Christynette

The UK's First Lady of Urban Soul.

Ne-Yo

Unreleased from 2001, Ne-Yo as "Shaffer".

Mya's Liberation

Mya's doomed fourth album.

Girl Power!

Unreleased R'n'B/UK Garage from 2001.

Local Virginia R'n'B on Demo Tape!

From collector's favorites to new unheard of heat, there is no shortage of great music to be found in Virginia.

Monday, June 21, 2021

Raw Talent Presents: Where Dreams Become Reality (EP) (Self-Released, 200x)

From Miami, FL, another random find from a certain popular shopping site and a blend of mid-2000s Hip Hop and Contemporary R&B with Southern and Underground flavors. The tracks were said to be part of a forthcoming compilation but I can’t find any information about that either. I don’t know much about most of the artists featured but at one point Shauna (appearing here with “Missing You”) was signed to Miami label Slip-N-Slide Records and recorded a song with Trina “Don’t Ring My Phone”. She was signed to the label’s Reggae Imprint Slip-N-Slide Reggae but from what I can hear her sound was mostly contemporary R&B. Funnily enough, there was a label called Raw Talent which did specialize in Reggae and Socca music but as far as I am aware these two labels are unrelated. "Check Yourself" by Kola is also R&B and is uptempo with 'hustla' influences. I have no idea who she is but I am pretty certain it is not Kola Marion formally of Doggy's Angels.

Thug Mistress 3:53 Mr. JiTT feat. Ms. Janlce  
Missing You 2:47 Shauna  
Da Life I Lead 3:49 Majest  
Check Yourself 3:51 Kola  
I'm Out Here 4:02 Mr. JiTT 
Jailhouse Rock 4:58 Ms. Janlce  
DaShoShot 4:22 ill Flow feat. Mr. JiTT 
 

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Sharon Lee Williams: Demo (EP) (Lenz Entertainment, 1996)

I have found a lot of great R&B and soul music from Canada over the years; Ora, Divine Earth Essence, Wade O. Brown and many others have more than convinced me that the Great White North was more than capable of competing with the US when it comes to great R&B and soul music. This particular vocalist has a pretty interesting backstory, to me at least. A child of the 80s, I had heard her biggest hit (with Sway) “Hands Up (Give Me Your Heart)” an innumerable amount of times. It was somewhat of a one hit wonder back then but owing to its upbeat Caribbean flavor would frequently be the song of choice for many parties through until at least the early 90s. Prior to Sway, she was also the lead vocalist for Canadian soul outfit Basic Black and Pearl and performed backing vocals for Marc Jordan, The Whiteley Brothers, Bruce Cockburn, Glass Tiger and even Alice Cooper. She released her own single “Your Place or Mine” on Virgin in 1989 but it wasn’t much of a hit. Sadly, outside of Sway, her most notable work to date has been providing the voices for characters on Jim Henson shows and as a vocal coach on Canadian Idol. The above recordings were made in 1996 and the disc – a TDK CD-R74BX – actually dates from around 1997 (outside of the music it contains, it is quite a scarce disc apparently.) Mainly a mixture of gorgeous 90s jazzy modern soul and sophisticated “grown-up” R&B, I am inclined to believe the 7-song set may have been recorded for film of television use but not entirely certain. The production company Lenz Entertainment was established as a company in 1997. Another fantastic find.

I'm Addicted    4:45   
Always And Forever    5:45   
Love Takes No Prisoners    5:09   
If You Could Only See Me    4:26   
Pain    4:17   
Can I Trust You    5:03   
Here I Am    5:11   

Monday, June 14, 2021

No Sweat: Dutch R&B Flava (Dutch Music Foundation, 1997)

 
My final foray into R&B music from The Netherlands comes with the No Sweat All-Stars, a Dutch R&B collective consisting of all unsigned artists. Released in conjunction with the Dutch Rock Music Foundation, the compilation was a starting point for many careers including that of the Dutch R&B trio Dignity (appearing here with “Talk to Me” and “Hold Me”), Chozen 4 Soul and Voices in Motion. Dignity later signed to Virgin and their self-released debut was released in the Benelux Union only; Voices in Motion also had a brief career with Polydor, releasing three singles between 1998-2000. Other familiar features include Corey (see previous post) and the much sought-after J.Anthony. Altogether two great compilations showcasing the best that The Netherlands - formally a country mostly known for its cheesy Euro dance exports - had to offer back then. Dignity, J.Anthony and Little Brown especially were fantastic.
 
