Track: Aiza & C The Reason – I Love Myself

Photo credit: Aiza - Jerawl Jordan - @jerawl / C The Reason - Nik Brovkin - @nik__brovkin

Singer, songwriter, actor and producer Aiza has announced the release of her new album, ‘ Winds of Change,’ in collaboration with multi-instrumentalist and producer C The Reason. The soulful collaboration effortlessly transports listeners back to the golden age of the 1960’s, evoking the timeless essence of the era. With lush strings, horn arrangements and stirring vocals, this new album captures the spirit of soul music at its most authentic and enchanting.

Aiza comments:

“I’ve been collaborating with C The Reason for many years now but working together on a project with such strong roots in blues and jazz is definitely a first for us. The songwriting process was smooth and a lot of fun! We wanted to make sure that each song tells a unique story and I really enjoyed putting myself in these different characters’ shoes, from a broken-hearted and yearning lover in “My Boo” to a woman unapologetically owning who she is in “I Love Myself.” While the lyrics were inspired by music from the 1960s civil rights movement, they are still extremely timely and personal. The songs started out as simple stripped-down demos and then took on a whole new life once C worked his magic on them. He is such a skilled composer and I marvel at his ability to come up with rich orchestral arrangements. He went and hired an all-star band of musicians to play the tunes and I had a blast rehearsing with them before our recording sessions. Most people know me as a pop artist but I’m also a huge fan of jazz and singing these songs pushed my voice to another level. I’ve never heard myself sound so raw and vulnerable before and I’m very excited for my listeners to experience this side of me.”

C The Reason comments:

“In recent years I’ve been producing music primarily in the realm of afropop and contemporary R&B. Most people I work with probably have no idea that I actually have a masters degree in jazz performance. I’m deeply passionate about writing for big band horns and strings, so this project really was a dream come true. Some of my all-time favorite singers are Dinah Washington and Nina Simone, and I’m obsessed with the large ensemble arrangements of Quincy Jones, so those three artists were my North Stars for this project. Aiza and I got to work crafting melodies and lyrical themes that would feel undoubtedly timeless, but also could evoke the 1960s with all its social unrest.

A few years back I played in a Nina Simone tribute project with the virtuosic, Grammy-nominated singer Malika Tirolien, which really helped me to develop an even deeper reverence for Nina Simone. Her lyrics reign supreme, and everything else plays a supporting role to the message. With the “Winds of Change” EP, I tried my best to honour that spirit of “lyrics above everything.” Each song on the project has a really powerful message, delivered impeccably by Aiza, and I was very careful to not “over-arrange,” just create a comfortable bed that punctuates the lyrics.

Each musician who played on this project was an MVP. The final elements to be recorded were actually the string parts, which were performed by some real musical heavyweights in Toronto: Kevin Fox covered the cello section (his arrangement and performance credits include Justin Bieber, Celine Dion, Sarah McLachlan), while Drew Jurecka covered all the violin parts. Drew is well known for arranging and performing the iconic strings on Dua Lipa’s album “Future Nostalgia.” When we finally listened back to the whole project with all the elements in place, Aiza and I just sat back with our jaws on the floor saying “wow, we really did this.” Working with the team at BMG Production Music was truly great. I think everyone could sense that a really special project was coming to life, and played their part to make the whole experience a smooth ride from start to finish.”

Sweeping strings and colourful horns create a dramatic score underneath Aiza’s Godly voice, which is smooth as honey but hugely powerful, especially with the lyrics. Delivered with grace and a gorgeous sound throughout the track, this is one collaboration that was made in the stars.

Check it out, here

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