sullivan, you’ll appreciate the parallels these two share.

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Interview: Ali Shaheed Muhammad Presents ‘That’s My Ish’ @ The Dumbo Loft, NYC – July 13

 

Ali Shaheed Muhammad took a minute to talk his new That’s My iSh jam jumping off this Friday as well as new projects and travels! Lots of awesomeness in store. Get more information about the party after the jump.

Giant Step: We are super excited to hear you at That’s My iSh this Friday!  What can we expect to hear?  What’s the vibe going to be like at the party?

Ali Shaheed Muhammad: I’m excited too. For too long, Manhattan has been the go to place for nightlife. I’m looking to shake things up with my That’s My iSh party and turn the focus towards Brooklyn. Expect to hear anything between Elton John and Lil John. We touching all genres, but with an emphasis on the good good, not radio good.

GS: What personal projects are you working on these days?  When will the world get to hear them? 

Ali Shaheed: My main personal projects right now are my second solo LP and my Artist, Ja Poet. I’m not done with the album, but I’m looking to release singles by the end of August. Ja Poet’s mixtape is one song from finished. We’re gonna release his mixtape in a month and then start recording his album.

GS: How about your production work?  Who have you been working with and how is that all coming along? 

Ali Shaheed: Doc Martin and I produced two songs for John Legend’s upcoming album. One of the songs is the title track. We had a good time putting that together. John, what can I say, he is an amazing singer and a wizard in the studio. I have great respect for his approach. I only wish more artist were as focused. Doc & I also worked on Alice Smith’s album. She’s flawless! I hate/love the way that she makes singing look so effortless (kids don’t try that at home unless you rehearse all day). In additions to Alice, we worked with The Weeknd. He’s a phenomenal singer, his voice and persona is it’s own atmosphere. He has made a huge impact already, and he’s just getting started. I’m looking forward to his next release. I  also co-produced a song for a new artist signed to Boardwalk; her name is ZZ Ward. ZZ has a great voice and is an incredible singer/songwriter and performer. Her music is deeply rooted in blues. I had fun working with her and her team. I look forward to seeing her artistry come to life. 

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Read the rest of the interview & get details on the party after the jump

‘Red Hot + Rio 2′ In Stores Today + MP3

RH Loft Party: Mia Doi Todd + José González from Red Hot on Vimeo.

Red Hot + Rio 2 is out today! This modern tribute to the late 60′s Brazilian Tropicália movement sheds new light on the songs of this influential, politically charged era, which changed the culture of the country forever. Featuring an impressive 33 original collaborations between Brazilian legends and international indie artists alike, the album features: John Legend, Alice Smith, Aloe Blacc, Cults, Angelique Kidjo, Os Mutantes, Devendra Banhart, Caetano Veloso, Seu Jorge, Beck, Bebel Gilberto, José González, Beirut, Tom Zé, Javelin, Of Montreal, Marisa Monte, Madlib, and others. Red Hot + Rio 2 is the Red Hot Organization’s most recent project aimed raising money for HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention.

Mia Doi Todd + José González – “Um Girassol da Cor do Seu Cabelo” [MP3]
 

Purchase Red Hot + Rio 2 on iTunes | Amazon

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Red Hot + Rio 2 Out June 28th + Listening Party in LA

 

We at Giant Step are so excited about this release. Red Hot + Rio 2 is a musical compilation aimed at raising money for HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention. Succeeding the original Bossa Nova inspired 1996 tribute, Red Hot + Rio, this release pays homage to the late 60’s Brazilian Tropicália movement and sheds “new light on the songs of this influential, politically charged era, which changed the culture of the country forever.”

Featuring over 33 original collaborations between legendary Brazilian musicians and other international talents, Red Hot + Rio 2 will leave you overwhelmingly content with its audible treats; this roster showcases many beloved musicians, including Madlib, Bebel Gilberto, Quadron, José Gonzalez, Alice Smith, Beck, Seu Jorge, and John Legend, amongst countless others.

more + listening party after the jump