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    “Motown Christmas” New India.Arie, Ne-Yo, Tye Tribbett & More – Available September 30th

    September 1st, 2014
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    One of the most anticipated holiday albums of the year, Motown Christmas is shaping to be an epic release. Full with unique collaborations, artists from Capitol Records, Motown Gospel, and Motown Records join forces on classic holiday tunes such as “Go Tell It On The Mountain”, “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”, “Silent Night” and more. UrbanBridgez.com has your First Look at the full official tracklisting below.

    Produced by multiple award-winning producer Aaron Lindsey, Motown Christmas features performances by India.Arie, Ne-Yo, Gregory Porter, Tasha Cobbs, Smokie Norful, Tye Tribbett and others. It is the first collection of new Christmas recordings from Motown in 46 years. This is sure to be a memorable album that will endure the test of time and have something for everyone.

    First Look: Official Tracklisting (subject to change)
    1. It’s Christmas Time – Smokey Robinson and Kevin Ross
    2. This Christmas – Brian Courtney Wilson and Gene Moore, Jr.
    3. Go Tell It on the Mountain / Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Gregory Porter and Anita Wilson
    4. Angels We Have Heard On High/Glory In The Highest – Kierra Sheard and Chrisette Michele
    5. Little Drummer Boy – Tye Tribbett
    6. The Christmas Song – Ne-Yo and Tasha Cobbs
    7. Christmas Overture (Carol of the Bells/My Favorite Things) – the Aaron Lindsey Orchestra
    8. Joy to the World – Micah Stampley and Sheri Jones-Moffett
    9. Bethlehem – Kem and Janice Gaines
    10. O Come All Ye Faithful – Tasha Cobbs
    11. Silent Night – VaShawn Mitchell
    12. Mary Did You Know – India.Arie and Gene Moore, Jr.
    13. Mary’s Revelation Interlude
    14. O Holy Night – Smokie Norful
    15. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

    Available September 30th!
    * Stay Tuned UB Will Be Giving Copies Away Soon *

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    New Video: Lil Wayne Goes “Krazy” In New Visual from “Tha Carter V”

    August 29th, 2014
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    Lil Wayne has released the visual to his new single “Krazy.” Produced by Infamous, the video is directed by Colin Tilley and was shot in Los Angeles. “Krazy” will be included on Lil Wayne’s forthcoming “Tha Carter V,” which will be released at the end of the fourth quarter this year.

    The video was inspired by the 1975 film “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.” Mack Maine and Shanell both make appearances in the clip.


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    UB Interview: Steven Russell Harts Talks The return of TROOP, TVOne’s Unsung, “The Wedding Singer” & More

    August 27th, 2014
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    It’s the official return of the platinum selling quartet, TROOP, they’ve released their long awaited single, “Not In A Million Years.”

    This follows the incredibly warm reception to their performance on the 2014 BET Awards which have a reported viewing of 7.9 million.

    Already established as artist before their time, Troop members Steven Russell Harts, Jon Jon Harreld, Reggie Warren and Rodney Bedford propels music to the next level with state-of-the-art sound that stems from an unteachable talent that each member innately possess.

    Not In A Million Years” is the perfect return song for the group to remind all of their unmatched talent.

    Not In A Million Years” was produced by Grammy award winning producers, The Underdogs and Steven Russell Harts. The team has once again produced a guaranteed hit. Known for delivering remarkable hits for artists such as Lionel Richie, Tyrese, Joe, Chris Brown, Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Hudson, Ruben Studdard and a host of others, The Underdogs and Steven have officially raised the bar with their unmatched production on this project. “Not In A Million Years” was written by Steven Russell Harts, Harvey Mason Jr. and James Fauntleroy, a dynamic trio that has a notable track record for writing award winning lyrics.