Keep Your Head Up To The Sky    4:43    No Sweat All-Stars
It Sounds Natural    3:50    J.Anthony
Talk To Me    3:47    Dignity
Till Da Early Morn    4:00    Joshua
Get Of My Back    3:10    Eszteca
Day And Night    4:19    Corey
Loving You    3:54    Voices In Motion
Play    4:24    Little Brown
Can't Live Without You    3:35    Chosen 4 Soul
Hold Me    4:07    Dignity
Another Girl    3:39    J.Anthony
Cruz Over Here    3:37    3rd Millenium
Hold You Tight    3:47    Chosen 4 Soul
Move Around    3:39    Voices In Motion
Down With You    3:42    Solid
All Da Way    4:12    Joshua
Give In    4:53    Eszteca  

Skillz Records Presents: New York • Amsterdam (Skillz Records, 199x)

Further music out of The Netherlands with the above US-themed project featuring many fantastic R&B and Hip Hop artists, some of whom later went on to have moderately successful careers in Europe (Sat-R-Day, Re-Play) and others which have remained popular among collectors only (Corey, Shameka.) Re-Play had a career going back to 1997 on Dutch label Rhythm Records where they recorded songs mainly in their native language but it seems at one point the label Skillz may have had distribution through Rhythm as a later release of theirs by the short-lived Dutch R&B group Natural Impact also had distribution through them (posted here.) Natural Impact does not feature on this particular set and neither does a further artist from those days J. Anthony but it did spawn a few good singles namely the very phat and euphonic “Everything But Love” by Corey (featuring Sadat X) and “Reasons Why” by Shameka (prod. by Dutch talkboxer Werner Kanhai.) All seemed to have garnered releases in the US where assimilation for most of them came pretty naturally. Corey especially had a wealth of experience under her belt at the time including appearances on National TV, as a supporting act for Adina Howard and even took her talents to New York where she survived the stage at The Apollo. She is also featured on  a few other similar compilations released around the same time and finally released her first album in 2006.
 
Try Love    3:22    Shameka
Everything But Love    3:14    Corey feat. Sadat X
Stop Messing With My Mind    4:55    Re-Play feat. Evil Son a.k.a Sonny Diablo
Make It Happen    4:14    M.O.D.
The After Party    3:59    Phatclip
Flight 704    3:13    Shadows In The Dark
All This Love    4:43    Sat-R-Day
Reasons Why    4:33    Shameka
Sick    4:59    M.O.D.
Glitter    4:52    One Step Beyond

Monday, June 7, 2021

Mo'dest: Modest Girl (CDM) (Phat Butt Wrecka's/BMG, 1998)

Only single by Mo’dest (Monique Loswijk?), an American/Dutch artist who was signed to the indie label Phat Butt Wrecka’s between 1997-1998. The label has been known for quite a few rarities (D-Cypha, 2-Nice) but I won’t be featuring them here, instead choosing to focus on the one quality female artist that nobody else has posted yet. The label’s most well-known release is probably “I Need Your Love” by Triple D and Channo ONE on which the above artist’s vocals can be heard in the R&B mix. “Modest Girl” and a further track by her “Confused” can be heard on a rare promo vinyl credited to Organized Groove (later Glaze.) Written by Chris Gerald (formally in Cella Dwellas?), more quality R&B from the Netherlands that nobody really knows about. The B-side track “Play With Me” is especially smooth. 
 
Modest Girl (Radio Edit)    3:34
Modest Girl (X-Tended Mix)    4:52
Modest Girl (Dance Hall Remix)    3:45
Modest Girl (Big 'N' Nasteez Remix)    4:32
Modest Girl (Funky Paradise Mix)    3:21
Modest Girl (X-Tra Acapella Mix)    3:28
Play With Me (Late Night Album Version)    3:59
 

Shanique: Spend Da Night (CDM) (BMG, 2000)

Since the mid-90s, the Netherlands has been another place known for making great R&B music. Fueled by the popularity of producers such as Soulshock & Karlin and later Cutfather & Joe, they had some great artists and bands throughout the 90s and going into the new millennium. I am not going to lie; I do find listening to music by non-native English speakers to be a little hard but a lot of these artists and groups had little to no accents at all. Basically, these artists could hold their own against any of the popular American or British acts at the time. Unfortunately, very few of them have been heard outside of Europe. Produced and managed by Cooly D, Shanique (real name Angelique Koorndijk) began her career in the late 80s on a Dutch TV talent show which also brought notoriety to Dignity’s Edsilia Rombley. In 1999 Koorndijk released two singles as “Shanique.” Both were produced by Dutch hip hop producer Cooly D and were one of a few of the more pop-orientated compositions that the producer did in the mid to late 90s. Neither were very successful despite sounding as phat and radio-friendly as work by fellow Dutch R&B artists at the time. In 2006, she was back on the TV, making it to the semi-finals of the Dutch version of Pop Idol.
 
