Elegant. Soulful. Radiant. Few words come close to describing the rich, silky sound of South Africa’s preeminent female vocalist of the 21st century. Since embarking on her incomparable career nearly a decade ago, Lira has blazed an astonishing trail of accomplishments that few artists in the history of the entire continent can lay claim to. Raised in the Daveyton township of Johannesburg's East Rand section, Lira's early life was shaped by the harsh realities of South Africa's apartheid system. Despite that, her drive to create was strong enough to transcend her social circumstances. Lira gracefully follows in the footsteps of giants such as the late Miriam Makeba and the legendary Letta Mbulu, she has brazenly carved her own musical niche with her self-described Afro-soul sound. Her flawless dossier boasts a multitude of accolades and multi-platinum albums, all of which have left an indelible impression on Africa-at-large.
Born in Brooklyn, New York Tinu (shortened from Tinuola) spent most of her formative years in Nigeria, West Africa where her parents raised their children according to strong family and cultural traditions. Tinu became deeply committed to her heritage and imbued with its vivid colors, uplifting energy, sounds and powerful rhythms that continue to influence every facet of her life and art. After obtaining a degree in Finance and Marketing at NYU she pursued an international modeling career during which time she strutted the runway for some of the top fashion houses in Europe while simultaneously landing high profile advertising campaigns. A global traveler and jet setter Tinu is multilingual, fluent in two African languages and also dabbles in Arabic, Hebrew, French, Italian and Hindi. Her love of culture, aesthetics and fashion created a passion for design, which accompanied by a strong entrepreneurial spirit, led to the launch of her highly successful accessory collection. Tinu’s exquisite beauty and sense of style have been noted by Essence and Vogue Magazine while Bill Cunningham regularly features her in the social pages of the New York Times. Whether sitting in the front row of Christian Dior and Chanel shows in Paris decked out in ornate stilettos or ethnic print headwraps Tinu, much like Alek Wek is well known for her multi-cultural fashion flare.
Now more than ever, the recipe for superstardom requires much more than just talent. To get a taste of the flashing lights, fandemonioum, and accolades of today's career artist, one must also possess equal parts moxie, artistic range, relentless hustle, and the ever elusive X factor. Korean Singer-songwriter Dean undoubtedly embodies all the components of this equation. It's apparent as he stands on the precipice to set the industry abuzz. Covering a myriad of styles ranging from rock, pop, EDM, hip hop, garage and soul, Dean's extraordinary lyricism effortlessly captures the wide spectrum of human sentiment unlike any of his contemporaries.
It takes a special artist to fuse elements of varying genres and eras into a winning formula. Taking a bit of the old and a bit of the new to create a fresh sound requires great skill and care. This is the crux of Douyéism. Nigerian-born, Los Angeles-based singer Douyé (pronounced Doe-Yay) pays homage to the mellow blend of silk and soul made iconic by artists such as Sade, Dianne Reeves, Chanté Moore, Regina Belle, and Rachelle Ferrell. Hailing from the Nigerian capital of Lagos, Douyé was reared in a household where the sounds of legends like Billie Holliday, Sarah Vaughn, Ray Charles, Ella Fitzgerald, Bob Marley, and Dinah Washington were omnipresent. And with that, Douyé had found her calling.
Most artists dream of a career that spans over a decade boasting international accolades, chart-topping hits, and underground classics, Barbadian-born/ Brooklyn-raised Rayvon has garnered this success and more while affectionately being dubbed the “ambassador of hip-hop reggae.” Having shared the stage with monolithic icons The Rolling Stones and Michael Jackson his pop-infused Caribbean flavor has paved the way for the next generation of Barbadian recording artists such as Rihanna, Shontelle, and Jaicko. Rayvon is probably best known for his work with multi-platinum selling vocalist Shaggy. The two began collaborating on a string of tunes in the 90’s which culminated in the Sting Int’l produced regional hit “Big Up." Rayvon was also featured covering The Melodians’ classic “Rivers of Babylon” on the B-side of Shaggy’s 1993 hit “Oh Carolina” The following year Rayvon’s solo star began to brighten with the release of his hip-hop reggae classic “No Guns, No Murder” (produced by Funkmaster Flex) on the venerable VP Records. The track hit a trifecta on Billboard, ranking in simultaneously on the Hot 100, Rap Singles, and R&B/ Hip-Hop Songs charts. VP issued the follow up “Pretty (Before I go To Bed),” which quickly impacted the Billboard’s Rap Singles chart. Rayvons’ career trajectory accelerated in 1995 when he recorded the island-tinged duet “In The Summertime” from Shaggy’s platinum, Grammy award-winning album Boombastic. The song was a cover of Mungo Jerry’s 1970 hit and following in its original success Shaggy’s version with the help of Rayvon reached No. 3 on Billboard’s Hot 100 and No. 5 in the UK while also featured in various major motion pictures and television series.
Her music is a bittersweet and meaningfuljourney; an honest yet pleasurable exploration to the strength of the soul as well as the beauty of Asian culture. Renee Sebastian is a refreshingly brazen vixen, with an immaculate and compelling voice unlike any other on the musical landscape. Sebastian is determined to revitalize the music industry with distinctive elements of fluidity including Pop, R&B and Soul harmonies in addition to dazzling the globe with mesmerizing song-writing skills that exude sheer ingenuity. Blending diverse stylistic influences, the charismatic Cali girl is adorning Soul music with new textures and flavors that reflect an artist who is comfortable with who she is and how far she has come.