    Not In A Million Years” is the first nationally released single Troop has released in 15 years. Their ability to remain musically essential comes from the non- stop melodic work behind the scenes by group members. Steven Russell Harts and Jon Jon Harreld both have successfully ventured out on solo careers. Steven has written and produced countless hits such as “No Air” for Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown which earned him an ASCAP Pop Music Award as well as a Grammy nomination. Steven also wrote the ASCAP Music Award winning and Grammy nominated single “Take You Down” for Chris Brown, and he won a Grammy for writing Jennifer Hudson’s “Invisible,” just to name a few of his accomplishments. Reggie and Rodney have shared their unfaltering vocals on background music. Although we have all been fortunate to enjoy some of the behind the scenes work that has been shared with us, it is time for Troop to return to the forefront and show the world energetic, heartfelt performances still exist.

    Troop can be seen TONIGHT on TVOne‘s episode of “UnSung.” Viewers will have an opportunity to learn more about the group that so many fans continue to adore and why admirers remain loyal to this group.

    Steven Russell Harts spoke to Aries of UrbanBridgez.com recently about The return of TROOP, his new album “The Wedding Singer,” TVOne’s Unsung, How him and Brandy ended up with the same song on their albums, The record industry in 2014 and much more!

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    UrbanBridgez.com: First off I have to say that I am beyond excited about TROOP’s Unsung! Congrats, it’s very well deserved!
    Steven Russell Harts: Thank you. Woo Hoo (laughs).

    UrbanBridgez.com: How did it come about that you guys would be featured on Unsung?
    Steven Russell Harts: A friend of mine who was a producer put in a good word for us. A lot of people were beating them up about doing one on TROOP, but in the end it was an inside friend of mine. My buddy Mike, he introduced us to all of the bosses over there and stuff and that’s how it went down.

    UrbanBridgez.com: Without telling too much, what are TROOP fans like myself going to get out of this Unsung?
    Steven Russell Harts: Nobody knows anything about TROOP. Besides the hits that we had and the videos. This is actually going to be the first ever look inside of such a dynamic situation, that came and went so fast. You’re going to get to hear everybody’s perception of what went on. It’s going to be really good, I’m excited.

    UrbanBridgez.com: The first album came out in 1988, how did you guys first get signed to Atlantic?
    Steven Russell Harts: We’re all from Pasadena, California and once we put the group together we went on a show called Puttin’ On The Hitz. We performed New Edition and that’s how the group got discovered. So once we put all of the members together, we signed with a production company that introduced us to Atlantic and that’s how we auditioned for them and got signed in 1986.

    UrbanBridgez.com: You guys just dropped “Not In A Million Years” from the upcoming project. You guys haven’t lost a beat, what can we expect from this new project as far as the direction of TROOP 2014?
    Steven Russell Harts: We just want to come fresh. We’re going to come with the great love songs, the great traditional R&B good sounding records, but we’re also going to be on that…in the club bangin. We dance anyway, so we will have those tracks as well. We’re going to do what we do and remain who we are and still be fresh. It’s a new TROOP, we’re not bringing the past back, know what I mean. It’s going to be pretty good. We got Hit-Boy producing, Chuckii Booker, PK the guy who did Fine China and more hot producers.

    UrbanBridgez.com: That’s going to be dope. Specially with Chuckii giving you one of your biggest hits.
    Steven Russell Harts: Two of them, Spread My Wings and All I Do Is Think of You.

    UrbanBridgez.com: That’s right he did, I’m beyond excited. TROOP can never go wrong with the ballads, I mean never!
    Steven Russell Harts: Thank you man, appreciate that so much.

    UrbanBridgez.com: You guys were originators for real. It’s like I always think of you guys when I hear Jodeci’s Stay and DeVante is like “don’t talk, just listen.” I always wonder does everybody know that came from TROOP and Young Girl from the first album (both laugh).
    Steven Russell Harts: Yup!

    UrbanBridgez.com: They gonna learn today!
    Steven Russell Harts: I know that’s right (laughs).

    UrbanBridgez.com: I have to ask you this being such a huge TROOP fan being I have so many, off the top of your head, what are your top 3 favorite TROOP songs you’ve recorded?
    Steven Russell Harts: One of my top 3 is I Will Always Love You.