Spend Da Night (Radio Mix)    4:08    
Spend Da Night (Bounce Mix)    4:14    
Spend Da Night (Jeep Mix)    3:49    

Saturday, May 29, 2021

J. Red The Nephew: Flooded with Soul (Soul Mop Entertainment, 2001)

The above compilation is actually something I have wanted for a while now, after Napo found an earlier single by J. Red (then going by the name “Red”) while searching through the crates in and around Virginia Beach. Originally from Atlanta, J. Red (real name Jesse Redmond) spent time at Master Sound Studios in Virginia Beach and in Hamilton, NC where he recorded the above compilation. He was originally part of the underground male R&B/New Jack Swing trio Average Guyz in the 90s and released an album “First Come First Served” in 1996. This was when he formed his production company Soul Mop Entertainment LLC which did most of the production. Then going by the name of Mr. Red, Redmond’s talents are again demonstrated on the above compilation which he produced and wrote mostly by himself. Employing the same mind-blowing Jodeci-esque harmonies from his time spent with Average Guyz over some pretty smooth production – from classic baby-making jams to early 2000s bump-N-grind – this compilation is very pleasing to listen to. 
 
My Men And My Woman (Keya Smith Feat. Josh) 4:28 
Confrontation (Mr. Red) 3:38 
That´s How It Goes (Sherrie) 4:20 
To Say I Love You (Mr. Red) 4:08 
Misunderstanding (Keya Smith) 4:21 
What You Like (Emerald Al) 4:10 
Let Me Know (Mr. Red) 5:27 
God Forgiven (Keya Smith) 5:00 
My Wisdom (Mr. Red) 4:17 
You Don´t Know (Keya Smith) 3:37 
Diggin You (Mr. Red) 3:54 
Rock The Sheets (Mr. Red) 4:03 
I Seen It All (Emerald Al) 3:14 
Roll With Me (Mr. Red) 8:32 
 

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

More indepednent urban music from Nottingham

 
Further urban music with Raw Talent, a Nottingham-based collective that has been in development since 1999. As per their website, their aim was to “write for, produce, and develop artists”, “putting them on the right road for music deals.” They had some good intentions – their “Stop The Violence” message spearheaded a national campaign and caught the attention of many notable UK artists back then – but the music here is sadly somewhat unmemorable. There are a few half-decent R&B tracks in among the overabundance here of noise, mostly of the grime genre. The collective’s biggest success seems to be their “Stop The Violence” CD which reached no52 on the National Urban Charts. Notable members include Lee Wolfe and Denzie, the latter of which gained some notoriety on the UK Garage scene with his 2000 single “Sorry (I Didn’t Know)”. 
 
 

Sunday, May 23, 2021

XxPression Compilation CD Volume 1 (XxPression Entertainments/Ace of Jacks Records, 2006)

“At the heart of unsigned talent in the UK”, here is another unique find from Lewsic with a few redeeming R&B/soul tracks that you won’t find anywhere else. The hip hop is typical mid-2000s sample-heavy stuff while the stuff with more crossover appeal is a mixture of neo soul and contemporary R&B with jazzy vocals. There’s no information about any of the artists featured but the label Ace of Jacks Records appears to still be active and is an Entertainment and Media company based out of London. 
 
Intro "CD Sampler"    1:04    Various Artists
Ghet-To Know    3:16    Rapid
Advanced    3:03    Luca
The Champions 2005    2:31    Phoenix Black
The Senses    3:26    Luca Feat. Jimi Whispers & Rapid
Sekkle Down    3:51    Keezaman
Triz Biz    3:50    Full Triz
On Da Telly    3:05    Rapid
Shades Of Love    3:51    Tobi
Intermission "Contact Details"    0:41    Various Artists
The Pain    3:49    Imagery Feat. Intrigue
Black Featherz (Remix)    3:12    Luca Feat. Ace Of Jacks
Nightmare    3:51    Amman
Ideal World    3:08    A.M.M.O
Raindrops    3:36    Geebag
Take Your Time    3:29    Nita
Sweetalker    3:51    Amman Feat. Luca
Come Together (RMX)    2:29    Phoenix Black
Toolz On Road (RMX)    4:08    Rapid
Let You Know    3:35    Shanique
Summertime Loving    4:05    JP Feat. Sherona Knight
Outro "Accreditation"    0:53    Various Artists
 

London I Showcase 1: Like It, Love It, Live It (London I Records, 2004)

From London, the first of two rather hip hop heavy compilations with a few redeeming R&B/soul tracks that you won’t find anywhere else. This particular one is a little too heavy on the ragga for me; the label London I or London Individuals was mostly a reggae and dancehall label and a vast majority of their catalog was on 7” vinyl only but there is a gem in the female singer Lee-Anne who is fantastic at singing both reggae and contemporary R&B. “It’s Alright” has since gone on to become one of my absolute favorites. 
 
