Tag Archives: independent artist

Etta James passes at age 73


Legendary singer Etta James lost her battle with leukemia today at the age of 73. Etta’s health began to decline last year when she was was diagnosed with leukemia and a blood infection. She also reportedly suffered from dementia and kidney failure.
Born Jamesetta Hawkins, Etta began singing in church at age 5. During her teens she was the lead singer for a doo wop group Peaches, and recorded her first #1 song, “The Wallflower (Dance with Me Henry).” Shortly after this she attracted the attention of Little Richard who invited James to go on tour with him. This led to Etta’s legendary career as a soul singer. Ms James had a number of R&B hits however the most notable of all was “At Last” Rest In Peace Ms James…

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Cam & Dee~va’s Music Reviews

Peace & Blessings… We’ve had an amazing musical year… As 2011 comes to a close, as you reflect on the events of the past year and look forward to a new beginning in 2012, Keep in mind that Cam & Dee~va as well as the entire Neo Soul Cafe Staff’s wish for you is Health and Prosperity in the New Year…Support Independent Artists! Support Honest Music! Share the Gift of Good Music with someone in the coming year…

Daley Those Who Wait


Deeva: They say good things come to those who wait … well Those Who Wait is the title of Daley’s mixtape. So i’m thinking??? Who is this kid???? Square rimmed glasses and a high-top fade??? Gareth Daley from Manchester UK. He is a unique soul singer from across the pond ready to let us have it with his beautiful falsetto. So he’s not independent… Daley is in fact signed to A&M Records… It’s OK because the sound is there… You gotta know Daley’s mixtape is insane…. This is his Debut… His 1st time out the gate… and I luv luv luv it! Get it Now! It’s FREE… That’s Zero, Zilch, Nada, Gratis. Highly Recommended Dee~va’s Favs – Game Over, Alone Together, Spent Pretty Wings Like A Virgin, Doncamatic, Those Who Wait



Where do I start? Daley is an extraordinary singer/songwriter….from across the pond… whose been causing an uproar on the London music scene for the past couple years. This 22 year old from Manchester, England has an unforced soulful delivery that takes my breath away. Daley’s beautiful vocal harmonies and musical platform comes together smooth-as-silk in his mixtape debut “Those Who Wait“…with lyrical content that’s easy for everyone to relate to. The 10 track mixture features collaborations Daley created over the past year, coupled with some brand new joints. I love how Daley exposes himself, pulling off layer by layer; showcasing that his soulfulness is far from shallow….it runs deep. The future is bright for Daley, and after listening to this mixtape, I’m sure that his full debut album will be worth the wait. This EP is definitely worth grabbing. Highly Recommended.
Cam’s Favorites: Those Who Wait, Game Over, Alone Together, Doncamatic


Download this free mixtape in The Weekly Entree below!

Maysa Motions Of Love Shanachie


Dee~va: I first became acclimated with Maysa as a part of the group Incognito. Later on I found out that she sang with Stevie Wonder. How cool is that. So I heard this CD, Motions of Love, was inspired by a breakup/on again off again relationship. I thought to myself oooh drama let’s dig in. Maysa invites you to her world, she describes it as unchartered territory. Well alright then… Maysa, with her beautiful alto voice without a doubt delivers soulful jazzy grown folks music… This CD doesn’t have a bad track on it. I luv it from start to finish… Nothing but smooth silky soul drips from Maysa’s lips. Highly Recommended Deeva’s favs – Hold On, Flower Girl”, “Day N Night”, “Motions Of Love”, “When It’s Over”, “I Try”, and ” Your Name’s Not On The List”

Cam: Jazz/Soul singer Maysa Leak is on the music scene with he new 9th studio album “Motions of Love” and she sounds liberated. Known as a longtime vocalist for Incognito, Maysa has a very unique vocal sound that I adore. Rather than playing it “safe” in her acclaimed path of jazz, Maysa ventures out…showcasing her range by introducing other genres of sound into this project. “Motions of Love” brings together soul, R&B, disco, jazz, country, & a New Orleans tempo…..delivering an incredible musical montage that will please all of her many fans worldwide.

I love the romantic vibes of “Flower Girl,” a duet with Neo-Soul singer Dwele….this song offers an easy uptempo beat, coupled with the sensual vocals of Maysa and Dwele; a perfect combination. Let’s not forget “Have Sweet Dreams,” which features the dynamic Stevie Wonder; Maysa’s sultry vocals and Stevie’s “midas” touch is magical. And it doesn’t stop with these songs. This album is full of musical gems that will definitely be in rotation on your favorite playlist.

This album gives Maysa fans what they love about her: Her soulful, gorgeous, sultry voice. While showing you there’s even more dimensions to her musical genius. Highly Recommended.