    UrbanBridgez.com: Mines as well, that should have been a single!
    Steven Russell Harts: You’re right, you’re definitely right. And Spread My Wings and All I Do Is Think of You. We have a song on the Mayday album called The Audacity that I like a lot.

    UrbanBridgez.com: I love that song too! (both laugh)
    Steven Russell Harts: That’s right!

    UrbanBridgez.com: You dropped your solo album “The Wedding Singer” this Summer, which is a great R&B body of work.
    Steven Russell Harts: Thank you!

    UrbanBridgez.com: One thing I noticed instantly is the music to “For The Rest of My Life” is the same production on Brandy’s “Truthfully.” I absolutely love that. How did that come about?
    Steven Russell Harts: My song was actually done first. My song was written to that music before Brandy’s or before that even came about. So I just decided to stay true to what it was when I had it & just release it how it is. The music was written by one of my best-friends, so there was no big deal with that.

    UrbanBridgez.com: What separate’s a Steven Russell Harts album from a TROOP album?
    Steven Russell Harts: The content I think, a lot of the content is more personal with the Steven Russell Hart’s album. More of my intimate feelings , my dreams of how I would be in a perfect state as a man. The TROOP albums is more of what we want to say as a group & what we want people to feel from us as a group.

    UrbanBridgez.com: We did an interview back in 09 and one thing you said you would change about the industry today is the record company system as far as who’s signing artists. In 2014, would that be the same or would you change something else now about the industry?
    Steven Russell Harts: Well today the record industry has changed to the extreme. The best thing record companies can do is sign decent talent and invest in that artist. But now days, it’s all about how many likes you got and how many followers. It’s a total different game now, so I really don’t know what to say I would change. There’s a certain part of music that still hangs on, of course that’s pop. But with black music, it’s up in the air. Nobody is buying it, but everybody is dancing to it and everybody has it. It’s the weirdest thing man. Those are the main two differences, the similarities are more than the differences as far as content. It’s all about having great songs.

    UrbanBridgez.com: You and the Underdogs have written hits for everybody, literally. Who’s on your wish list to work with in the lab?
    Steven Russell Harts: I would love to work with Drake, Nicki Minaj, J. Cole. I would also love to work with Keke Wyatt again. I want to work with Ledisi more than anything right now, she’s my favorite. I just absolutely love her.

    UrbanBridgez.com: That would be a great collaboration! I have to ask you, what are three albums you think every R&B music head should own?
    Steven Russell Harts: They have to have Michael Jackson’s Off The Wall and Thriller, I’ll count that as one. They have to have that education sonically on how music is supposed to sound. That’s the best sonically mixed album to this day and some of Dr. Dre’s stuff is mixed like that as well. You got to have Songs in The Key of Life (Stevie Wonder), you have to have The Isley Brothers because these are all lessons where you get the schooling from. You have to have The Gap Bad, Parliament, Earth Wind and Fire…you notice I can’t stop.

    UrbanBridgez.com: I’m just happy I have everybody you’ve named in my collection (laughs).
    Steven Russell Harts: Yeah you have to have those people. You have to have your basic education and your foundation of R&B music that was put here for us. You really have to have that education to know where we’re headed. Or where we should be headed.

    UrbanBridgez.com: What’s next for yourself and TROOP?
    Steven Russell Harts: We’re gearing up for our tour right now. So the next thing, is to get on the road. We’re going to promote my album and the new TROOP single and Return album all together. Also, just get into more television and film on the production side. I’m getting more into teaching, I’ve been studying our history of biblical historian. I’ve just been doing a lot of studying and I’m really interested in teaching after 15 years I’m really ready to start giving back, even as I still learn. Specially to our youth, so we can stop passing on the same things, that’s been passed on for so many years. Somebody has to fix it, somebody has to stop the mindset…or at least try.

    UrbanBridgez.com: Very true! Good luck with that! Anything else you want to leave with your fans?
    Steven Russell Harts: I just want to say thank you for the support. Thank you for the continued support, we love our fans and all of our supporters. You can follow TROOP: Twitter.com/TROOPRnB and Facebook.com/TROOPReturn & You can follow me Twitter.com/StevenRusel and Facebook.com/StevenRussellHarts . I just want to say thank you for having me and I hope you enjoy the new music.