Disc 1
Intro    0:14    C.o.L.I.n
Think You're Gonna Get Away    3:22    C.o.L.I.n, Lee-Anne, Kastro, Callybud
Hot Lava    3:36    C.o.L.I.n, Kastro
Pretty Dangerous/Bad Girls Anthem    3:35    C.o.L.I.n, Callybud
Get Out    3:40    C.o.L.I.n, Lee-Anne
Pum Pum Town    4:06    C.o.L.I.n, Kastro, Callybud, Javier el Canario
Cha, Gonna Get You Girl    4:32    C.o.L.I.n, Kastro, Callybud
Disco Bud/Tonight    4:45    C.o.L.I.n, Callybud, Kastro
Get Down Tonight/Shake Your Booty    4:00    C.o.L.I.n, Lee-Anne
Like That    3:21    Kastro
Life    3:43    Callybud
L.I. Here We Go    4:06    Lee-Anne, Callybud
Secure My Love    5:05    Lee-Anne
 

Disc 2
It's Alright 4:07 Lee-Anne
We're Here For Them Things 3:21 C.o.L.I.N, Kastro
What Is It About 3:19 Callybud
This Is How My Crew Roll 4:12 C.o.L.I.N, Kastro, Lee-Anne
L.I. Is Keeping It Real 3:57 Lee-Anne, Nadine
Wont It 3:32 C.o.L.I.N, Callybud
Carry On (Rendition of Kunta Kinte) 6:26 C.o.L.I.N, Lee-Anne, Callybud
Look Into My Eyes 3:54 Lee-Anne, Callybud
It's That Time Again 4:33 C.o.L.I.N, Kastro
You Are The Sunshine In My Life 3:27 Lee-Anne, Callybud
Still Falling For You 4:38 Lee-Anne, Castro
Comes Back Around To You 4:29 Lee-Anne

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Urban Street Anthems Volumes 1 & 2

Hailed as a collection of “mighty tunes fresh out of the hottest U.S. recording studios and production houses”, “Urban Street Anthems 1” was to be the forefront in breaking new R&B talent to the world. Sort of like an underground version of the “Street Beats” series, it featured many artists that you won’t find anywhere else. Only one volume was ever officially released and was compiled by Nigerian-born singer/songwriter Dee Majek and Morgan Khan, founder of Streetwave Records which brought U.S. street sounds to the UK high street in the 80s. A second volume was under development which seemingly never got beyond the promo stage and featured many of the same and similar artists. I don’t know if Khan had anything to do with this but it did feature input from Majek. Compiled for MAPP Records, some of the tracks later appeared on MAPP’s “Six for Spins” and “Hot On the Heels” series, a rather similar concept to Khan’s own “Street Sounds” series before. Notable features include R&B trio Metropolis, Lafayette Reed, Divine Earth Essence, Wade O. Brown and many, many more...
 

Monday, May 17, 2021

More unknown indie R&B from out the UK

From the late 90s to the early 2000s, further unknown female R&B on vinyl that I know very little about. Though the singer doesn’t come up anywhere, “Pack N Go” appears to be produced by Wayne Marshall who released a couple of albums on Soul Town Records in the mid-90s while the second track “Guys Guys Guys” is seemingly a reply to Jay-Z’s 2001 song “Girls Girls Girls and was produced by Just Blaze. Morita’s “You” is also obscure though the label, predominantly a reggae and dancehall label, released a further artist Nathan (later Starboy Nathan) in the mid-2000s. A familiar name pops up as the mixer: Wayne Lawes of Full Crew. The final track “Give It To You” by MK is probably the most obscure of all with just a Vodafone number on the label. Only one (Dee Dee Morrison) has a release date of 1999. The others have a similar late 90s/early 2000s sound but Cellie – owing to the sample used – probably dates from around 2001.

Listen to more of Lewsic's great finds here:

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Ladies First: Album Demos (Promo) (Polydor, 200x)

When Mis-Teeq were at the top of their game in the early 2000s, it didn’t take long for other similar female groups to surface in the UK. One notable one was the Ceri Evans-backed Ladies First who were mostly known for their single “Messin’” which made little impact on the charts in 2001. For anybody who doesn’t know, Evans is probably better known by his stage name of Sunship and was known for his catchy 2-Step tunes back in the day. “Flowers” by Sweet Female Attitude and Mis-Teeq’s “All I Want” were both top 5 hits in the early 2000s and then there was the myriad of remixes he did for well-known artists such as Gabrielle, Mary J Blige, Christina Aguilera and others back then. Comprised of 3 classy ladies: former BBC Wales DJ Leanne (aka DJ Precious) Mel and Sasha, Leanne apparently left Ladies First before the release of “Messin’”, their first mainstream single, and things just went downhill from there. The two remaining members continued as a duo for a brief time, releasing the Nu-Shooz cover “I Can’t Wait”, but they were gone completely by 2003. It was probably just as well as UK Garage was shortly to evolve into something a lot grittier and darker with the popularity of groups and artists such as So Solid Crew, Ms. Dynamite and others. There was simply no place for the fun pop stuff anymore. As for Ladies First, they had a great 2Step/urban-pop sound which if they were able to capitalize on properly back in 2001, I am sure would’ve worked out for them. The Sunship-produced “Kiss The Sunshine” in particular was another catchy garage tune like “Flowers” but didn’t get the proper promotion back when it was released. Sadly by the time “I Can’t Wait” hit the charts, I think it was just too late for them – even if Leanne had stayed with the group – as the music industry tends to move on pretty quickly. Many thanks again to Lewsic for picking up this much sought-after gem!
 
