JUST KICKIN’ IT – MORE BLACK BRIT STANDOUTS

We all know bad kids who bully a neighborhood with their un-ambitious thuggery and hanging out, doing nothing with their lives.  Right?  And inevitably, you say to yourself, “If those bad kids would go somewhere beyond the neighborhood borders, see that there is more to life than the few streets they constantly loiter, they may expand their desire to achieve something in life and stop terrorizing the neighborhood.”  We say this because staying in one place, tends to limit your ambition, your opportunities to be enriched to the finer things in life so one might develop the desire to do better than what he’s doing at the present time.  The same is true for those of us who consider ourselves culturally savvy and refined.  If we only listen to music within our U.S. borders, we’re missing out on a whole world of music that’s out there in the stratosphere for the taking.  Exposing ourselves to music from Africa, New Zealand, the Mideast, the Caribbean, Australia and beyond educates our pallet and helps us better appreciate GOOD MUSIC, no matter the country it originates from, no matter the genre.  Good is Good!  One of my favorite songs is an old song by a deceased South African singer and guitarist named Umanji.  The song is called, “Makoko.”  I have no idea what the lyrics are saying because it is in his South African tongue, I presume but Umanji’s voice, guitaring and the entire music and vocal track are slammin’!  That being said, we’re gonna take you on a journey across the Atlantic to Great Britain and expose you to MORE BLACK BRIT STANDOUTS.  Sure, we now know about Corinne Bailey Rae and Incognito but there are many more where they came from.  Don’t be scared.  I promise, you will absolutely love these artists and the live performances we’ve selected for your listening and viewing pleasure.  I say… Shall we?  Pip, pip and all that.

 

Dionne Bromfield’s 2011 release is my current favorite song; I listen to it over and over.  Why not, even though it’s 2 years old it’s brand new to me.  This British Neo Soul singer is 17 years old (born in 1996) but her sound is way beyond her years on the planet.  This young’un was the first to be signed to Amy Winehouse’s record label, Lioness Records in 2009 at the tender age of 13.  In a live performance of the title track from her second album, this is Dionne Bromfield singing, “Good For The Soul.”

posted by DionneBromfield

 

Lianne La Havas performed on American TV shows like Jimmy Kimmel and I hear this song we’ve selected on commercial radio and Sirius XM radio so some of you should be familiar with her… I hope so.  Her debut recording was an Extended Play (EP) released in 2011 so she’s relatively new to the music scene… at least at the international level.  Clearly, she’s not new to performing.  She’s thought of as a British Folk & Soul singerLianne sings beautifully, plays guitar and writes songs.  She was born in London, England to a Greek dad and Jamaican mom.  Lianne is only 23 years old (born August 23, 1989); you can probably still smell the baby formula on her breath and yet… she is B-A-D, BAD!  Check her out performing, “Lost And Found.”

posted by JimmyKimmelLiveMusic

 

Because he did the hit song, “Caribbean Queen,” I assumed Billy Ocean was from the Islands, mahn.  Turns out, I wasn’t all wrong.  Billy, whose real name is Leslie Sebastian Charles, was born in the Caribbean country, Trinidad & Tobago.  His family moved to the U.K. when he was 8 years old and he was raised in England.  Though his parents were Grenadian (from the island country of Grenada), we’re gonna accept Billy Ocean as British.  I wanted to share this clip to show how the Pop Superstar, who flat-out owned the music charts in the 80’s and dropped off the U.S. radar in the 90’s, is back and his voice is as beautiful and as strong as ever.  This is the gray-haired, dread-locked Billy Ocean in a recent live Australian TV performance of his classic hit from 1985, “Suddenly.”

posted by Kehua247

 

Andrew Roachford is not well known in the U.S.  In fact, he’s had only one song to even chart in the States; the 1989 re-release of his #4 British hit, “Cuddly Toy,” a raucous, rockin’ Pop song.  It actually reached # 25 on the U.S. charts but I don’t remember it.  If I had heard it back then I would’ve really dug it… as I do now.  This dude is good.  Our British friends in the U.K. know that all too well.  He performs mostly as Roachford, the band and the person.  Check out “Cuddly Toy” on your own and see if it jars your memory.  I’m gonna share with you my brand new JAM by Roachford even though it was released in 1994.  I know you’re gonna love this one too.  This is Roachford in live performance doing, “Only To Be With You.”

posted by ThreeImages

 

We celebrate the awesome talents of this incredible lady in this month’s NO SKIPS NO SCRATCHES article, CURRENTLY ON STAGE with BEVERLEY KNIGHT.  I didn’t want to leave her off this roster so I saved one of her very best songs for this JUST KICKIN’ IT article.  She’s known by most as Britain’s # 1 soul singer.  This is Beverley Knight singing, “Come As You Are.”  Brace yourself and enjoy!

