May 22 – India Arie
May 22 – India Arie
Posted On: May 22, 2009
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India.Arie: Soulbird Tour 2009. With special guests: Laura Izibor & Anthony David.

India.Arie kicks off her 2009 Soulbird Tour in support of her new album Testimony: Vol. 2, Love & Politics (Soulbird Music/Universal Republic).

The Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter has been receiving massive critical acclaim and an overwhelming response to her fourth studio album. Testimony Vol. 2 debuted last week at the top of the music charts hitting # 1 on the Billboard Top R&B Chart and locking down the #3 spot on the Billboard Top 200 Chart. The New York Times says, “one of the most determinedly virtuous songwriters in R&B or pop, India.Arie strives to make faith, goodness and positive thinking seductive,” while USA Today writes, “Whether dealing with heartache, reveling in newfound love or pondering the human condition, her songs resound with keen insight and warm passion. It gives her Testimony a ring of truth.”

The first two singles from the album are gracing radio playlists nationwide, “Chocolate High,” featuring Musiq Soulchild, was #1 most added song at Urban Ac radio while the pop driven “Therapy” featuring Gramps Morgan, has become the #1 most downloaded song from the album.

Visit India.Arie at http://www.indiaarie.com/

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About Laura Izibor

“The foundation begins with soul,” explains 20-year-old singer/songwriter/producer Laura Izibor of her passionate, piano-guided songs. On her forthcoming debut album, Izibor continues the lineage set out by artists like Lauryn Hill and Jill Scott; artists who combine a reverence for the traditions of early R&B with a thoroughly modern sensibility. After one listen to the powerful, honey-tinged vocals on Let The Truth Be Told, one thing is for sure. For Laura Izibor, it”’’s got to be real.

Born to a working class family in Dublin, Ireland, Izibor admits she didn””t grow up in a musical household. “My mother raised five kids on her own, so there wasn””t much time to buy records ? it wasn””t that kind of home. I found myself fancying music at about 13.” Once the love for musicians like Stevie Wonder, Candi Stanton, and Roberta Flack took hold, she was smitten for good. “One door opened to the next ? first I discovered Marvin Gaye, and then Otis Redding, and I just fell in love with soul music.”

At the age of 15, Izibor won a prestigious national performance competition, the “2FM Song Contest.” At 17, she started work on her debut album, taking the time to really hone her songs. Let The Truth Be Told was recorded over the course of four years in a diverse range of cities: New York, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Dublin among them. Laura also performed live constantly during this period, finding her true home onstage. Having performed several sold-out shows in Ireland, and opened for acts including James Brown, Angie Stone, and The Roots, she”’’s earned the affectionate moniker “The Soul of Ireland” from the folks back home.

Early 2009 will reveal the fruits of this process, when Izibor releases the fully self-penned and co-produced Let The Truth Be Told. “The title felt like a strong, almost biblical statement,” she explains. “I””ve written this album because it”’’s my truth. It”’’s a sincere record and it has a feel of survival in it as well.” Izibor resisted the urge to feature established artists on various tracks, instead creating a revealing, and very personal, document of this moment in her life. “I didn””t want to be anybody”’’s protégé,” she says. “It”’’s very tempting to put in the reinforcements, but for my debut album I wanted it to be 100% from me.”

The songs are ripe with authenticity, from the sassy, soulful album opener, “Shine,” to the magnificent and deeply personal “If Tonight Is My Last,” to the anthemic and inspirational “Mmm,” which colored the soundtrack of Step Up 2: The Streets. With her tracks also featured on Grey”’’s Anatomy, The Hills, and The Nanny Diaries, Izibor has found that airing her heartfelt take on life and love has translated to the hopes and struggles of various characters, as well as to the people at home watching them. “I hope people take away a sense of honesty and realness in the record. They””re just songs written from a really sincere place, and hopefully people can connect to it on some level and relate their own lives to it as well.”

For Izibor, the process of bringing her Truth to light has had a long gestation period, taking her around the world and back. She”’’s poised and ready for her moment. “Life is good. Music is amazing. It”’’s just a great, unusual thing to be doing what I love, and I””m genuinely grateful. I come from a working class family, so my bothers and sisters and my mother worked so many jobs their whole life, just trying to provide for us. That”’’s why I””m extremely humbled and grateful to be able to do something that is not only what I love, but pretty unbelievable.”

Visit Laura Izibor online at http://www.lauraizibor.com/

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About Anthony David

Georgia native Anthony David has spent his whole life writing songs. Now his riveting story telling, passionate guitar playing and stirring voice will be featured on his major label debut Acey Deucy and introduce the world to Soulbird Music, a new venture between Universal Republic Records and the multi-Grammy winning artist India.Arie.

Anthony David was born in Savannah, Georgia but discovered the spark to ignite his artistic passions in Atlanta. “I had been looking all over the world for the right vibe to cultivate my song writing, explains David, “I found it here in Atlanta”’’s music and spoken word scene. Atlanta is where my talent and passion grew together. I was able to find artists who connected with me. That had that same passion to create.”

