cmj is ovs!
i’m usually running around like a crazy person during cmj and look like our friend lindsay lohan in her heyday by the end, but i took it waaaaaay easy this go round. i hung around enough to catch a couple of shows and they were all oozing black excellence.
lynette williams – rockwood music hall/friends & lovers
i was first introduced to lynette’s music a few years ago at this music showcase at sob’s and was immediately blown away by her voice. i saw her earlier this year at comedian charla lauriston’s show and was in need of more. luckily, she was billed twice during cmj, so i obviously went both times. her voice was nuts as usual, so i was already in my feelings. then the ladies singing doo-wop-poppop for her decided to cut up and i was a wreck. her background vocalists were un-real! lynette is a must-see live. keep tabs on her upcoming shows here. check out my current obsession from her.
akie bermiss (aabaraki) – rockwood music hall/friends & lovers
akie was on the bill with lynette at rockwood music hall and it made for an awesome 2-for-1 special! there are a certain species of people that us r&b scholars call “sangin fools”. akei bermiss is the perfect example. he literally sang one line and i quickened. one! i was obviously a shell of myself by the end of the song, but to further destroy us all, akie did a broken down cover of “can’t take my eyes off of you”. i was supposed to go turn up with junglepussy and cakes da killa after, but i was just too unhinged.
lucky for me, akie was also at friends & lovers cmj show with his band aabaraki. it was jam on top of jam, so my girl jasmine and i were boppin’ hardbody. thennnn, this song “karate” happened and the bodyrolls ensued. i am pretty sold on this dude, so you should prob be too. keep tabs on him here and try to compose yourself while he sings “space + time” below.
reggie williams – astor place starbucks
so to compile my cmj schedule, i listened to one song from each artist i’d never heard of before and if i was sold, i was going. i flaked on 77% of my initial plans, but i kept my one-way date with reggie williams. the best way to describe him is like…hmmmm…bb king’s grandson if he hung out with john mayer. it’s totally americana pop-ish, but reggie’s voice is super rich which adds serious texture to his songs. don’t believe me? peep him putting the stank on “you are the best thing”. he’s one to keep your eyes and ears out for. let his insane falsetto sing you out your panties/get your winter cuff open with this allen stone cover.
ayo awosika – friends & lovers
friends and lovers had the singing children on deck friday night. we missed the openers, but got there just in time for ayo awosika and her band. to be shallow for a sec, ayo is a talk glass of hennessey! ::slides up in the dms:: anita baker and rachelle ferrell are the holy grail of vocal epicness and ayo’s tone is a daughter of that legacy. just a big bowl of bluesy and jazzy YES. ayo reminds me alot of my afro-punk 2014 obsession, kandace springs. now if ayo’s voice wasn’t enough, her background vocalist used her solo moment to show out. she was the smallest little thing, but her voice was full on zap mama! yeesh! needless to say, i’m buying whatever ayo awosika is selling. gon’ on and make your offering after this vid of her singing the standard “i thought about you.” stay in the loop with her here.
*editor’s note: click each artists’ name for their soundcloud.