Both "Messin'" and "I Can't Wait" do not appear. 
 
Ladies First    3:48
Kiss The Sunshine    5:34
Kiss The Sunshine (Vocal)    5:30
Kiss The Sunshine (Dub)    5:53
Last Chance    3:31
Watching You Tonight    3:57
No More Tears    3:56
No More Tears (Remix Idea)    3:32
Switched Off    2:58
Your Love    5:39
Vibe    3:26
Gucci Galore    3:27
Independent    4:49
It's Too Late    3:46
 

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Phoenix: I Wanna Know (CDM) (Global i Entertainment, 1999)

 
The last and final artist to be posted from Bury, Greater Manchester label Global i Records and a feisty mix of raga and contemporary R&B music. Featuring label mate JR on backing vocals, the original version appeared on one of the rarer Streets Beats Volumes from Series 2 (Vol. 11) and despite not being the hugest fan of raga I found I actually quite enjoyed this tune. The title of the track is actually “Good Love” but for some reason has been changed to “I Wanna Know” on the CD release the following year. The main remix is on the brink of being quite a decent R&B track while the b-side track “Who Do You Love” features Fyza Salah on vocals. Seemingly the last and final thing from this label which was active between 1998-2000. Many thanks again to my UK contributor Lewsic who owns and brought an original copy.
 
I Wanna Know (Album Version) 3:54 
I Wanna Know (Version II Remix) 3:53 
I Wanna Know (Garage Remix) 5:33 
Who Do You Love (Feat. Fyza) 3:46 
 

JR: Up On Your Love (Mini-LP) (Global i Entertainment, 1998)

Touted as one of the most ‘erotic artists to come from Manchester, England in the last decade’, JR was another artist signed to UK Midland’s-based label Global I Entertainment in the late 90s that had a fantastic sound. Like a mix of TLC type swagger with the sex appeal and sophistication of fellow Mancunian Lisa Stansfield, she released the above set in 1998. It spawned one single “Lay With Me” which was released in 1999. Along with Fyza’s track, it also made an appearance on one of the rarer Street Beats volumes from Series 2 (Vol. 11). While Fyza’s album was a double CD set complete with a 14-page booklet, it seemed the label didn’t push the boat out that much on this particular vocalist. The above set is 7 tracks in length and the artwork – aside from the short but sweet write up on her – is as unimpressive as they come with no pictures or hints as to who she is. You really know a label is skimping when you get an album in a slim jewel case usually meant for singles but perhaps it was just a matter of cost. Regardless, if you enjoyed Fyza’s album then you will most definitely enjoy this very sexy escapade from the heart and soul of Manchester. Many thanks again to my UK contributor Lewsic who owns and brought an original copy.
 
Up On Your Love 4:31 
Over You 3:14 
Choose Me 3:19 
Lay With Me 4:21 
Angel 3:20 
Soul Food 4:13 
Love Thing 4:16 
 

Fyza: S/T (Global i Entertainment, 2000)

More fantastic independent R&B from the UK with Fyza, who had been releasing music since in the early 90s. From the UK Midlands, she was one of the featured artists on Manchester’s Go Blue comp (with “Poetical Love”) and also made a couple of appearances on Street Beats Series 2 and 3 with her 1999 single “Madd Cool.” Her album is something I have actually been sitting on for a few years now while we found the other artists from her label Global i Entertainment who along with Bristol-based Black Story Records released some quality R&B music from the UK North in the late 90s and early 2000s. Up until then, a lot of the stuff we found was from London or the surrounding area. A double album, there is barely one skippable track here from Fyza, who was formally a vocalist in soul, R&B and hip hop groups in the US before returning to the UK in 1994. Not as carnal as her label mate JR who was a little heavy with the sex appeal but very sensual with a delicate, melodic vocal and the production sophisticated and on some tracks quite ornate. It’s definitely one of those albums that is quite pleasing to the ear. Stuart actually acquired it back in 2015 back when we were buying and posting stuff we had seen from other collectors. We have since become a lot more exclusive though good music still remains to be good music. 
 
