Lost but not least! Mica Paris – Breathe Life Into Me (4th & Broadway)
Bringing us back in the day, and what a sensation this happened to be for me at the time. I was living in the UK back then. And eventually became a die-hard fan of Jeff Young‘s ‘Big Beat’ show on Radio 1. This is just how I got to discover Mica Paris. I literally got thrilled by her voice and also her so particular approach, in addition to the themes she was exploring. She was only 19, and already had those things which make of a singer to be belonging to the category of the divas…
On a mellow tip, ‘Breathe Life’, from her ‘So Good’ album, is the perfect illustration of a one of a kind artist. Engineered by Lee Hamblin. With mixing work courtesy of L’Equipe (not to be missed with the famous French sports daily newspaper of the likes). ‘Breathe Life Into Me’ remains as a monument in the history of Brit-Soul (Jazz)…
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.