    “Listen to Steven Russell Harts “Shelter”

    —————————————

    TROOP is an internationally recognized R&B sensation that got their start in the late 80’s. Hailing from Pasadena, CA, Troop was signed to Atlantic Records and released their debut single “Mamacita”. After reaching #1 on the Billboard R&B Charts they were quickly established as a group that music fans would take notice of. After the success of the debut album, Troop’s follow up, “Attitude” was an album that would become known as a classic for hit songs like “Spread My Wings” and “All I Do Is Think Of You” which both climbed to #1 on the Billboard R&B charts and simultaneously remained in the top 10 on the charts for weeks. It was certified platinum in 1990.

    Troop released their third album, “Deepa” in 1992 which saw their single “Sweet November” go straight to #1 on Billboard R&B charts as well. They followed “Deepa” with five more projects “A Lil Sumpin Sumpin” (1994), “Mayday” (1998), “Troop The B-Sides” (2014), “Troop The Slow Songs” (2014) and “Troop Deepa Revisited” (2014). Troop has headlined a number of shows and also shared the stage with artists they toured with in the past such as Boyz II Men, Brian McKnight, Keith Sweat, Silk, Mario and Jon B.

    “Not In A Million Years” is available now on iTunes

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    The Wedding Singer
    [Download Now from iTunes!]

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    Kandi Burruss And Todd Tucker Present The Cast For “A Mother’s Love”

    August 20th, 2014
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    With the critically-acclaimed stage play “A Mother’s Love” just weeks away from embarking on its first national run, Executive Producers Kandi Burruss and Todd Tucker, alongside Theatrical Works Live are proud to reveal the star-studded cast that will bring this loosely biographical family drama to audiences in 29 cities this Fall.

    Burruss will reprise her turn as the main character, a rising singer and member of a girl group who struggles to find the balance between honoring her relationship with her mother and making her own decisions as her career and love life evolve. On selected dates, American Idol alum LaToya London will appear as a special guest in the female lead role. Since her appearance on the third season of Idol, London has become a well-established member of the theater community, most notably starring as Nettie in the Broadway production of The Color Purple; a role for which she earned an NAACP Theater Award nomination in 2008.

    Also returning are powerhouse vocalist Shirley Murdock; renowned stage actress Chandra Currelley-Young of Tyler Perry’s For Better or Worse; platinum-selling and Grammy nominated singer Q Parker (of 112 fame) as the male lead and Kandi’s love interest; and supporting cast members D. Woods (formerly of the platinum-selling girl group Danity Kane), former NFL linebacker Olrick Johnson, and popular social media personality Quentin Latham (better known as FunkyDineva). Rounding out the touring cast are Anthony Dalton (of Tyler Perry’s Laugh to Keep from Crying), “R&B Divas” star Meelah Williams, singer Tony Terry and Myra Beasley (of Tyler Perry’s The Marriage Counselor).

    Following a successful run in Atlanta in November, Burruss and Tucker struck a partnership with veteran promoter Travis Steele, founder and CEO of Theatrical Works Live, to bring the widely relatable story and moving musical performances of “A Mother’s Love” to audiences across the country. “I’m excited to be able to partner with the amazing team at Theatrical Works Live to take ‘A Mother’s Love’ on the road,” said Burruss. “We worked extremely hard on our initial run of the show in Atlanta, and to be able to take it on the road and share it with people across the United States, is a feeling that is beyond words.”

    Along with new cast members, the national presentation of “A Mother’s Love” also boasts a revamped script and several set changes as well, making this run of 29 dates a totally different experience from the original offering in Atlanta. The play’s national tour kicks off in Columbus, GA on September 4 and will stop in several major markets including Detroit, Miami, Chicago, Nashville, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and New Orleans, before coming to a close in New York City on December 14. Please visit KandiOnline.com, for complete tour date listings and ticket information.