Cam’s Favorites: Have Sweet Dreams, Flower Girl, I Try

Nicolay Nicolay with The Hot At Nights – Shibuya Session EP The Foreign Exchange Music

Dee~va: Whether it’s with The Foreign Exchange, on a collabo, or solo Nicolay always delivers. The current EP features remixes eight instrumental compositions from Nicolay’s 2009 album “City Lights Vol. 2: Shibuya”. The EP is the perfect soundtrack for your grown folks nightscape… Shibuya is definitely recommended for my Jazzheads and can be enjoyed if you aren’t that deep into jazz genre… Deeva’s Favs Departure…is by far my favorite cut on this EP. I absolutely dig the 2nd movement of this song.I also enjoyed Rain In Ueno Park



Cam: Simply Sophisticated Mood Music. This is the BEST description of Nicolay’s new EP “Shibuya Session;” which is a collaboration between him and Raleigh-based exploratory jazz trio The Hot At Nights. It features new interpretations and arrangements of 8 instrumental compositions from Nicolay’s 2009 album “City Lights Vol. 2: Shibuya.”

Nicolay is known as a half of one of my fav soul duos of all time, The Foreign Exchange, with rapper/singer Phonte. However Nicolay has an in-depth catalog of solo projects under his belt. For those that are loyal fans as myself, I’m sure you noticed how Nicolay definitely changes up his approach from his usual flavor with this EP. Yet leaving me overwhelmingly impressed with his versatility and evolution into an incredible musician. The eclectic jazz fusion and culmination of sounds within this album sets the perfect atmosphere to just relax and mellow out. Nope….jazz definitely isn’t dead…and this EP proves just that. This is just what Foreign Exchange fans need…and it’s free! Additionally this is a “kick off” to Nicolay and The Hot At Nights tour starting in January 2012! Download it now & prepare to see them LIVE in a city near you. #FanForLife Highly Recommended.

Cam’s Favorites: Shibuya Station, Satellite, Meiji Shrine

You can download it free here:—shibuya-session-ep.php

The Roots Undun

Dee~va : Got 40 mins? If so then take time to listen to one of the dopest grimiest cd’s ever made… Undun is a concept CD that chronicles the life of a dude who gets into the dope game…but it starts with his death… Undun let’s you know its real in the streets… sick tracks…dope lyrics The Roots are serious…and showing you that they are more than just Jimmy Fallon’s house band. It’s like a soundtrack I really wish that would come to fruition. Undun the movie… Dee~va’s favorites –


Cam: The Roots is acknowledged and known as the most respected groundbreaking hip-hop bands on the music scene today. In their 20 year reign, they present their latest studio album “Undun.” This album is beyond DOPE….it’s CLASSIC. I was totally “green” when I first listened to this album, and was still blown away. Meaning I didn’t realize it was a short-film within itself; telling the story of a drug dealer losing his life and looking back. However, I definitely felt it’s narrative structure immediately; which The Roots are known for injecting so much substance and depth in their work. Black Thought has a profound precise lyrical (poetic) delivery as always….leaving the extra bells & whistles to Big K.R.I.T, Dice Raw, Phonte, & other appearances. The music itself is phenomenal; reminding me of ’70s Soul storytelling by Marvin Gaye & Curtis Mayfield….with amazing mixes of funk, jazz, & guitar rock.

What really makes this album fascinating is how The Roots visited intense “grimy” topics that many wouldn’t; yet illustrates them in a fashion that’s beautiful and speaks to the soul. This album is definitely a strong contender for album of the year. Get this album…you’ll thank me later. Highly Recommended.

Cam’s Favorites: The OtherSide, Sleep, Tip the Scale, Make My, Kool On

9th Wonder The Wonder Years It’s A Wonderful World Music.

Dee~va: Hip Hop lovas put ya hands up!!! When I was a kid, we went Underground to hear those songs that were explicit in content or that did not get radio airplay because the artists didn’t fit the mold or was not commercial enough per record exec standards. With that said, We should really be asking the question??? Why is this CD still classified as underground hip hop….? 9th Wonder should really be mainstream…This CD should be bumpin on every urban radio station in this country. CEO, NAACP ambassador, Duke University professor, multi-platinum, Grammy award winning producer 9th Wonder rounded up Erykah Badu, Raekwon, Talib Kweli, Murs, Mac Miller, Saigon, Kendrick Lamar, Warren G, Big K.R.I.T, Pharoahe Monch, Marsha Ambrosius, Skyzoo, Big Remo, Rapsody, and Phonte to help out on his latest CD. 9th Wonder did that!!!! From start to finish the CD is on point. Dee-va’s favorites – Streets of Music, Now I’m Being Cool, Never Stop Loving You, Peanut Butter & Jelly, One Night, 20 Feet Tall and That’s Love.

Cam:Now this is a Hip Hop album…and one that will remain in rotation for years to come. “The Wonder Years” is really not just hip-hop….it’s fused with Jazz and R&B…..good DOPE music. This Grammy award winning producer proves why he’s legendary for creating music. And he definitely gels well with featured artists that he teamed up with on this album such as Erykah Badu, Talib Kweli, Phonte, & Raekwon to name of few…..STAR-STUDDED. I mean this is 9th Wonder…..since the days of Little Brother break up, this super producer also fulfills the role of a professor at Duke University….*Salute*. This man has put together a wonderful portfolio for himself; delivering his signature BANGING production, coupled with unparalleled vocals from key players in the music industry.

