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July 1st 2003


Released as last - Calvin Richarson Calvin Richardson - She's got the Love (Dreamworks)


Calvin Richardson you might of noticed is a name you've been seeing a lot of lately. From duets with Monifah ('Close your eyes' from his debut album - Country Boy) to Angie Stone ('More than a woman') Calvin has become a sort after commodity and why not, after all this guy can really sing.

Calvin's claim to fame is not one of notoriety. He was born in Monroe, North Carolina, the fifth of nine children. As a child his mother had him singing in her local gospel gospel group called The Willing Wonders for which he was the youngest member. He performed in the church choir alongside fellow crooners K-Ci and Jo-Jo where he developed and polished his vocal baritone. Now, several years on, Richardson continues to weave his magic with his sultry, seductive voice on his debut set for Hollywood Records, called '2.35pm'

The title of the album is of some significance too as Calvin's son Souljah was born at that time while completing the album. As for the album, well it speaks for itself as a modern day masterpiece.

From the off, when hearing 'She's got the love' you realized that you are listening to real soul music at its best. Produced and co-written by Raphael Saadiq, this track is truly wicked. Solid bass and suttle keyboard riffs throughout gives this song it's unique appeal.

The album is due in August and features various producers from Raphael Saadiq (D'Angelo, Omar) to The Underdogs to Jake and Trev (Tyrese) so look out of it as it's one that should definitely occupy your listening station. . A TY-D Pick indeed. 

Listen to Calvin Richardson's 'She's got the love'

Sir TY






Very good singer - Zoe SpencerZoe Spencer - Come to me: (Cafe De Soul)


Although this track has been out for quite a while now, I've just recently come across it and after listening to it I thought WOW this girl is good (I mean really good) so I thought why not give it a review.

Zoe is a singer who has the natural ability to write, and write moving songs. Not a songwriter by trade, she was influenced at an early age by some of her favourites 'divas' such as Billy Holiday, Phyllis Hyman, Sade, Teena Marie and Chaka Khan. Seeing what the past had to offer, Zoe realized that her dream can become a reality but certain things must take place - homing her vocals skills and gaining experience.

The song itself is delicious from start to finish. Sampling elements of Earth, Wind and Fire's 'Summer Madness', Zoe's sultry voice caresses the words with the sweetest of ease and weave a tale of love and desire. Wonderfully produced by soul legend Al Johnson (famous for the track I'm back for more back in the late 70s), Al also serves as her manager as he guides the young songstress into becoming a singing sensation.

"I didn't want to belt or riff for 3 out of the 4 minutes of a song in order to move people said Zoe, That wasn't my style. Anyway, we already had beautiful 'belters' and 'riffers', like Patti, Kelly, and Faith. Nor did I want to infinitely repeat a hook because 'to me' that's not song. I wanted to use melodic intonations and abstract vocal combinations to tell a story that people would hear and feel in their souls-like Lauryn (Hill) does. So, when I first started writing, I would take my songs to Al and he would critique them like a dissertation. It used to make me angry because I would go in thinking it was a good song- but when he finished critiquing it- it wasn't so good".

"He taught me that a song should be like a story. Everything should both fit and make chronological sense to the listener. It had to be succinct. He encouraged me to do more than put words together that may rhyme, but had no real meaning. So, even now, when I finish writing a song, I read it aloud. And then, I think to myself·what would Al say?"

Be sure to pick up Zoe's set as it's definitely one for your listening ear as I'm sure you'll agree once you've got your own copy. A TY-D Pick indeed. 

Listen to Zoe Spencer's 'Come to me'

Sir TY




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