Zanovia - a fresh breath of air for R'n'B since late '90s.
I think everyone who loves such music as soul, r'n'b and funk will have to agree with me that the best music pieces were released during the '90s up to 2001. Therefore, an artist like Zanovia, whom I recently discovered, is a breath of fresh air when it comes to these genres.
Zanovia (real name Shakira Janai) is originally from Columbus, Ohio and now living in Phoenix, Arizona. She loves jazz, soul, funk and country, but her heart is set at r'n'b with which, as she claims, she is able to tell different stories about herself, her relationships, ups and downs.
When Zanovia received Anita Baker's album "Songstress" from her mother when she was 15, she understood singing professionally is her biggest dream. The young singer quickly developed her interest in music and formed a band with two of her best friends, with whom she performed her first gig ever, covering a song by EnVogue. Working o her new found passion she joined the school choir, and whilst at college she proved everyone she is truly carrying an exceptional gift, as at one of the Christmas choir performances her microphone went out, but her voice was strong enough to carry through the mall.
Today, Zanovia is an independent artist, as she promotes and distributes her music through digital channels herself with a helping hand of her friends and family. She is an author of her lyrics and music, and with dedicated team of professionals she put together her debut E.P.
Her dream is to perform live more in her local area, and also to go on a tour, where she would be able to entertain and interact with the audience. Sky is the limit for this young and talented musician, as she intends to gain a European fan base and finally achieve world domination. Asked about her biggest challenges yet, she admitted it is "the right kind of exposure", pointing out the pitfalls of being a young, inexperienced musician, who is only starting out in a very competitive industry. She rightly observed that, unfortunately, too many labels and other music companies take advantage of new performers, and asked for advice for up-and-coming artists she said: "I would tell any artist that this is not a business for the faint at heart, and know that if you don't commit to your dream, it won't be a reality".
Zanovia is not scared to make her dreams come true though, and she already proved that by releasing her E.P. "This is For You" on 20th April this year. Her songs have been aired on several radio stations all over the world, including the UK, Germany, Holland and Spain.
It seems she stands against all odds, unnerved by the commercial, plasticky, glossy and sickly sweet music that has been produced past ten years. She has got her own, very distinctive style, and a powerful, sultry voice. Beautiful harmonies, modern, yet soulful instrumental arrangements, memorable, but meaningful lyrics - sounds like a great recipe for success!
Listening to her single "All Night", you can hear Zanovia has that special "something" many contemporary artists lack - the ability to connect with her audience through her voice (change of tone, volume, tempo) and music - she makes it very personal. That is clearly visible in another song "When You Love Somebody", which will literally send shivers down your spine, as this young singer embraces gospel inspirations and delivers a beautiful story about love, with an incredibly powerful, yet controlled voice. If that song doesn't move your heart, I don't know what else will, as Zanovia's performance in this number is outstanding, and truly uncovers her full potential.
If you like such artist like Jill Scott or Erykah Badu, you will definitely love "In the Morning" and "Where Did the Love Go", as these songs are stylistically quite similar to the ones of Scott and Badu, yet they bear marks of Zanovia's character and personal story. Whereas your favourite is Faith Evans, Ledisi or Floetry, I recommend listening to "Why Do I", as it is a perfect example of a modern r'n'b song, with strong rhythm section, bass line, lead guitar's pattern, beautiful harmonies and Zanovia's strong vocals. "This Is For You", in my opinion, right next to "Where Did the Love Go", is one of the most personal songs of the whole albums, and although talking about problems in a relationship, the music arrangement makes it very positive, it is almost dichotomic with the lyrics. That makes the number even more interesting, as it draws you into the story being told by this young artist.
We really do lack such songs in today's r'n'b music, which evolved into a rather ugly sister of its previous self, crammed with overly simplified lyrics and music patterns, easy harmonies and vocals with use of auto-tune. That is why I highly recommend Zanovia's debut E.P. "This Is For You", as it is an example real soul and r'n'b music is not dead, it just needs a little push to get through past the mainstream music served to fans by multimillion companies. Make sure you get her album and spread the word, so more listeners could find out about Zanovia, and help her to achieve biggest dreams.
Zanovia's official site: www.zanoviaonline.com
Check her out at: www.myspace.com/zanoviaonline, www.reverbnation.com/zanovia
Join her on Facebook: www.facebook.com/Zanoviaonline
Get her album from Amazon or CD Baby
Also, listen to her single "All Night" whole June at Soulchoonz radio: www.soulchoonz.blogspot.com