Lost but not least! Mica Paris – Young Soul Rebels (Remix) (Big Life)
“We are the Young Soul Rebels, fighting for the right to be free. We are the Young Soul Rebels, fighting for the right to be me…” As many words which pretty much depict what the UK groove scene was about some 25 to 30 years ago. A scene which frenetically expressed its own identity. Miles away from its US alter ego, giving birth to Acid Jazz, Brit-Soul, Jungle and other Broken Beat. With artists such as Incognito, Soul II Soul, Omar and Mica Paris among many others…
We catch her back in 1991 for a one-off on Big Life, betwwen her second and third album for 4th & Broadway/Island. A one-off serving as the main theme to the soundtrack of Isaac Julien‘s ‘Young Soul Rebels’. A film which portrayed the interaction between cultural movements in the UK during the late 70’s along with political, cultural and social tensions between them.
A one-off which Paul Waller remixed in absolute fine style. With Mica Paris reaching once again one of her peaks. Alas, this killer groove didn’t manage to gain the recognition it definitely deserved though. And this, despite the fact that the film won the “Semaine de la Critique” prize for best film at the 1992 Cannes Film Festival…
Mica Paris started singing at church at the early age of 7. She made quite a sensation, showing an incredible vocal maturity 12 years later when dropping her debut-album – the aptly titled ‘So Good’ – back in 1988. An album that spanned the classics ‘My One Temptation’ and ‘Like Dreamers Do’ featuring Courtney Pine. But also the vibrant ‘Breathe Life Into Me’. Not to mention her cover version of the late Donny Hathaway and Roberta Flack classic ‘Where Is The Love’, along with Will Downing.
She released her second album – ‘Contribution’ – 2 years after. Delivering gems such as ‘South Of The River’ as remixed by Blacksmith. And the Prince-penned ‘If I Luv U 2 Nite’.
Strangely enough, ‘I Should’ve Known Better’ which she-penned and produced with Omar didn’t appear on the album. Only released as a limited 12″ Promo with remixes courtesy of K-Gee and eventually as the flipside of ‘South Of The River’.
Her third and final delivery for 4th & B’Way, ‘Whisper And Prayer’, seeing her working with Narada Michael Walden and the late Rod Temperton productionwise.
Mica most likely loved exploring different paths and atmospheres. This therefore explaining the impressive amount of luminaries she collaborated with. From Guru to Courtney Pine, Ray Hayden and Maxwell among others. She eventually performed on the main theme of Isaac Julien‘s ‘Young Soul Rebels’ OST back in 1991.
She resurfaced with a fourth album – ‘Black Angel’ on Cooltempo after a 6 years hiatus. It contained a cover version of U2‘s ‘One’, and a duet with James Ingram. Then a fifth one – ‘Soul Classics’ – on Sanctuary Records in 2005… A collection of the most celebrated soul tracks chosen by listeners of her BBC Radio 2 programme ‘Soul Solutions’.
She also delivered ‘If You Could Love Me’ the same year on Wounded Bird Records. It featured the Brecker Brothers and also Will Downing in the backing vocals.
Her last studio album, ‘Born Again’, seeing the light back in June 2009 on Rhythm Riders…
An incredibly gifted performer, Mica Paris managed to express her talents in many different domains. As a radio presenter, with the memorable ‘Soul Classics’ on BBC2 among others. As an actress with a bunch of TV appearences in addition to theater. She is also the author of a book – ‘Beautiful Within: Finding Happiness and Confidence in Your Own Skin’ – published back in 2008 by Simon & Schuster UK. Last but not least, she is also quite active on the charity front.