Artist Highlight: Steve James

Article by: Justyn Brodsky

Emerging from the elite Los Angeles music scene in California, R&B recording artist Steve James began hitting the ground running in the music realm in 2005 and since that time has manifested into a versatile and multifaceted artist with his own signature sound and stylization; and has no intention of slowing down his momentum anytime soon.

Originally hailing from Indianapolis Indiana, Steve moved to California to further his music career as a singer & songwriter to build his audience and develop his creative niche. Known for charismatic vocal techniques and dynamic melody structures, his music resonates with a style that touches on equal parts originality and familiarity; giving his audience a taste of something fresh, yet still identifiable to the avid R&B listener.

Influenced by major players in the game like Michael Jackson, Prince, Marvin Gaye, Frankie Beverly, Tank, Musiq Soulchild and Marsha Ambrosius, Steve has already garnered an insatiable fan base and Internet presence, which allowed him to open the doors with his indie label Dream Big Music Group. He has released 6 independent projects since his inception and currently has a tour lined up for Fall & Winter including dates in Chicago, Los Angeles, Detroit, and New York.

These days, he knows how to enjoy life, using his craft to be a vital voice for on-the-rise independent artists, continuing its movement with his community and fan base, and living the life of a prospective artist. He has come a long way since his beginnings and is driven to maintain his originality and to keep shooting for greatness. Judging by his success so far, Steve James is well on his way to the top. R&B fans will soon be knowing him as a household name.

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Artist Review: Shannie Ross – “Lesson” Single

Review by: Justyn Brodsky

Continuing to insatiably thrive in the market with her undisputed looks and talent, southern songstress Shannie Ross knocks it out of the park with her newest single “Lesson.”

Houston has a new queen, skip the princess part. From a dynamic image and versatile vocal approach, Shannie shows us she is worthy of the crown in this latest banger.

Amassing an enormous industry buzz with the success of her most recent EP Rebirth, her new R&B-infused track explores different multi-genre avenues with her articulate vocal style, but it’s her voice itself that really carries the torch throughout this song. She can be sensually sweet and cleverly charismatic all at once, and never fails to implement these factors into all the right places.

The pacing of the song is well-driven and doesn’t drag out, Shannie makes very good melody choices in each measure and really brings out different angles to what she’s capable of, and she’s well aware of how to maintain the proper vocal control. With a sing-songy Hip Hop style mixed with elements of Pop, she really delves into a whole new and next-level realm for the R&B genre and adds incredible balance and composure to make her recognizable and identifiable in any part of the market; be it indie or mainstream.

And that’s the thing I like the most about Shannie Ross – the multifaceted presentation. Being able to take on different roles of the same image and making her ear and eye candy for anyone that appreciates a more-than-solid R&B and Hip Hop-oriented track. Her music can be an outfit for just about anywhere in the market whether it’s the radio circuit, a movie soundtrack or any atmosphere in need of a modern, soulful voice.

For anyone interested in true southern heat, Shannie Ross really fires it up with this new single, and I’m more than positive you’ll agree once you take a listen. Be sure to check into this artists’s back catalogue as well, including her music videos. You won’t be disappointed.

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Artist Review #2: The Keymakers – “Tell Me Something” Single

Review by: Justyn Brodsky

We are back with another banger from elite artist duo The Keymakers with their sensually ambient new single “Tell Me Something” and it doesn’t disappoint.

We’ve had this dynamic duo on the platform before. And I clearly remember wondering to myself what future material these guys would have up their sleeves. Well, I’m stoked to say that what they have is nothing short of amazing, and that was nothing short of my expectations.

Their new feature single “Tell Me Something” follows up their predecessor beautifully and takes us on a journey of innovative production value and lyrical bliss. With fine tuned, subtle verses and vocal leads that are melodically ambient, we get a grasp of new school R&B with Pop components that formulates a tasty mixture.

There’s a swell buildup in between verses and really gives you that edge-of-your-seat feeling as the vocals carry the torch. The likability factors are essentially endless and can be admired in isolation, but is a really great track as a whole when every measure of the song is put together. And that’s the best way to describe this song: a beautifully executed feel-good track from beginning to end, and just keeps getting better as the track plays out.

This one is highly recommended and is very innovative in its overall style and vibe. It offers up something new while still maintaining elements of familiarity from inspirational artists we’ve all come to know and love. And when you take a listen to “Tell Me Something” yourself, you’ll definitely be adding The Keymakers to that list of artists.

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Press Release: Fadetheblackk – “Visions (feat. B*Star)” Single

Article by: Justyn Brodsky

Combining an integration of smooth rhymes, charismatic vocals and a multi-genre approach, we get an innovative blend of Hip Hop with elements of Soul and Alternative with Fadetheblackk‘s newest single “Visions (feat. B*Star).”

With great production value and a soul-infused beat carrying the torch, this song is anything but ordinary. It’s a multifaceted creation of something artistic, inventive and takes Hip Hop into a new modern realm.

With each verse breathing life in the form of a straight and subtle flow, you can hear FTB‘s natural talent loud and clear with his ability to articulate his lyrics in all the right places. His tone is catchy, his melody-driven chorus is anthemic, and his spirit in the track never wavers.

Fadetheblackk‘s current single is distributed by Warner Music Indie platform Level and he has always been behind the scenes creating and working with many artists in today’s music industry since 2011. So with years under his belt, it’s not a huge surprise that this song is as versatile as it is, but it surely is a treat.

