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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R&B Singer-Songwriter On The Rise And Breaking Hometown Stereotypes

Seattle native Tess Henley (@TessHenley) is a force to be reckoned with as a soulful artist with a pop side. This is fascinating as the Seattle area is best known as the hotbed for artists such as Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden. It is refreshing to have an artist who has the ability to move the meter and break stereotypes. This is evident in her video “Who Are You”, which has Top 40 hit all over it. She has been part of shows that were headlined by R&B superstars Jill Scott and Anthony Hamilton. Alicia Keys, Fiona Apple, and Vanessa Carlton better look over their shoulders. There’s another piano player on the scene and she plays for keeps.

Henley, no relation to Eagles member Don (as far as we know), is ready to blow up and should be confident heading into this new year. Three years ago was a big period in her career, as she won the 2011 Independent Music Award for Best R&B Song (“Boy In The Window”) and the soultracks.com International Songwriting Competition. This demonstrates Henley’s ability to perform and pen tracks. There are complaints from the general public about one-dimensional musical acts. Henley is a breath of fresh air, clearly capable of being able to write her own music, play an instrument, and have the vocal chops to pull off the total package.

Henley’s debut full-length record High Heels & Sneakers is available now at online retailers and features “From The Get Go” and the song featured here. She is doing well with Twitter followers considering she is an independent artist and is #2 R&B artist in Seattle on ReverbNation. 2014 should be a huge year, so be on the lookout for Tess Henley to take the music world by storm. She can write, sing, play, dance, and look good doing it.

Americana For The Soul

Country soul singer Brigitte DeMeyer (Twitter: @BrigitteDeMeyer) has been honing her craft of creating soothing cafe music the last several years. On YouTube, there are an abundance of videos showcasing her smooth vocals with sharp yet laid back harmonies. Americana music lovers should embrace the sounds of DeMeyer, who could have hits on the Country and AC charts with the right marketing to radio stations.

For instance, on the bluesy “When I’m Gone”, this is an ideal song that should be part of the soundtrack to the TV series “Nashville”. It is amazing the beautiful music she can make with a backing band consisting of a classical bassist and a fellow acoustic guitarist. This is the type of song one can enjoy walking down the street, wolfing down a latte at your local coffee house, or hanging out with the family dog in the backyard sipping lemonade. DeMeyer’s music is about substance versus style and less theatrics are more effective in letting the music speak for itself.

“Somebody, Please” is another song that has value in telling a story instead of being a song just to make a buck and get a bunch of empty clicks. There is a place where music like DeMeyer’s can thrive and she will ultimately find her groove and make her way up the mainstream pipeline. “The Tonight Show” doesn’t book hip-hop and pop acts every night.

Regarding live events, Brigitte DeMeyer is back in action on Saturday, November 16 in Naples, FL. She has an abundance of live performances recorded online. That will give fans a taste of what they can expect at upcoming gigs. Fans of Jewel, Norah Jones, and Sara Watkins should add DeMeyer to their playlists for more prestigious well-written and beautifully performed tunes that are relaxing and family-friendly.

Talented Pop Singer From Down Under Brings The Vocal Thunder

Bred in Sydney, Australia, Emmaline (@iamEmmaline) is a singer and songwriter who will be a force to be reckoned with for years to come. She began writing music at 16 years of age with old school influences Etta James and Nat King Cole on her mind. Fast forward to now, her experience and inspirations have led to her latest effort “Love & Understanding”, with over 11,000 hits on YouTube and counting as well as accessibility on iTunes.

The single, if it obtains North American distribution, has potential to climb the Top 40 Pop and R&B Charts. There is a hint of the Erykah Badu and Gwen Stefani influences Emmaline touts on her official Facebook profile. It’s only a matter of time before she takes the world by storm. Do not expect any meat dresses or twerking to garner attention, though. Emmaline looks to be in the music game for the long haul.

They Don’t Make Them Like They Used To: From An Artist Who Never Really Went Away

Connecticut-born and bred pop/soul singer Grayson Hugh had nine years of hard work pay off in the tail end of the 1980s when the song represented in this video peaked at #19 on Billboard’s Hot 100 Chart. Hugh released his first record, a self-titled effort, in 1980. That’s not bad, considering he was 20 years old at the time.

Things began to fall apart for Hugh in the early 1990s, through no fault of his own. Record company politics left him with no contract, but he kept himself busy and it paid off with the 2010 release, ‘An American Record’. It is available at his shows now, which he performs with his wife and backup singer Polly Messer. In fact, his next gig is in Southington, CT on Fri. 9/20 at an intimate barbecue bar known for its live shows.

Hugh was able to score a hit when there was a lot more diversity on the charts. Last decade, Ricky Fante struggled to make a dent in the industry performing a similar style. Check out his older work and if you can, see Grayson Hugh live. You are not likely to hear him on the radio anytime soon and that is a shame.