Should you get this album? Of course! “The Wonder Years” is a solid quality album that won’t disappoint. Much respect and love to 9th Wonder for his contribution in making 2011 a great year for Hip Hop. Highly Recommended.

Cam’s Favorites: Band Practice, Make It Big, Enjoy, Hearing The Melody, Peanut Butter and Jelly

Meshell Ndegeocello – Weather


Meshell Ndegeocello is and has always been different. I caught on to her music early on during the early phases of the reciprocity neo soul movement. The movie Love Jones to be exact….
Meshell’s current CD is Is Mature Eclectic Laid back and Cool… I think if I had to classify it it would be more so Alternative Pop than soul… Dee~va’s favs Oyster, Rapid Fire, Dirty World, A Bitter Mule, Crazy and Wild, Petite Morte and Don’t Take My Kindness For Weakness


Cam: When I hit “play” on my iPod to listen to Meshell Ndegeocello’s new studio album “Weather,” I didn’t know exactly what to expect. Hey, but this is a GREAT thing….especially in music. Meshell has always been the type of singer/songwriter that creates musical art that is within it’s own category. If you look back on her prior projects, Meshell’s canvas illustrates something different and unique every time.

This album is very warm and a deeply intimate one. I must say that the opening track “Weather” does a great job on setting the subtle tone and pace of the entire album. While it’s not full of overly dramatic melodies, you still feel passion woven throughout the entire album. It illustrates a focused, sophisticated desire. This is just laid-back, honest…cool music. With this album, Meshell proves one can express their political/social concerns without screaming it on the rooftop….seeking attention. Rather, Meshell stays true to herself, in a selfless manner. This quiet maturity & strength rings true in her soothing & husky vocals; and equally amazing instrumentation of acoustic guitar & electro-keyboard buzzing.

Meshell’s versatility is incredible. She’s been making her own brand of music for nearly 20 years, and “Weather” is another masterpiece added to her lengthy catalog. The title of this album is perfect as well because it captures all emotional whirlwinds; while showing how unpredictable & complicated they can be in life. Great album to relax to by candlelight. Beautiful work Meshell. Recommended.

Cam’s Favorites: Dirty World, Crazy and Wild, Petite Mort, Don’t Take My Kindness For Weakness

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Grammy Nominations Announced….

Grammy Nominations Announced….

The GRAMMY® Awards, are the the premier recognition of recorded music accomplishment
NATIONAL ACADEMY OF RECORDING ARTS & SCIENCES, INC.® Nominations for the 54th Annual Grammy Awards were announced 11/30/11 by The Recording Academy. The nominations reflect an eclectic mix of the best and brightest in mainstream music over the past year, as determined by the voting members of The Academy. The final nominations list includes some of your favorite neo soul artist… A complete nominee list is available at Among the 54th Grammy nominees are:

Best R&B Performance Marsha Ambrosius for Far Away, Ledisi for Pieces Of Me, and KP Miss Kelly Price and Stokley from Mint Condition. for Not My Daddy and Corrine Bailey Rae for Is This Love
Best Traditional R&B Performance Cee-Lo Green & Melanie Fiona Fool For You, Raphael Saadiq Stone Rollin’
Best Traditional R&B Performance
Sometimes I Cry by Eric Benét, Fool For You by Cee Lo Green & Melanie Fiona
Raphael Saadiq Stone Rollin’, Surrender Betty Wright & The Roots
Best R&B Song
Far Away by Marsha Ambrosius, Sterling Simms & Justin Smith, songwriters (Marsha Ambrosius) Fool For You by Cee Lo Green & Melanie Fiona, songwriters (Cee Lo Green & Melanie Fiona) Not My Daddy Kelly Price, songwriter (Kelly Price & Stokley)
Pieces Of Me Charles Harmon, Claude Kelly & Ledisi Young, songwriters (Ledisi)
Best R&B Album Pieces Of Me by Ledisi and Kelly by Kelly Price

Best Long Form Music Video Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels Of A Tribe Called Quest by A Tribe Called Quest Michael Rapaport, video director; Robert Benavides, Debra Koffler, Eric Matthies, Frank Mele, Edward Parks & A Tribe Called Quest, video producers
[Jive/Legacy] Nine Types Of Light TV On The Radio Tunde Adebimpe, video director; Michelle An & Braj, video producers [Interscope/Geffen/A&M]

There are a lot of talented artists who weren’t recognized, However let’s be mindful that. The Grammy Awards have never been geared at recognizing popular artists or those artists the general public likes, but more so at the artists’ creative process as well as the art and technology of the recording process. These artist in some cases are people we’ve never heard of. However the soul music genre is on the rise. I encourage you to support independent artists and the independent movement…. Lets make a conscious effort to bring good honest music back.

The Neo Soul Cafe Family would like to express a heartfelt congratulations and a wish for good luck to all of the artists who were nominated for Grammy Awards

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