Tag Archive: Soul


Emily Zuzik
Tender

Visit Emily Zuzik at Facebook and iTunes

Emily Zuzik first appeared on HorizonVU’s pages in 2011. We’ve been privileged to follow her work since then – The Wild Joys of Living (2011), Detours (2014) and Angelenos (2016). She consistently shows her willingness to cut across all kinds of music including folk, pop, electronica and pop-rock. Amongst her many projects she has collaborated with notables including Moby (Destroyed, 2011) and Tim Lefebvre (Angelenos, 2016).

Emily’s most recent release, “Tender” is a three track collaboration with Geoff Pearlman (recognized composer, singer, guitarist, producer and engineer). The title track is a soulful song, which is on the lighter, pop side of soul. The vocal works well in the mix from Geoff Pearlman (lead guitars, bass, autoharp), Michael Blumstein (keys), Alex Budman (horns) and George Sluppick (drums). The second track, “Ernst Kirchner” (German expressionist painter and printmaker known to be motivated by fears about humanity’s place in the modern world, its lost feelings of spirituality and authenticity) draws somewhat on sensual Teutonism for the vocal, but the blend of Zuzik’s vocals with Gerald Menke’s pedal steel and Tim Lefebvre’s bass gives the song it’s own place. The final song, “Winter In California” is up tempo contemporary country pop-rock, which will likely get you tapping your feet. “Tender” offers three very different recordings each of which is exceptionally performed. In addition to the recorded performances, clearly, Pearlman deserves a thumbs up for mixing and mastering. In part because of its diversity, this is a recording that you can shuffle the tracks on repeat and stay well-connected. Enjoy!


The Overcoats

Overcoats
Young
Arts & Crafts

Visit The Overcoats at Facebook and iTunes

Overcoats, the singing and songwriting duo of Hana Elion and JJ Mitchell have released their debut album on the Arts & Crafts label. While track-by-track it’s difficult to slot the music into a single genre, you won’t go wrong listening to this mix of indie pop, folk, soul and even jazz. Nicolas Vernhes (Dirty Projectors, Daughter) and Autre Ne Veut joined the duo in co-production.


Maria001_smallMaria Zubova, Media Writer, Music

Maria Zubova and “Maria’s Sound Space…” is a regular column for HorizonVU Music. Maria has a passion for music and she likes to communicate about it. Maria is herself a trained musician. She is follows photography, arts, fashion, and travel. Of course, she frequently attends different concerts and rock festivals.

Today I’ve decided to enrich your music taste by sharing my views on Markeisha Ensley last EP called “Talk to Me”. Rich, soft and simply unforgettable – the voice of this artist is combined with soulful R&B-jazz melodies. To begin with, Markeisha, who is originally from Aurora, Colorado, is a singer-songwriter, so everything she presents is comes directly from her heart and soul. She is the winner of the 2011 Abe Olman Scholarship Award for Excellence in Songwriting from the Songwriters Hall of Fame/Songwriters Guild of America. Her debut album, Ready, was very successful and Markeisha has received numerous awards and honors. Two songs from that CD, “The Strangest Thing” and “Loving You”, received an Honorable Mention in the Billboard World Songwriting Contest.

Markeisha sang in her hometown church when she was a child so gospel has become the foundation of her music taste and preferences. In addition to her church life, Markeisha benifted from her parents’ record collection which included Sam Cooke, Aretha, Marvin Gaye, Carole King and others. Later, she opened herself to the world of piano music and poetry, so today, we Markeisha joins her very strong and at the same time “honey” textured voice with great piano accompaniment, jazz interludes and gospel-flavor singing.

“Talk To Me” is a music melting pot. Five songs of this EP reflect of Markeisha’s travels to France and the Caribbean. The listener can easily feel the spirit of these wonderful places. The first track of this five-song release is called “Maybe”- a very passionate and emotional song that helps us understand the truth of the artist’s talent. Deep mid-tempo R&B melody combined with rich piano accompaniment and vocal support creates a special atmosphere holding listeners till the end. “Maybe” is followed by “Still Yours” – a very energetic, positive and openhearted pop/R&B song that brings us back to 50s. It is a great example of how Markeisha can be different and many-sided in her music.