posted by vocalskills

 

I really like this dude here.  This CAT is one BA-A-AD Soul/Pop singerLemar (Obika) was born of Nigerian parents in North London and became famous for appearing on a British American Idol-like singing competition TV show.  He’s gone on to be the most successful recording artist who came out of a British reality show.  This song that he performs live comes out of his 2004 double platinum album, Time To Grow.  It has rapidly become one of my favorites.  The song is so cleverly written and his vocal and interpretive skills are really showcased here.  This is the talented LEMAR singing, “If There’s Any Justice.”

posted by In:Demand

 

Pop Singer, Leona Lewis, was discovered on the 3rd season of Simon Cowell’s other hit music competition TV show, The X Factor in 2006Leona has gone from that show to sell 20 million records worldwide, has had 9 top ten hits in the UK, has been nominated for 7 Brit Awards and 3 Grammys.  This single from her 2007 debut album reached # 1 on the charts in over 30 countries.  This is London’s own, Leona Lewis, singing “Bleeding Love” at the 2008 Brit Awards.

posted by Anthony Leal

 

Craig David hails from Southampton, England and has had some success here in the states.  His 2000 album, Born To Do It, unleashed “7 Days” and “Fill Me In” to our American young’uns and BET was on board.  Though that kind of success has alluded him here lately, he continues to make music and push for causes he believes.  A British TV comedy spoof caricatured Craig and may have done damage to his image in the UK.  I, for one, really don’t care for so-called comedy that’s totally at someone else’s expense.  This young man can sing and is worth following.  Check out the Music Video for the song that features Sting, this is Craig David’s, “Rise & Fall.”

posted by lkjacobcui

 

Ashley Walters has more Acting Credits than Singing Credits but this British Rapper is clearly a gifted performer, no matter the genre.  He’s released 4 studio albums, the first three under the name, Asher D.  Now Rapping under his actor name (also his real name), Ashley is worth following.  I’m not a big fan of Rap but I dig this songAshley’s British accented Rap is really good with slickly presented rhymes.  He gets help from the very effective vocal hook sung by another outstanding BLACK BRIT performer, Alesha Dixon.  Even if you don’t care for Rap Music, you’ll dig Ashley Walters and Alesha Dixon’s, “Your Love.”

posted by Ashley Walters

 

Alesha Dixon is that whole package the music industry loves… Good Looks, Unlimited Singing Ability and Youth.  She’s an exciting discovery for me.  It does my heart good to see a young artist command a stage the way she can.  Alesha is a Singer, Songwriter, Rapper, Dancer, Model and TV Presenter in England.  She’s gained fame for being a Judge on the TV shows, Strictly Come Dancing and Britain’s Got Talent.  But make no mistake, this young lady can sing and perform with the best of ‘em.  This is BLACK BRIT STANDOUT, Alesha Dixon, rockin’ out with, “Let’s Get Excited.”

posted by unker77

 

I couldn’t resist sharing this extremely well-crafted Music Video and well sung, tearfully beautiful song by Lianne La Havas.  Consider this a Bonus Track… and what a BONUS it is ’cause Lianne throws all the way down to the ground on this one.  Check her out singing, “Gone.”

posted by Lianne La Havas

 

I have only touched the surface of gifted, talented, exciting singers and musicians that we do not know back here in the U.S.  Our urban radio stations in Detroit don’t even play U.S. artists beyond the Top 30 to 40 that they play over and over and over.  Well, mind expansion is a good thing… especially when it comes to expanding your mind to receive stimulation from brand new and exciting music.  Even if it was released in 2002, if you never heard it before and love it, it’s brand new music to you.  So for any of the songs in this article that you did not know before… Merry Christmas!  There are more lesser-known (in the U.S.) BLACK BRIT performers like Loick Essien, JLS, Noisettes featuring Shangai Shoniwa, Jamelia and Rappers Tinie Tempah, Kano and Tinchy Stryder.  By the way, hard-core Rappers in any other accent than African-American Ebonics is just funny to me.  Of course we also salute those who have achieved American fame like Estelle, Marsha Ambrosius, Loose Ends, Soul II Soul, Joan Armatrading and those featured in the original NO SKIPS NO SCRATCHES article about our talented Black British cousins, JUST KICKIN’ IT-BRITISH STANDOUTS (March, 2011), Corinne Bailey Rae, Seal, Des’Ree, Mica Paris and IncognitoSeek these artists out and treat yourself to a whole catalogue of brand new musicnew to us, that is.  Thanks for JUST KICKIN’ IT with me.  I’ve had a ball discovering this exciting music… hope you did too.  Peace!

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