i seem to have an m.o when it comes to quickly fallin in love with songs and female artists: they got sweet-as-honey voices that also carry the depth and weight of the emotions they convey, standout songwriting, slightly different production, funky fashion sense, big-ass hair & chocolet skin. and i know that sounds like it’s comin from the crotch, but it’s not. it’s pretty much the definition of the modern day soul sista that i seem to invariably gravitate towards, and the talent i keep stumbling upon just gets better n better. within the last couple weeks i discovered both Anhayla and Rochelle Jordan, and they’ve been clutching at my audio circuits ever since.
Rochelle came to my attention thru a friend’s random recommendation via twitter. i clicked on to her bandcamp page which features her brand new single “How To Feel” (available for free .mp3 download) and totally abused the replay button (i don’t think there’s an actual ‘replay’ button but the point is i pressed play..a lot). i dig that her voice isn’t overbearing or explosive, rather chill n laid back, but in a way that still manages to hook u in to the emotional crux of the song (let’s just call this “the Sade method”, employed a lot by Aaliyah who also happens to be one of Rochelle’s influences & is also the subject of Anhayla‘s cover song…that’s a little something i like to call “symmetry”). anyways, this Toronto native is now on my radar. i expect big things for her down the line.
what connects these two ladies apart from the afore-mentioned equal part looks & talent, is the fact that they can both be considered ‘YouTube Starlets’ (to be taken in the nicest way possible). both have a large albeit underground following, mostly consisting of cover songs with splatters of original material. in Anhayla‘s case, the covers are done acoustic with her on guitar and vocals, completely re-working established r&b classics. so imagine my delight when, on a random Aaliyah binge, i started searching for someone, ANYone, who had done a cover of “One In A Million” that actually sounded…i dunno, GOOD? and i found THIS. she not only covers the song masterfully, she completely OWNS it.
i wanna thank these two ladies for makin the last couple weeks of musical life that much more exciting. i think YouTube has become THE arena where talented artists can be unearthed and supported purely by people power (those who dig will throw their weight behind it, those who don’t will just ignore, n there’s no politics involved: just the feeling).