Talking about the third track, let’s mention that it’s the EP’s namesake so we can already can feel its importance. As for me, it is one of the brightest songs. It shows artists’ nature, character, and furthermore, it is very balanced in all senses. Mild sounds, jazz spirit, passion, French lyrics, beautiful voice and an unforgettable ending that presents the height of professionalism of Markeisha as a vocalist. The title of the fourth song,“Break Free”, conveys the strong sense of character and energy. It starts with an a’capella part giving the rhythm and creating the necessary atmosphere. It is the message of a woman who is finally free from weight of old relationships. She is very persuasive and enthusiastic so the track has strong beat and chorus sound support. The fifth and the final track of “Talk to Me” album is titled “Someone to Love”- a love song that slows us down. Beautiful melody, romantic lyrics and so understandable: it is prey for some special person who can understand what it means to be the missing part of the soul – someone to love. String instruments make it very emotional as well as full of feelings.

All in all, this wonderful EP gives us so much pleasure of the pleasure and joy of R&B music, jazz interludes, beautiful melodies, soulful gospel. Strong, but uniquely mild, the voice of Markeisha makes “Talk To Me” and EP that I strongly recommend it for everyone. It can be a great beginning for those who still haven’t bought her other ecordings as it is a solid, but rather short way to understand whom she is and the depth of her music. Every song is a highlight and a self-sufficient single. Hope to listen to new albums of this talented artist rather soon. Don’t forget that improvisation and live sound makes R&B and jazz songs speak to its listeners, and knowing that, Markeisha is a great performer, I would like to see her live (at least) once.

Maria Zubova

Maria Brodskaya

Maria Brodskaya

Recently, we had the pleasure of being  introduced to Maria Brodskaya. Maria is a singer, songwriter, pianist and violinist, as well as an actress and photo model.

She was born into a musical family Belgorod, Russia.  At age four Maria began studying music, playing the violin and piano. By the age of seven she began writing music. With her first two songs she earned her first composer award at the famous Ukrainian contest “Young composers” in Kiev. Maria has won many contests as a singer and songwriter. She has performed in Moscow (Russia), Kiev (Ukraine), Berlin (Germany), Copenhagen (Danmark), Buenos Aires (Argentina).

Maria’s  debute album “Apple-Moon” is now available. The CD brings to the fore a blend of pop, soul, slavic folk, jazz and ambient music. It unites the modern and ancient musical traditions. East and West.

So, tell us a bit more about your background and your introduction to music?

MB: I was born in Russia, in a small town Belgorod, in a family of professional musicians – my father was a composer and a pianist, and my mother is a concertmaster and music teacher. When I was six I entered The Special Musical Schoolfor Gifted Children, affiliated with the Conservatory, that was a border school in Kharkov (Ukraine), and five days a week I was living there, because that was the nearest special music school. Then when I finished it ahead of time, cum laude, I entered the Conservatory in two departments – violin and piano. And then, after my studying there for two years, I moved to Moscow and entered the Russian Academy of Music as a singer and songwriter. And I graduated from there cum laude too:) So, now I’m in Moscow. And actually, when they ask me about my nationality and etc – I always answer: “no matter where I am from and where I am know – I consider myself a person without age and nationality, and I’m just a human creature of this world and a citizen of the Earth planet:)

Once you had your focus on music, how did you begin your journey towards becoming a professional ?

MB: Well, actually, apart from my musical education, that was starting when I was four – I began studying music, playing the violin and piano in a music school in my home town before the special music school – I’ve been participated in many contests and festivals, starting from the age of 7. By this age – of seven – I began writing music and, with my first two songs, I won my first composer award in the “Young Composers Contest” in Kiev (that is the capital of Ukraine). Then I’ve had a lot of different awards as a singer and songwriter, and also as a composer of instrumental music. And also I have a lot of performances as an artist-violinist of a chamber and symphony orchestra. And at the age of 16 – when I was a student of the Conservatory – I had my first jazz quartet and sang jazz in club with them. And then, when I came to Moscow I organized my acoustic jazz quartet. Its name was ‘Soft-M”. We played jazz in Moscow jazz clubs, and I performed as a vocalist, violinist, arranger and art director simultaneously. But the last few years I’m focused on my own original music, and I’m working in the studio, writing a lot and recording my albums. I have some performances in Moscow clubs and some events – I play the piano and sing my jazz-folk songs in English, Russian and Ukrainian languages, and I even have a song in Hebrew. And this April I had two concerts in Buenos-Aires with my both programs – from my first album “Apple-Moon” and with my jazz-folk program that I’m singing and playing the piano. But still great part of my time now I devote to my working in the studio. And now I’m recording my new album – my second album in English.

Who were your earliest sources of inspiration?