    In addition to the great success of the play’s initial run in November, “A Mother’s Love” has already garnered national attention, not only because of the behind-the-scenes drama captured on “Real Housewives of Atlanta,” but also due to the popularity of the play’s soundtrack, released in April. The album, which is currently available on iTunes, features 19-tracks written and co-produced by Kandi Burruss and recorded by the play’s original cast, which also included R&B legend Eddie Levert and Kandi’s RHOA co-star Porsha Williams. The original Atlanta production of “A Mother’s Love” is also currently available on DVD at KandiOnline.com.

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    UB Reviews: The Walls Group’s “Fast Forward” – “Nothing Short of Amazing”

    August 20th, 2014
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    The Houston-based vocal ensemble The Walls Group is comprised of siblings
    Darrel (23), Rhea (18), Paco (17) and Ahjah (16). Their close-knit
    harmonies and gospel influences have produced a trademark sound that is
    instantly recognizable among a new generation of gospel consumers. Rising
    to fame from online videos and an self titled independent release back in
    2012, the talented siblings are now ready to release their Fo Yo Soul Recordings/RCA debut “Fast Forward”.

    The release has been anticipated since the announcement that they were the
    first act to be signed to Kirk Franklin’s Fo Yo Soul label and supporters
    have been patiently waiting. Soon after the announcement came new music.
    The group gave us a preview of what’s to come with a 4-track EP “Love On
    The Radio”, all of which are on the full lp and even released a video for
    “Perfect People”. Now on September 2nd, fans will get the hear the
    remainder of the project. I was given an exclusive advance listen and can
    tell you that this album is nothing short of amazing.

    New songs include “Big Brother” an anthem themed, rousing country-pop
    tinged number. It lyrically reinforces Jesus as our friend and our big
    brother. The group sings “You’re my Savior, and my King, but you still make
    time to be my big brother”. The song is comparable to “country-pop” songs
    by artists like Taylor Swift & Lumineers and has an element similar to the
    tag in Phillip Phillips “Home”. Kid choirs, youth ministries, & CCM
    audiences will love this one!

    “Great Is Your Love” written by the group’s very own Darrel (who also pens
    “Freedom”) was a favorite upon first listen. The song uses “great” as an
    adjective to describe God’s love, mercy, and grace. “Your grace has no
    limits, and your love has no measure….great is your love always covering
    me” a line that Paco belts out is one that really stands out and catches
    your attention. From the lyrics to the production, everything about this
    cut is “great”. Seriously one that will stay on repeat.

    Earlier this year, the group sent fans into a frenzy by posting video and a
    picture of them in the studio with R&B singer Brandy. There was even an
    interview where they teased us with an a capella of that particular track.
    The song “God On My Mind” truly lives up to the hype. A smooth ballad that
    speaks about no matter “how hard they try” they just can’t stop thinking
    about God. It starts off mellow, but slowly builds up to special guest
    Brandy who (with the help of The Walls) takes a trip down memory lane with
    a snippet of the chorus from her song “Always On My Mind” a track from her
    1994 self titled debut and ends with a verse of her own mixed with her
    signature runs and harmonies.

    Brandy wasn’t the only artist to join the group on this project. Rapper
    Lecrae lends his lyrical gift on the song “High”. Offering a hint of
    nostalgia, “High” is equal parts ethereal, bass booming, ambient, and
    sonically angelic. Older music lovers might recognize the sample from Art
    of Noise “Moments In Love”

    Sometimes it’s rare to get an album where you like every song, but “Fast
    Forward” is one of those. With all 4 sharing lead equally, they, with the
    help of Kirk Franklin have delivered an album that can be played over and
    over again and can be loved by all age groups. From up-tempos like “Perfect
    People”, ballads like “Anything & Everything”, spoken word pieces, to
    churchy heart felt reprises like the one on “Beautiful”, this album has
    something for everyone and is a must have.

    - BryWoo (UrbanBridgez.com)

    [Preview “God On My Mind“ feat. Brandy via The Brandy Blog]

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    Gospel Singer James Murphy Releases Debut Album “So Crazy, No Boundaries”

    August 19th, 2014
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    Said to be the industry’s most beloved independent artist, James Murphy began building a buzz in top gospel circles with the release of the CD‘s lead single “Follow Thee” in February. The 13-track project features hit artists such as James Fortune among others.

