Maiysha’s This Much Is True, the first release out this summer on the UFO/Ryko-distributed Eusonia label, marks the arrival of a striking new figure in the presently up-for-grabs realm of contemporary soul music. The debut album from the Brooklyn-based writer/artist is elegant and intelligent, hook-laden and envelope-pushing; no wonder Maiysha and producer, co-writer, Eusonia founder Scott Jacoby prefer to describe their joint creation as progressive soul. The songs on This Much Is True are rooted in the classic soul acts that first gave Maiysha her love of music- musicians like Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind & Fire, Chaka Kahn, and others. But that sound is just the starting point for a disc that seamlessly blends hip-hop, pop, R&B, rock, jazz, cabaret, funk, drum and bass, and even the odd opera sample into a mesmerizing whole. Anchored by Maiysha’s seductive voice, perceptive lyrics, rarefied technical skill and acute emotional authenticity, every track on the album surprises with unexpected cross-pollinations of genres: an ethereal operatic descant gives way to yearning vocals and a drum’n’bass rhythm on the infectious “Over My Head”; metal guitars add a jolt of electricity to a languid melody on “Wanna Be”; Santana-like organs and guitar bring smoky depth to a feisty stop-and-start groove on “Orbit.” Maiysha even performs a revelatory roadhouse-blues live version of Peter Gabriel’s classic tune “Sledgehammer”. The 12 original compositions on This Much Is True come from Maiysha’s own life experiences: growing up in Minneapolis and Chicago as a “Cosby kid” (with a family she describes as “the Huxtables”); her studies in musical theater at Sarah Lawrence college; teaching drama at an NYC grammar school; modeling to pay off college debt; overcoming troubled relationships, and realizing her dream of launching a singing career.
"Wanna Be" Music Video
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