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MP3 Ra-Re Valverde - A Beautiful Mess
RA-RE VALVERDE is undoubtedly soul music''s newest jewel. Emerging from lending her writing and vocal talents to artists such as Jill Scott, Rahsaan Patterson, Jennifer Lopez and Lalah Hathaway, Ra-Re offers her debut release , A BEAUTIFUL MESS.
14 MP3 Songs
URBAN/R&B: Retro-Soul, NEW AGE: Space
What happens when love don''t pay the bills/How will we get by on a feeling?
Who''s gonna understand how hard we try?
What happens when love don''t pay the rent/And all the money''s spent
Who''s gonna understand the time?/I''m tellin'' you love will
An excerpt from "Love Will" taken from the album A Beautiful Mess
Right away, music pundits, radio station programmers and audiences
alike will listen to Ra-Re Valverde and proclaim the ushering of
a"neo-soul" empress. Not exactly a misnomer, but perhaps the
"neo-soul" term may be too limiting.
The soul is undoubtedly there! And if the newness is prevalent, it''s
because of Ra-Re''s youthful outlook, the fact that she''s
contemporary—but her heart, her passion, her outlook is that of a soul
singer from generations past. To look at her myspace page, one could
glean that her diverse mix of musical heroes are Prince, Sarah Vaughn,
Bjork, Miles Davis, Bobby McFerrin, Stevie Wonder, John Lee Hooker,
Joni Mitchell, and an endless trove of artistic brilliants.
You see, Ra-Re is an unabashed New Yorker—born and raised in the
Bronx, yet resides in Harlem; encompassing what that wonderful city
may have to offer.
Hence, the name of her debut album, the independently release of A
Beautiful Mess. The album is a bold and soulful effort, undeniably
eclectic, and lyrically introspective. It''s a 14-song musical
portfolio from a singer, songwriter, instrumentalist, producer and
visionary—who may be doing something that''s a bit left of center, yet
still commercial or accessible enough to be embraced by the masses.
Ra-Re (meaning sunrise-sunset) came up with the album''s title simply
as a description of her life. "The title A Beautiful Mess represents
the balance between the many ups and downs that life has to offer, and
finding the beauty and color in it all," she says. "When dealing with
love & relationships, or even when creating, there is always a space
in between knowing and not knowing that feels good and safe. That to
me is A Beautiful Mess."
And this beautiful mess is all Ra-Re. She wrote or co-wrote all the
songs featured in the package, and produced five of them alone. The
song "Outside the Box," (with its mid-tempo and bass-heavy groove)
produced by Jamie Siegel (Lauryn Hill), according to Ra-Re is the song
that got the whole creative process started—and was an impetus for how
she would approach the entire project. The opening lyrics seem to
suggest it all…
"Normality don''t exist for me/Mostly I live on the other side/Fine
with me, I''m cream-filled with such complexities/I see love in
"Living outside the box somewhere on high/I don''t wanna come
down/Living outside the box somewhere on high, you can''t make me come
An excerpt from "Outside the Box"
"Outside the Box" leads to such other Beautiful Mess gems as "Love
Will" featuring Peter Hadar—offering an optimistic yet naïve message
that relationships can get tense due to financial woes, but love will…
There''s also the poignant "Them Eyes"—where Ra-Re paints a lyrical yet
heartfelt picture, vicariously seeing the world through the eyes of a
young lady involved in an abusive relationship, and in the second
verse a homeless woman who may have missed her calling as a famous
singer but seems able to profoundly affect Ra-Re and everyday
No woman is an island, and Ra-Re, a self-taught producer and engineer
also commissioned producers Donovan Henry (Innovative Music),
Anthony-Michael Alexander (Baby Jupiter) and German producer Laszlo
(with whom she developed a strong collaborative relationship with via
Myspace) to round out A Beautiful Mess.
Growing up, Ra-Re was raised in a household with a strong independent
and entrepreneurial spirit, and was encouraged to express herself. Her
musical tastes were influenced by her mother, but the desire to
actually explore her vocal talents was inspired by her grandmother,
Zelphia Ann, who sang in the church.
The family recognized these talents early on. Ra-Re attended the
LaGuardia School of performing arts during her high school years. "It
was a milestone period in my life," she recalls. "It''s where I first
learned to write and read music, develop an affinity for classical
music and create some strong relationships in an environment where
artistic individuality was strongly encouraged."
From there she would segue to the Berklee School of Music in Boston
(where she received a Bachelor''s in Music Business Management)—a very
pivotal point in her life. "Berklee has a lot of history to it," she
recalls. "People like Lalah Hathaway, Rachelle Ferrell, Herbie
Hancock, John Mayer and Norah Jones attended there. There was so much
influence, and it wasn''t just about gaining book knowledge, but more
about relationships that I still have until this day. It was there
where I was also introduced to many different genres of music and
culture; it''s where I first explored the techniques of artists like
Coltrane, Ella and Bach. It gave me the incentive to approach my music
from an entirely different angle."
During her time at Berklee, she also met MCA Records R&B
singer-songwriter Rahsaan Patterson (who she interviewed for the
campus magazine), who promised her a background vocal slot in his band
when she finished school. He kept his word, and Ra-Re''s world would
never be the same. Ra-Re co-wrote on the title cut from Rahsaan''s
third album and first independent release, After Hours, and sang on
the songs "April Kiss" and "I Will Always Find Myself."
She has traveled the world, from Japan to the United Kingdom,
practically living on stage and in studios—getting the chance to work
and tour with other talented artists such as Jennifer Lopez, Trina
Broussard (Ra-Re co-wrote 9 songs on Trina Broussard''s 2004 Motown
release The Same Girl), Lalah Hathaway, and currently Jill Scott.
"Working with Jill has been another turning point in my career," Ra-Re
says. "Lalah Hathaway recommended me when Jill was looking for a
back-up singer for the Sugar Water tour featuring
Erykah Badu, Queen Latifah and Floetry." The tour was already in
progress when Ra-Re came on board—and needless to say, she fit right
in. Jill, like Rahsaan and Trina Broussard, couldn''t resist utilizing
Ra-Re''s talents as a vocalist & arranger on her latest release, The
Real Thing, further prompting Ra-Re to step up the pace on releasing
her own debut project, A Beautiful Mess.
Ra-Re Valverde is quite excited about this new endeavor she is
embarking upon as a solo artist—especially since working alongside so
many individuals that she has admired. "I''ve been blessed to work with
some of the most talented artist/teachers in music. I can definitely
say that I''ve taken something from each experience, to make it my own.
"What''s most important to me at this present time is to find and
maintain my voice," says Ra-Re. "Sometimes you''re hesitant about some
of the things that you wanna do, because you''re not sure; unsure of
what people are gonna think or how they are going to react to the
direction in which you may choose to take. What I realize more and
more is that this journey is really about discovering me, first, and
then going out and sharing the things that have influenced my life and
the lives of those around me. It took some time, but I am learning as
I go that the possibilities are and have always been endless! "
A Beautiful Mess will be available through several internet outlets
such as https://www.tradebit.com CD Baby, and Ra-Re''s website
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