    James Murphy stands out as a young gospel artist whose approach to the gospel music world today is noted as unique and refreshing. His voice has a rich mixture of the urban contemporary gospel and R&B sound, which will delight a multitude of music lovers. His goal is to inspire and uplift those in need of a sincere message.
    James was afforded the opportunity to minister to national and international audiences as he shared the stage with artist such as, Donald Lawrence, J. Moss, Jeff Majors, Byron Cage, Coko, DeWayne Woods, Brent Jones, BeBe & CeCe Winans and James Fortune & FIYA.

    Additionally, James has accompanied R&B artists Ledisi, James Ingram, Eddie Levert, Patti LaBelle, Kelly Rowland, Kelly Price, Gerald Levert and many more. In 2001, James was awarded a full music scholarship where he attended Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland.

    “So Crazy, No Boundaries” now available at all digital outlets.

    - BryWoo (UrbanBridgez.com)

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    UB Interview: Kelly Price Talks “Sing Pray Love” Volumes 2 & 3, Faith Evans, Brandy & More

    August 18th, 2014
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    Centric celebrated their new season of BEING this past weekend, their documentary series that highlights entertainment’s biggest and brightest, with a screening party at the Duane Martin-owned hotspot Xen Lounge in Studio City, Calif.

    R&B royalty Faith Evans, whose incredible journey was profiled on the premiere episode, was the woman of the hour. And, of course, UrbanBridgez.com was there to celebrate with her. Other attendees included MC Lyte, who will be showcased on BEING later this season, Lil Mama and Brownstone’s Nicci Gilbert. But it was the presence of Lil Cease and Kelly Price that made the evening really special. It was a mini Bad Boy reunion!

    It was like we were back in the ’90s, and our inner teenager would have given anything to prolong that amazing, nostalgic feeling. Fortunately, Kelly was kind enough to reminisce with us about that phenomenal time in music.

    Fans know the powerhouse singer for playing a pivotal part in shaping the sound of that decade, having started out as a writer at Bad Boy and, then, lending her vocals to countless chart-toppers, including Mariah Carey’s “Fantasy” and The Notorious B.I.G’s “Mo’ Money Mo’ Problems.”

    Read on to find out what the beautiful, multitalented veteran had to say about the beginning of her career, her friendship with Faith, the current state of R&B, artists who get her stamp of approval, and what she’s working on now.

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    UrbanBridgez.com: Describe your friendship with the woman of the hour, Faith Evans.
    Kelly Price: If we go back to when I met her, that would be late ’80s. We kind of crisscrossed each other in church as young girls. But as a professional, I got an opportunity to meet her for the first time after she released her very first album and I was a writer over at Bad Boy. From that, we’ve had a mutual respect and love for each other that grew into a really, really tight bond. I love her for real. It’s not about lights or cameras or whatever. She is the girl that I can pick up the phone and call and say. “I need to vent.” And I can come to the house and do just that. And vice versa.

    UrbanBridgez.com: Tell us about the side of Faith that the public doesn’t get to see.
    Kelly Price: Faith is a very private person, but I think when you see Faith, it is, what it is. She’s very loving; she’s very caring; she’s very much so the even-tempered one. She’s always going to be that. But she has a lot of wisdom. She’ll sit and she’ll listen and she’ll let you get it all out. And she’ll say, “OK, but you know, this is what this is. You know that is what that is. And you need to do this and make sure that…” So she is motherly and nurturing. When you look at her, you’re like, “Whaaat?” because she is a hottie! But she’s all of those things. And an incredible cook.

    UrbanBridgez.com: What’s your favorite dish of hers?
    Kelly Price: Salmon! She makes an incredible salmon.