David said he did not have to look far or long for an inspiring friendship. “India (.Arie) was the first person I saw when I got out of the car from Savannah,” says David ,”I thought she was cool and we were both doing our music and enjoying the scene that Atlanta gives an artist. There was never a time that we didn””t hang out.”

David wrote the song “A Part Of My Life” for Arie”’’s 7x Grammy nominated album Acoustic Soul and then toured with her in support of that record. Shortly thereafter he released two independent albums, Three Chords & The Truth and Red Clay Chronicles. Both albums received high critical acclaim, including Atlanta Journal & Constitution”’’s rave “The best record to come of this city since Usher”’’s,and earned David thousands of fans nationwide. It is a combination of songs from those two albums that make up Acey Deucy.

David toured relentlessly in support of his independent releases, opening for acts such as Arie and Kem before headlining tours of his own throughout Europe and Japan. “While traveling around the country and Europe playing, I was able to soak up sounds from everywhere I went. I””ve just been able to grow and expand my sound.” David explained. That sound, David refers to as “Millennium Blues” because it “all goes back to the blues. The lyrics, the music, my using everything from acoustic to hip-hop, the story telling…all of it connects through the blues like a bridge.” David feels that his song writing brings a much-needed honesty to today”’’s music, he explains, “Honesty in music shouldn””t be very rare but it is. Like an MC saying ””I live the gangster life for real?”” I live the regular life for real, I just make it look and sound good.”

After time on the road, David teamed up with India.Arie once again to co-write and produce “There”’’s Hope” for Arie”’’s third Grammy nominated album before heading back out on his own again. And now the circle involving Anthony David and India.Arie begins anew with the first single from Acey Deucy entitled “Words.”

The song reveals a musical relationship between Arie and David reminiscent of Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, Roberta Flack and Donnie Hathaway, a super natural chemistry that reminds you of music you””ve never heard before and can””t wait to hear again. “It”’’s great that ””Words”” is being compared to music by Roberta Flack and Donnie Hathaway,” says David, “because they are both major influences on both our careers. That says a lot about the nature of our relationship and how well we work together. She heard the short version I wrote and said she had a verse for that song. The verse India wrote and her voice fit perfectly in every way.”

“I love Tony”’’s music for how he speaks from a man”’’s emotional perspective in relationships and his views on learning about life as a young man of the hip hop generation,” says India.Arie. “He”’’s a great talent and one of my oldest friends. I have so many memories with him. Not only did he encourage me to start performing professionally, but it was Tony who suggested I use my first and middle name as an artist. There was even a time when he spent his rent money for me to experiment in the studio.”

Anthony David explains that the lyrics and music are all from personal experience. “I don””t really know any other way to write. From the general to the specific, my music comes from a very personal place. That place is real life, the good and the bad. You won””t hear a lot of stuff about chilling in VIP. I don””t think a lot of people really relate to that. I don””t know where that (VIP and drinking in the club,) ranks in the importance of everyday people”’’s lives.”

What Anthony David gives music and listeners are songs about love and life told in real voices. On Cheatin Man, David expresses a lot of inward pain and battles with self. “Cheatin Man is about a brother doing self-examination,” he explains, “It”’’s also about the half hearted excuses people make for what they do. The heart of the song is about judgment and falling short. The man (in the song) hates his father for what he did to his mother, but then he ends up doing the same things.”

With the song Red Clay Chronicles, Anthony David turns that spotlight of truth outward, and looks at the state of everyone”’’s problems today. Red Clay Chronicles paints a musical mural of the “haves” and “have-nots” in a way that lets you know David has experienced life as a “have-not” and doesn””t glorify it. Red Clay Chronicles delivers both the musical goods and a fair share of responsibility for those who are able to help improve “city life.”

Besides Arie, David calls on other musicians and singers he”’’s worked with in Atlanta to help complete the journey. On Lady, Keisha Jackson adds her sultry sound to join David”’’s blues-enriched voice. The track sounds like a lost recording of a song written for Bobby Womack and Gladys Knight. David discusses his partner for the duet “Keisha is Millie Jackson”’’s daughter. I knew this record would showcase her talent and show the world what I always heard in her voice. That”’’s one of the many reasons I am so excited about Acey Deucy. I get to show off all the talent here in Atlanta.”

Anthony David”’’s Acey Deucy is a project focused on real life experience but original and passionate in presentation. Acey Deucy is a blueprint for how to create great music in different styles, while not being diverse just for the sake of being different. Acey Deucy talks about family and friends on tracks like Kin Folk, relaxing on Smoke One and still drives home the joys and pain that we love to get from our music on tracks like Stop Playing.

Acey Deucy gives listeners a little bit of what we””ve been waiting for from modern soul music and surprises us with a quality of original story telling we didn””t know was possible.

Visit Anthony David online at http://www.anthonydavidmusic.com