MB: Well, there was a lot of different music sounding in my parents place. And my first names from my childhood, that have formed my musical world outlook and taste and inspired me were: Diana Warwick, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Billie Holiday. And then – who became my gurus more: Bob James, Bill Evance, Pat Metheny, Shirley Horn, Sting, Seal, Sade.

In the classical music I can emphasize my lovely great and important names for my musical life: Sergei Rachmaninov and Claude Debussy.

And also one of the spring of inspiration for me is Ukrainian Folk Music.

Tell us about your travels and exposure to international audiences?

I haven’t had a lot of international performances yet. I recorded my debut album in English in 2011, and my second album in English is getting ready very soon. But I had a few performances in Berlin, and with my new album “Apple-Moon” two concerts in Buenos Aires, that were very successful, and audience was very kind, and people were coming up to me and asking me for my album. And though I have never been to America yet – I’m just getting ready to come -, now I receive a lot of letters from my fans – most of them are Americans and English people, who has listened to my album on Internet, iTunes and on Radio, and they write me how they love my music, and how much they are waiting for my concerts in their countries. So, now I’m doing my best to come to develop and realize myself in the US. Because that is my main professional goal for now, and also my dream.

Let’s take a few minutes to watch your video “Empire of Music”.

Your CD “Apple Moon” is available on iTunes and Amazon (as well as SHOP HorizonVU Music). Give us some background on the album…what’s the message?

MB: Well, this is my real debut album, that is the mix of pop, soul, slavic folk, jazz and ambient music. And the idea of the music in this album was to unite different musical traditions – East and West. I wanted to make the modern music, but to save in it the tones of the slavic folk music with its great history. And telling about some background of this album I’d like to start from the name – “Apple-Moon”, and there is a short funny story:

I didn’t have any name for the album, but I had a few songs for it. But suddenly… – the new song is born via iPad – it was created and arranged on iPad..:)  And this song became the “key-song” and also brought the tittle for the album: because of I love Apple, I love apples, and I love moon – so, the name has come: “Apple-Moon”!

And the interesting thing more is this key-song – “Apple-Moon” is based on the world known old Ukrainian song “Shchedrik” or “Carol of the Bels” – it’s English version of this song. The sense of this song has a big magic, as well as all of the slavic folk music has. And as for the lyrics in this album – I can say they are the mix too: I was trying to compile some kind of the slavic folk poetry images and the magical sense, figurative style, strong emotion of love, drama and tenderness. I wanted to make the songs soft and dramatic one and the same time, emotional and deep, magical and sexy. And I hope I did that, because now people tell me about these things in my music:)

And by the way, I have to say, that here in this album I’m acting not only as a singer and songwriter, but also as a piano-and-violin-player, and also as an author of the arrangements of some songs.

And now “Apple-Moon” airs on different radio stations in the US and UK. And by the way, here in this album I’m acting not only as a singer and songwriter, but also as a piano-and-violin-player, and also as an author of the arrangements of some songs.

What’s is Maria’s plan for 2012? What should our readers be looking for as far as Maria is concerned?

MB: Well, first, now I’m finishing my second English album, that will be very interesting, beautiful and strong music. Something new, I guess. I don’t like any kind of copy-cats in music and in arts on the whole. I really think the most important and interesting thing that artist can do and have to do in their arts is to express their own inner world in their doings.  And that is the only thing that the creative work is for.

Second, my main goal is to realize and develop myself in the US, now I’m preparing a lot of different papers to get american visa, and hope very much to get it as soon as my new album is ready. So, I will have two recorded albums in my hands – that are my original music and lyrics. And that will be my completed concert program. And more over, there is two hundred songs in my composer baggage, and by this moment thirty songs from them are in English. So, I’m also planning to record not only the second, but also the third album in this year, at least.

I’m planning to come to the US with God’s help, create a band there, and of course I hope to have the touting through the US, and realize all my skills and creative ideas on the stage, in my music and my performance. I hope to get a serious contract with the label, maybe major – I know I can be a very good asset:))  Of course, I am setting the goal and have a big hope to win Grammies as an interesting artist with interesting music – these are  grerat goals and aspirations for any musician. I am not the sort of girl who is going to give up, I’m intending to keep fighting for my dreams and for myself, for my right to be heard and realized in this world, and I’m going to win that!

Maria, we appreciate you time and we certainly wish you all the very best  going forward.  Maria’s album is available on iTunes and Amazon (directly and through SHOP HorizonVU Music). Let’s talk again soon!

Visit Maria Brodskaya at 

Powered by WordPress. Theme: Motion by 85ideas.
google-site-verification: google0eca8f6b62d9ec8d.html