    UrbanBridgez.com: What do you love about Faith’s voice?
    Kelly Price: Everything! Outside of the generation of Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan and Patti Labelle and that generation of singers, when I first heard Faith’s music when she dropped that first album – “You Used to Love Me,” “Won’t You Come Over,” “Soon As I Get Home” – all of those songs resonated with me because they put me in the mind of the kind of singers that I grew up listening to…The Clark Sisters, Karen Clark, in particular. When you talk about Faith, she very much reminds me of her in terms of her intonation. But she brought a marriage of the power of gospel with the sexiness of R&B, if that makes any sense. And that’s what I loved about it. I love R&B music, but she was sonically familiar to me, so I loved her.

    UrbanBridgez.com: What is your favorite song from Faith?
    Kelly Price: There are too many! I’m probably the closest friend that she has that’s actually a real groupie.

    UrbanBridgez.com: You were a part of the glory days of R&B in the ’90s. What would you say is missing in that genre today?
    Kelly Price: I feel like live instrumentation is missing, and just the ability to get up and sing. I’m not talking about somebody who can’t sing. But every voice when heard in its natural state, has some flaws to it – for some of us, it’s raspiness. But our voices are instruments. So for guitarists, they’ll pick a certain guitar if they want a more raspy, airy sound or they’ll tune the strings a certain way. And then if they’re looking for something different, they’ll go for a different kind of guitar. Voices are the same way. I feel like that with all of the technology, we’re losing the nature of music in its most authentic state. But coming up in the ’90s era of R&B music and even in the early 2000s – the early millennial releases – you still had that. I would love to be able to see that live more, not that I don’t like what’s happening now, it’s an evolution of what was there before, but I don’t feel that it’s necessary to eliminate what was for what is.

    UrbanBridgez.com: What do you remember about that period – being around legends, like yourself, who were newbies at the time?
    Kelly Price: I can look at it better now. I was caught up in the middle of it and I was overwhelmed and I was excited. As much of a gospel person that I am, the R&B chick and the hip-hop girl, I just now in recent years really, really look back and understand that I played a real role in that era. When I was in it, it was kind of surreal. I was in the middle of it and I couldn’t really see how big things were. They were bigger than anything I had ever been a part of. But looking back now, I was a part of some of the biggest records to ever come out of hip-hop and that’s pretty amazing. And maybe it was best that I didn’t really realize how big it was at that time because my head might have turned into a water balloon. But I look back, and I’m so grateful to have worked in that era of music and worked with a lot of the people that I worked with. It’s just an amazing body of work to look back over now. Because whether or not the newbies acknowledge it, they listen to all that stuff and they took from it.

    UrbanBridgez.com: Which artists catch your ear today?
    Kelly Price: As far as singers are concerned, I really, really like Bridget Kelly. I really, really like Candice Glover. I really, really like Melanie Amaro. Fantasia is not as new, but I love Tasia. She’s a few years younger than I am, but I love her. I’m a voice girl. John Legend, he’s not super new, but I love him. He’s both voice and live music. As far as hip-hop is concerned, I like Kendrick Lamar. Jay is still doing his thing. Beyonce gets a mention because she literally will go from being hip hop to pop, but when she decides to, she’ll stand flat-footed and sing, too. And I love that. She’s all of those things bundled into one package. And then she gives you Tina Turner.

    UrbanBridgez.com: Then there are singers like Brandy and Monica who came out of the ’90s and are still making records. What do you think of them?
    Kelly Price: Oh my God! How can I forget? Brandy and Monica, whom I’ve both worked with. And I must say, Brandy is a voice that, to me, gets enough recognition. I think people recognize her songs in a higher capacity than they recognize her. I would put her in the Top 5 Vocalists on my list. We don’t often get the chance to hear the magnitude of her vocal ability because her songs a lot of the times are sing-songy – the ones that people have caught on to and the ones that have gone to radio – but if she was just to stand flat-footed and sing, she’d take a whole lot of people out.

    UrbanBridgez.com: What is your favorite Brandy song?
    Kelly Price: Oh, God! *sings* It used to be that you couldn’t live without me, but now you think… “Love Wouldn’t Count Me Out.” And it wasn’t a single, but she sang the hell out of it.