Disc 1
Who Is Fyza (Intro) 1:55
Madd Cool V.II 4:20
Cry 3:27
Falling (Intro) 1:08
Falling ft. J.R. 3:36
Come Too Soon (Interlude) 1:38
Ain't No Love 3:29
Back In The Day ft. Shiesty The Gypsy 4:20
Why Like I Do 4:15
She ft. Black Ice 3:55
I Swear 3:45
Genuine 4:00
Ready ft. D'Freak (Bonus Track) 5:18


Disc 2
Feel So Real 3:26
Friend 3:25
Who Ya Gonna Run To 3:53
Silly Me, Silly You 0:59
24/7 3:41
Tell Me Why 4:30
Watching You. Watching Me 4:21
Show Me Your Love 0:40
Don't Let Me Down 5:26
Heaven 3:47
All My Love 3:52
My Thang 1:21
Madd Cool 3:44

Monday, May 3, 2021

Tonia Woods: Fruition (Double-O Productions, 1999)

Another Obscure find from Napo in and around the Virginia Beach area. Woods is a modern soul/jazz artist based out of DC and her  2001 album All That Glitters has been compared to work by Regina Belle, Anita Baker and others. Featuring a live backing band on some tracks, the album is mainly a mixture of folksy soul and pop blues with a slight rocky edge but the "If I Only Had One Wish" and the cover of "Make Me Love Somebody Else" are great R&B tracks.

Without Your Love 4:33
Disappear 3:59
If I Only Had One Wish 3:30
Learn To Forgive 3:40
Runaway 4:37
Lazy Daze 3:39
Goes Around 3:45
The Question 4:14
At This Time 3:30
On My Way 3:34
Wished You Were Here 3:46
Make Me Love Somebody Else 3:55
Make Me Love Somebody Else (Rap Version) 3:55
 

Average Guyz; First Come First Served (Uncut Records, 1995)

Along with 911’s album “The Pressure”, the Average Guyz’ First Come First Served was one of a handful of rare indie R&B albums which got a new lease of life via Japanese label P-Vine Records in the late 2010s. Nothing but O.G. stuff here though; this is an original copy from Uncut Records (1995) and once again uncovered by Napo while digging through the crates in and around Virginia Beach back in 2018. Featuring contributions from a pre-Neptunes Chad Hugo (track 7 “Ride”) and Missy Elliott (as Misdemeanor from “Sister”), the album is a great combination of new jack sing, jeep beats and sexy slow jams with a Jodeci-type swagger. Most of the production comes from Jesse Redmond and his production company Soul Mop Productions which is still releasing music to this day. The name might sound familiar as Napo found one of Redmond’s solo releases back in 2018. Now going by the name of J-Red the Nephew, he originally hailed from Atlanta but spent most of his time at Master Sound Studio in Virginia Beach recording music. People in Japan can find First Come First Served on iTunes but it is yet to be available to people in the U.S. for less than $30 on import. O.G. copies are currently fetching upwards of $300.
 
Anthem 2:07 
Gimme (Intro Big Freeze) 5:06 
Get Inside 4:33 
You're In Need 4:53 
So Far Away 4:46 
Put Me On 3:55 
Ride 5:51 
You Got It 3:42 
Interlude For Always 1:00 
It Won't Be The Same 4:54 
So Good 4:01 
I Never Knew 5:24 
The Little Things 5:13 
You Don't Have To Go 3:40 
Always 4:45 
 

Monday, April 26, 2021

Unreleased Ne-Yo as “Shaffer”

Prior to the release of his first album, Ne-Yo (then going by his birth name of “Shaffer” or “Shaffer Smith”) was an unknown artist signed to Columbia Records. This was way back in 2001 before he even gained prominence as a songwriter. The song that got him noticed was “That Girl” by Marques Houston and was originally meant to be his own first single. Sadly Smith’s own version and his completed album for Columbia was never to see the light of day but his breakthrough came when he wrote “Let Me Love You” for Mario in 2004. This lead to him being signed to Def Jam and to him being everywhere in the mid-to-late-2000s. A few of his early tracks can be found on a few quite rare promotional CDs, including the above Destiny’s Child CD which was given away for free with select pairs of Levi’s “Superlow” jeans. With more of a neo-soul sound, this early work is a little more mature than his later endeavors with producers such as StarGate and Neff-U. Sadly at the time of his signing to Columbia, they were going through a state of “chaos” which saw him working with a vast number of different A&R reps. None of them knew what to do with him so he asked to be released from his contract and his then-finished album was shelved. Also of note on this EP, a more kid-friendly version of Destiny’s Child’s 2001 hit “Jumpin’ Jumpin’”. Yes, apparently the original version was not suitable for Disney Radio yet “All Star” by Smash Mouth was? Regardless this version features newly recorded vocals by Beyoncé, Kelly and Solange, who I am guessing was a last minute addition to the lineup after LaTavia and LaToya left in quite a hurry. Not one of my absolute favorite songs by them by any stretch of the imagination but very interesting to hear this different arrangement. 

