There are very few singers on the contemporary scene who have a unique, instantly identifiable vocal sound; there are even fewer who have the stylistic range to encompass both Jazz and R&B in their performances. Grammy-nominated Soul/Jazz diva Maysa, who celebrates her 20th year as a recording artist this year, marks that achievement with her new album Back 2 Back, a tour-de-force that validates her status as the greatest Soul-Jazz singer of her generation-the latest in a distinguished line of singers that stretches back through Anita Baker, Chaka Khan, Will Downing, Angela Bofill, Marlena Shaw and more recently, Ledisi and Chrisette Michele.
Back 2 Back, which is set for a May 26th release, may be her widest-ranging album yet, incorporating contemporary R&B, jazzy Soul balladry, straight-up dance music, inspirational pop and more. With production from the likes of J.R. Hutson (Jill Scott, Earth, Wind & Fire), Lorenzo Johnson (Ledisi), Stokley Williams (Mint Condition, Kelly Price, Wale’), and Chris “Big Dog” Davis (Kim Burrell, George Clinton), the album coheres around Maysa’s peerless vocalizing highlighted by her amazingly rich, evocative vocal tone. That’s the sound that led her mentor Stevie Wonder to proclaim “Maysa is WONDERful!” In the wake of her first Grammy nomination and Soul Train Music Award, it seems that the world-at-large is finally recognizing just how special an artist Maysa is.
Back 2 Back represents the fact that I’m ready to get back to having a personal life with a very special man in my life. I have worked hard on my career so I could take care of us (my son and I). My son is almost 16 and I think he is old enough to have a mom who is going to be dating and possibly married. The music is exactly who I am. Being a Shanachie artist, I was always given the freedom to express who I am musically but this time I feel like spiritually we all went to a pure place to get this music. The music represents who I am as a woman and a human being who lives to love people. As a professional singer I should be able to sing anything and my records are just me trying to love everyone. And that’s why I am proud to be able to go from Jazz to R&B to Pop, etc.” Continue reading