Thursday, July 27, 2017

Portia Monique – Portia Monique (Album Preview) (Reel People Music)

Portia Monique‘Do Better’ seems like Portia Monique‘s motto along with time. From her early years when she was performing in front of a mirror to the awaited release of her self-titled debut-album by the end of next month, with production work by the likes of UK-based team Reel People, to be considered as the purveyors of some of the finest grooves over these last years in UK…
Progression happened like a natural process for the young lady whose voice sounds like some unpolished diamond, reminding the impression left by those of Julie Dexter or Lizz Fields. Although, and like for many, church would be like a required reading chapter for Portia when she was a kid, she didn’t feel the need for musical studies, as she confesses, letting her natural skills expressing themselves from an experience to another, just the way she would do in regards to capture every idea that would grace her mind along with time. From then, no wonder why nor how she would craft and build her music network soon after arriving in Houston, TX (by the age of 16) with local producers and rappers. Then eventually catching the attention of people such Seattle, WA based-producer Illoquint (prior to relocate there) but also R&B mogul Rodney Jerkins or Kyle West to name but a few. A growing background that would be for much on both her versatility and ability to express herself on a whole bunch of different environments musicwise, such as demonstrated on her upcoming album…
A definitive Soul stylist, Portia came to meet Reel People mastermind Oli Lazarus back in 2011, with the rest, as people generally say, being history, from the fusion of her singing skills to the high musicianship standard developed by the later and his partners in crime…’Tell Me Now’, ‘Bring Me Joy’, ‘Colours Of Love’ and the emblematic ‘Do Better’ adding much to her growing fame as the one of labelmates The Layabouts and sounding like as many teasers for more to come, with the good news being that time is now for this to come. From her recent collaboration – ‘Free (Is All I Wanna Be)’ – with Ralf GUM as the opener to his soon to be worldwide released ‘In My City’ album, to her awaited debut album awaited for release in a couple of weeks…
“It’s a fusion of goodness”, she enthuses. “The record draws on many of my life experiences, and that’s what makes music real”, admitting she knew nothing about House Music before starting to work with Lazarus and The Layabouts. “It’s a different, exciting sound but ultimately music is music, and my sound is my sound – it cuts across everything I do. That comes across on the album despite its mix of different sounds.” An album that sees her evolving in a Modern Groove environment, ranging from Soul/Jazz (‘Cloud IX’) to Jazz/Funk (‘Ecstasy’ and the outstanding spoken word-led ‘Who?’) but also R&B in the finest way (‘Smile’) while given that British typical live feel makin’ it above the rest in the genre. ‘Grace’, currently in our Top#10, being another illustration as to what the (necessary) blend can bring while fusing elegant Gospel piano progressions with Latin Jazz drum shuffles!

Portia Monique – Album – Reel People Music out on Oct. 27, 2014

Catch Portia Monique live in South Africa
– Spring Fiesta, Boksburg, Ekurhuleni (Oct. 04, 2014) – performing with Ralf GUM & The Layabouts [Ticket Info…]
– Shaguma, Midrand (Oct. 09, 2014) – performing with Ralf GUM [Ticket Info…]
– The Rhythm Fest, Macufe, Bloemfontein (Oct. 10, 2014) – performing with Ralf GUM [Ticket Info…]
– House 22, Pretoria (Oct. 11, 2014) – performing with Ralf GUM [Ticket Info…]
– Ekayeni, Bloemfontein (Oct. 12, 2014) – performing with Ralf GUM [Ticket Info TBA]

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