Survivor (Azza'z Soul Remix)    5:06    (Destiny's Child)
So Good (Maurice's Soul Remix)    7:36    (Destiny's Child)
Jumpin', Jumpin' ft. Solange    3:40    (Destiny's Child)
La Di Dah    4:02    (Shaffer)

Unreleased Roc-A-Fella and Def Soul artists

Jay-Z and Dame Dash’s label Roc-A-Fella was another label that let many amazing artists slip through the cracks in the early to mid-2000s. The fantastic Denim, Nicole Wray…even Tiarra Mari, the label’s eventual “First Lady” was little more than a flash in the pan. Here are two other acts that also didn’t make it: Rell and Allen Anthony (formally of the R&B duo Christión.) Rell was active all throughout the late 90s and early 2000s yet his album “The Remedy” never saw the light of day. Anthony also fell by the wayside despite his moderate success with his brother as R&B duo Christión in the 90s. His album “Oakland International” also went unreleased. Granted not many R&B acts on hip hop labels (aside from the mains such as Bad Boy, So So Def etc.) ever fared that well this was Jay-Z we are talking about. He had backing from Def Jam and had access to some of the best producers. Also passed on by way of Def Soul was the fantastic Kandice Love, who, along with the label’s token R&B group LovHer (also featured on the above set), was one of a few acts backed by former Dru Hill member Sisqo in the early 2000s that simply didn’t make it. I don’t know if he had anything to do these particular instances but it certainly didn’t help that his then forthcoming album and Dru Hill’s much hyped reunion album both bombed in the charts. Def Soul – despite the emphasis on “Soul” - wasn’t really the place to be in the early 2000s... 

 
Say It Ain't So    3:57    (Rell)
If That's My Baby    4:03    (Rell)
Bring It Home    4:35    (Rell)
Never Knew A Love    4:51    (Rell)
Love For Free    3:49    (Rell)
Ain't Nobody Playing     4:20    (Jaguar)
So Hot      4:43    (Rashaan Patterson)
Round & Round     4:12    (Jonell)
How It's Gonna Be     3:47    (LovHer)
All U Need     4:00    (Kandice Love)
Lady Baby     5:00    (Allen Anthony)

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Lenard Davis: Do Your Thing (E-Nitra Fuse Records, 199x)

Though quite water damaged, this is another great find from Napo that I thoroughly enjoyed. This guy came from York, Pennsylvania and his music is a blend of modern soul, funk and contemporary R&B with classic-sounding 70s vocals. As with Lutrell and Flyn Pickens, this is another one strictly for the grown folks but "She So Fine" is a great slice of 90s R&B flava complete with cow bells. Many thanks once again to Napo for his continued support of our blog and channel.

Do Your Thing    3:07
How Could It Be    3:35
Love Miscued    5:11
Our First Time    4:39
She So Fine    3:39
Your Are The One    4:40
While You Were Sleeping    4:13
Drop The Beat    3:45
Pimp-Em    3:26
Leave Or Stay    4:23
Love Jam    4:17

Sunday, April 18, 2021

LMH (Ladies Making History): S/T (Mini-LP) (Self-Released, 2006)

Another obscure trio out of the greater Chicago area whose mini LP appears to be produced almost entirely off the backs of their parents. Though some of the tracks do have that minimal “CD Baby” sound about them, there are a few good mid-tempo cuts here notably “The Weekend” and “Summertime.” Here they seem to shine the best though they could’ve probably pulled off a similar Crunk’n’B style to Cherish.  

Ladies Making History (Intro) 0:30
Dance Floor Featuring Tone 3:55
The Weekend Featuring Tone 3:53
Summertime 4:39
Wait On You 4:03
Kinda Good 3:45
Don't Take It Personal Featuring Sy 3:38
Dance Floor - Darryl B Rider Mix 4:02
The Weekend - Curtiss Beard Smooth Mix 3:51
Dance Floor - Radio R & B Edit 3:28
Dance Floor - Laronzo Till The AM Mix 4:30

Trace: You'll Never Change (Old Dog New Tricks) (CDS) (Nivel Records, 2000)

A quite obscure R&B trio from Gulf Breeze, Florida, a place more known for its UFOs than great R&B music. Complete with a rap breakdown, it’s an engaging throw back to the turn of the millennium when ‘empowerment’ anthems like “No Scrubs” and “Bills, Bills, Bills” ruled the airwaves. The label Nivel Records was mostly a soul label known for soul/jazz singer Ruby Baker and this seems to be the only contemporary thing that they did. I know nothing about the group but the song was produced and written by Martin Blockson (Modest Fōk, Five Xi, B.B.O.T.I.)

