Artist Showcase: Corina Corina

Oakland, California native Corina Corina (@CorinaCorina_) has demonstrated she’s a fierce player in today’s independent music scene. Having resided on the other coast in Brooklyn, NY, Corina is well on her way to garnering attention from the mainstream with her angelic, soulful voice and genuine songwriting. Having two full-length solo records under her belt in under half a decade along with an acoustic blues side project demonstrates Corina’s strong work ethic and dedication to building her brand with her musical talent being the driving force.

Corina Corina’s 2012 debut The Eargasm is a melting pot of pop, hip-hop, and R&B goodness mixed into an LP worthy of the paying public’s attention. A video was made for the first track ‘The Familiar’, which would fit right in on the I Heart Radio’s Top 40 playlists alongside offerings from the Iggy Azaleas and Demi Lovatos of the world. Corina Corina’s main focus musically is providing beautiful vocals on the album’s bevy of upbeat tracks that match the instrumentals like a glove. In addition to The Eargasm’s up tempo songs, she carries herself quite well on the record’s ballad ‘Royalty’. It is crystal clear Corina can write, produce, and perform across multiple genres and with this record in the right hands and heard by the right ears, she should have a career in the industry in some capacity for decades to come.

Co-produced by the highly regarded Willie Green, the album is riddled with tunes worthy of airplay on Top 40, hip-hop, and R&B stations. The key is these tunes have substance behind them, which cannot always be said for the major label offerings of today. ‘The Wrong Direction’ is a warning to females to avoid the pratfalls of the mainstream media’s images of women. ‘Baby Don’t Sell Yourself Short’ are words of wisdom as advised by Corina’s father, but the lesson is one that everyone can relate to. These two tracks along with the album’s first and last songs have the greatest potential of taking Corina over the hump from underground to the next breakout star. On the other hand, much like other underground artists, without major label support Corina has the creative control that other artists sometimes lose. Writing, producing, and recording the record sans corporate backing led to a fantastic debut effort that indie music lovers need an earshot of.

Corina Corina’s sophomore effort, The Free Way, dropped last year and was bankrolled by the public through an Indiegogo campaign. Much like her debut album, Corina and Willie Green served as Executive Producers maintaining that creative control and authenticity that can be lost with major label involvement. Although many of the record’s tracks have potential for airplay at Top 40 and R&B stations, The Free Way’s standouts are ‘When I Say’, ‘Time’, and ‘Last Night’. There is something for everyone on this album and casual fans of pop and R&B will not be disappointed.

Consumers can expect smooth collaborations, tight hip-hop beats combined with on-point raps, upbeat tunes to get dancers in the mood to move, and lyrics from the heart and mind that have a purpose. Combine these elements with Corina’s angelic vocals and pop music lovers will get something that holds up to the mainstream offerings of Taylor Swift and Charli XCX. Give independent music lovers credit as their support in making this record a reality contributed to the ability of Corina and Green to create the kind of record they wanted to. This cohesive duo gave it the basics to make it professional, yet not overproduce it nor include soulless, hollow songs just to fill quotas.

Corina Corina continues to tour all over the country in support of her two brilliant works, however, she is also involved in the two-piece act Max Caddy. In fact, the final tune on The Eargasm titled ‘Me and Those Dreaming Eyes of Mine’ is a Max Caddy song included as a bonus track. Do not let this artist’s pierced and tattooed exterior fool you. Corina has come to play as a pop, hip-hop, and R&B artist and with the ability to write and produce material it makes her a valuable asset in an industry that is not always known as female-friendly. Being multifaceted and having the results to back it up gives Corina leverage to do things on her terms, which is a win for music, artists, and fans alike.

*Photo by Gubi Chiriboga and courtesy of corina-corina.com.

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Artist To Watch: Caleb Hawley

Caleb Hawley (@iamcalebhawley) is an American singer-songwriter currently calling Harlem, NY home. He is college educated with a degree in Jazz Composition, but his musical skills go well beyond the average person’s perception of jazz. He is a hybrid musician crossing barriers and winning audiences over with his arrangements of popular covers and his brilliant blend of genres in his original tracks. He definitely has the credentials to back up his works, having won two songwriting awards in 2008 and 2009, respectively.

Hawley plays the music game well in that he is active in social media and the Internet in general. On YouTube, several lyric videos are posted as well as raw live performances. One of those gigs is posted above for one’s listening and viewing pleasure. Several of his tunes are available to check out via ReverbNation and NoiseTrade. Some of his stronger tracks include “Bada Boom Bada Bling”, “Little Miss Sunshine”, and “Would You Even Try”. All three of these tunes could easily light up the Hot AC and Top 40 charts with the proper backing. This shall come in due time as Hawley deserves a chance to be heard by the masses. From what has been displayed thus far, he has something of substance to contribute to the current music scene.

For those who like what they have heard in digital format, Caleb Hawley is listed as having a live performance on Friday, May 30 with Julia Haltigan at the Rockwood Music Hall in New York City. Hawley fans who can not make that show should not fret because if they continue to support this prolific performer, his fan base and resources will increase leading to more touring opportunities. Hawley is the real deal and has more than proven himself as a rising star in 2014 and years to come.

Not Bad For A Band That Formed Just Last Year

The Winery Dogs is a New York-based ‘Supergroup’ that formed in 2012 consisting of rock veterans drummer Mike Portnoy, bassist Billy Sheehan, and singer Richie Kotzen. These guys have had success with other groups such as Dream Theater and Mr. Big, respectively, but now have a new self-titled record out. It will include this song, which is #27 on this week’s Mediabase Rock Chart. Some bands go years without a record deal and entries on the charts. This is hope for any artist out there to never give up.