    UrbanBridgez.com: What are you working on next?
    Kelly Price: Volume 2. Sing, Pray, Love, Vol. 1: Sing is out. It’s available. It’s in stores. It’s online. “It’s My Time,” the first single, is still riding high on the Urban/AC Billboard Charts sitting at No. 4, we’ve been there for a while. I’m so excited! But Volume 2, which is Pray, and Volume 3, which is Love – kind of working on those simultaneously. I’m reading for a lot of stuff in Hollywood right now, which is the reason why I moved out here. I’m really, really hoping to land something that ends up on television on a regular basis. That would be an amazing thing! Music, I’ll always do. I feel like I’ve been blessed to be able to do it and get it done well and even quickly, so making a record is very, very easy. I’m writing scripts and I’m shopping those. I’ve taken a lot of meetings to get my scripts sold. I’m just excited to still be here and still making music that’s being played and aired and all that good stuff.

    - Danielle Datu, UrbanBridgez.com Writer/Reporter

    ["Sing Pray Love, Vol. 1: Sing" Available on iTunes Now]

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    UB Reviews: Zie’l Come Strong On Sophomore Release “Pronounced ZY-EL”

    August 18th, 2014
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    Zie’l
    “Pronounced ZY-EL”
    Dream Gospel/Capital Christian

    Zie’l first hit the scene with their 2006 debut release “Genesis” which
    included songs like “Surely, He’s Able”, & “Send Me”, instantly making
    gospel lovers fans with their unique sound and harmonies similar to The
    Clark Sisters.

    Now fast forwarding to 2014, the group is back with their sophomore studio
    album “Pronounced ZY-EL” slated to hit shelves Sept. 2nd via Dream
    Gospel/Capital Christian Distribution. I was given an exclusive listen to
    the album and was pretty excited about it.

    Last month, I witnessed the ladies in person for the 1st time live and was
    blown away. Already a fan (especially of their song “Open Your Mouth, Give
    Him A Shout”) I was happy to see that they were back and was finally
    releasing a new project.

    This new release starts off with the lead single “State Of Emergency”
    (written by group member Keyondra Lockett and produced by Drathoven) and
    sets you up for a musical experience where the ladies sought to create a
    new sound, that is universal to all music lovers, yet true to what we are
    used to by Zie’l.

    Still giving the fans what they have grown to love, there are tracks likes
    “Purify Me” and “Yes He Will” where the runs, riffs, and squalls made me
    make several ugly faces!

    We also get to hear urban tracks like “Up, Down” (think Brandy’s “Let Me
    Go”), ballads like the airy, piano laced love letter to God, “The Truth”
    (both penned by B. Slade) and contemporary sounds like “Relentless” and “Take Me As I Am”. “Pronounced ZY-EL”
    seriously has something for everyone.

    This album most definitely proves that sophomore jinx is nothing for the
    ladies to be worried about and is a must have for music lovers no matter
    what your genre preference is. The wait was definitely worth it.

    - BryWoo (UrbanBridgez.com)

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    New Music: Malachi Rivers Releases New Single “Make It Sexy”

    August 15th, 2014
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    Malachi Rivers is back with a new single just in time as Summer comes to a close. His new soulful single “Make It Sexy” featuring Coriology is produced by Brandon D’LUX. “Make It Sexy” serves as the lead single off Malachi‘s new EPThe Other i” due later this year. “This song pays homage to the feel good Summer Hip Hop vibe of the West Coast and Down South. Summer is still in effect, so I want the listeners to roll those windows down, cruise the strip, go to the beach, have cookouts and whatever you do MAKE IT SEXY!” says Malachi. “Make It Sexy” is Malachi‘s latest follow up to the summer banging tune “Wind Parade,” which was most recently featured in the hit web series Love Handles (over 200K + views).

    The new single definitely gives listeners a sense of the new direction that Malachi is going in for his new project. “The Other i” will display a different side of Malachi that hasn’t been exposed before. “I can’t wait for everyone to hear the new style and feeling that I’m going with for my new EP” says Malachi.

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