If you’re looking for something outside of your everyday Hip Hop single that drops from every corner of the street, then “Visions” is the track for you. It’s a song that indicates that FTB is not riding any kind of bandwagon – he’s bringing his very own creation to life; something that you don’t hear every day and a taste of something fresh, yet still identifiable at the same time.

The single dropped on July 13th and is currently available on all digital music retailers and streaming platforms. You’ll be glad we sent you there.

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Career Highlights: KI Back At It – Jersey We Lit Records

Article by: Justyn Brodsky

His name is Alterik Finney, also known under the stage name KI Back At It. And he didn’t choose music…music chose him.

Currently owner/CEO of Jersey We Lit Records, KI Back At It began hitting the ground running in the music realm by creating concepts and writing music for over the past 10 years, contributing his multifaceted skills for both small indie labels and larger ones for independent artists as well. Since then, he has manifested into a versatile and innovative artist with his own signature sound and stylization.

But things weren’t always so easy for the Elizabeth, NJ native who was once featured on Americas Most Wanted for an armed robbery. He recently opened the doors to his label as an insatiable and passionate effort to do things the correct way this time around, and is looking to genuinely help artists get their careers off the ground — primarily New Jersey artists, to help market and create commercial music, even performing management work.

“I’ve been working behind the scenes of the industry. Learning the ropes with everything from paperwork/business work, video editing, filming, online marketing, vocal recording, mixing, mastering and anything else related; and plan on being in full effect by the end of 2018. As Jersey artists, we’re known for sounding like others or sounding like street rappers, and it has never gotten us anywhere. My plans, with help from business-minded people, is to be the “Def Jam of New Jersey,” opening doors for NJ artists who want to sound different and connecting mainstream artists to small indie artists on collaborations.” –KI Back At It

Connect with KI Back At It and Jersey We Lit Records:

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Press Release: DLOW – “Need It More” Single

Article by: Justyn Brodsky

There are very few artists in today’s era that really know how to grasp at catchiness in a whole new realm. Chicago’s DLOW does exactly just that with his versatile new single “Need It More.”

If you wanted more of DLOW, then here is what you want and a whole lot more. The rising rapper has amassed an immaculate fan base collectively through shows, word of mouth and internet presence. And we definitely get more with “Need It More” for sure.

Delivering a sing-songy style that really brings his charisma and melodic approach to the forefront, “Need It More” is an exercise in R&B infused Hip Hop and unlimited swagger. This track’s lyrical structure keeps a solid flow throughout each measure and dives into melody and authenticity; centering around his natural talent and gift of lyricism.

It’s a song for ladies and gentleman with a genuine craving for a fresh Hip Hop track with a vast array of likability factors. If you’re an R&B hungry fan, this chemistry will also satisfy as well. This song blends the perfect mix of monumental modern elements of genres today that are usually convoluted and unconvincing. But that’s what makes DLOW stand out from the rest; this track is done right, and it’s one that will stay in your head even after it’s over.

He’s conveying a sound and message without trying to outdo himself. He keeps it completely real and really leaves the window open to explore other elements of the Hip Hop world that his voice could easily capture. And that’s one of the best focal points and cornerstones of his ability as a rapper, his ability to be universal. And that’s what you get with “Need It More.”

The single is available now on all mainstream digital music platforms as well as streaming outlets. This is definitely not a song to sleep on anytime soon.

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Press Release: Cherry-Ilex Sound – “Slow Down A Minute (This Time)” and “Dreaming of a Dream (Remix)” Singles

Article by: Justyn Brodsky

When it comes to soul, sensibility, musicianship and production value, Kevin Bailey Jr. and the Cherry-Ilex Sound music and studio collective never disappoint.

Back to the grind with another brilliant release, Bailey Jr. and his crew have put together the bossa-nova and R&B infused single “Slow Down A Minute (This Time)” with a whole new catchiness from the same caliber of talent.

Reminiscent of the good old Motown Records days, this jazzy and soulful track has enchanting female vocals, great Horn arrangements and a very subtle delivery that is catchy, dynamic and atmospheric. There are many flavors that take place in this song with each verse, and every instrument plays the perfect role behind the vocals.

Delving into the production value, we once again have a very well-crafted tone and mastered mix that really showcase the talent and authenticity without any extra unnecessary noise. The song’s chorus is climactic and enchanting, and puts catchiness into new heights. With a song comprised of several elite musicians behind the production, it’s no wonder that we get something as uplifting and multifaceted as this song.

Bringing us to another track from Cherry-Ilex Sound‘s previous release Rapture Caught Up, we have “Dreaming of a Dream (Remix)” which was written with a lot of Kevin Bailey Jr’s personal artist influences as a cornerstone. Featuring an 80’s rhythmic groove and feel good vibes, this song also encompasses the modern R&B sound we’ve all come to know and love. With amazing lead vocals carried in the forefront, this moving song is one that really entices you to look deeper into the Cherry-Ilex Sound catalogue.

The musical elements are an astonishing mix of yesterday and today’s more influential sensibilities and really brings the old school feeling to new realms. With another chorus that is catchy and captivating in its writing structure, this is another track that brings out the strength of every musician behind the project as well as Bailey Jr’s skills behind the mixing board. It’s the type of song you can hear and see when you let it into your soul, and come back to time and time again to appreciate.

Both “Slow Down A Minute (This Time)” and “Dreaming of a Dream (Remix)” will be available on November 8th, and will undoubtedly be added to your top R&B flavorful favorites of the year.

Connect with Cherry-Ilex Sound:

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