You'll Never Change (Old Dog New Tricks)  (Radio Edit)  4:24
You'll Never Change (Old Dog New Tricks)    4:26

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Innersoul Records Presents: Super Sampler Vol. 1 (Promo) (Innersoul Records/OneDisc Distribution, 2004)

More great unreleased music from Innersoul Records who were mostly known for the former LaFace quintet Az Yet. The group originally planned to release their follow-up on the DreamWorks label but they left after only one single "My Fix" in 2003. By this time, they had become quartet and gained a new member LeDon Bishop. In 2004, they signed to Innersoul Records, one of the early purveyors of the OneDiscTM/DVD Plus(C) format. For those who didn't know this was a dual disc format combining the best of CDs, CD-ROMs and DVDs all on one disc, an ultimate "multimedia" experience. Sadly neither the format nor any of the artists were ever to take off. Az Yet released 1 EP "That Be U" in 2004 and then their album "The Return" was shelved. By that time original member Darryl Anthony had basically assembled a new group from scratch bringing aboard two new members to join him for the project. A further EP "Chocolate City" by Ter'ell Shahid was released also in 2004 on the OneDisc format. The fantastic Angie Fisher, who hails from Pasadena, CA, was seemingly left behind. Again, very much a shame but the failure of this label was no doubt due to the niche way that they marketed their stuff. Just take a look at the hideously ugly cases

That B U    4:14 (Az Yet)
Another Place To Sleep    3:07 (Angie Fisher)
2 Hours After Midnight    3:53 (Ter'ell Shahid)
Same Amazing You    4:21 (Az Yet)
Butterflies    6:04 (Ter'ell Shahid)
Flavorhood    4:39 (Tere'' Shahid w/ Angie Fisher)
Let's Get Naked    3:10 (Az Yet but credited to LeDon Bishop)
Swing With Me    3:06 (Angie Fisher)

Quadeer: I Believe In U (EP) (Tobe Rich Music Group, 1997)

 
I very rarely post hip hop on my blog but sometimes I will make exceptions for certain stuff if there is at least a few songs with original vocal hooks in them, such as with this guy from VA Beach. If there's one thing Napo has shown us, is that there is a ton of great music to be found here. Not much is known about the artist but some of the tracks are produced by the same guy behind this amazing group here. Their album long having been a "collector's" item, we were very lucky when Napo found a whole stack of them while digging through the crates in his area back in 2019. Comparing the production on both, this hip hop EP has a very similar smooth, quiet storm sound. One of the members "Peaches" even provides the hook to the title track which definitely gives me "Take A Dipp" vibes. Altogether a very good find as what R&B fan doesn't like a bit of G-Funk. Tracks 4-9 (in snippet form) said to be taken from the artist's album "I, Q" which may or may not have been released. Many thanks again to Stuaaart for finding the actual CD at last :-)

Album Version    5:02 (featuring Peaches of Ebonae')
Instrumental    5:09
A Capella    4:44
It's On U [Snippet]    1:36
Downtown [Snippet]    1:33
It Ain't All Good [Snippet]    1:40
Yearnin' [Snippet]    1:15 (featuring So Intense)
One True Love [Snippet]    1:27
We Fam [Snippet]    1:03

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Corte': Independent Woman (CDM) (Under Pressure Entertainment LLC, 1999)

Smooth cut from Corte' who has since gained minor prominence as a songwriter (as Corte "The Author" Ellis). In the mid-2000s, he penned many tracks for notable artists such as Beyonce, Monica ("A Dozen Roses"), Fantasia and even Britney Spears, but originally he started out as an independent artist in the late 90s. We posted a 12" by a further artist on this label Achewood (Benjamin) back in 2017. I don't know anything about the label but it was based out of Virginia Beach, VA.

Independent Woman [Radio Edit]    3:48
Independent Woman [Remix]    4:09
Independent Woman [Radio Edit Instrumental]    3:56
Independent Woman [Remix Instrumental]    4:07

Friday, April 9, 2021

Slept On Soul Stars: Cherokee's Soul Parade

Originally part of a duo Auto & Cherokee in the early 90s, Cherokee Pougue emerged as a solo artist in the late 90s with her debut LP "I Love You...Me". Though neo-soul was in its infancy at the time, the album was a success and she later went on to appear on Soul Train, Motown Live and soon her face was seen adorning Billboards all over her native Brookyln. Her highly anticipated follow-up "Soul Parade" saw her working with many industry heavyweights not limited to Outkast, Bilal and the great Jill Scott but sadly it was to never see the light of day outside of limited promotional copies. As it seems, RCA closed yet another division leaving Pougue without a label. She later took it to Antonio "LA" Reid  - then head of Arista Records - but even he couldn't get this album released. Ultimately it was left up to the usual slew of European so-called "collectors" to stick the final boot in and in the late 2010s bootlegged CDr copies have started appearing online starting at $178. I don't know if the artist intended for her work to end up on eBay - she sold CDrs she produced herself through Facebook - but it's nice to know that the so-called "collector" probably made more off it than what she did. Regardless, the above CDr of Stuaaart's is a legit pressing direct from the RCA Record label, one of a few that actually exist.

Remember, real OG's always buy legit physical media.

Runaway    4:04
Lips ft. Anthony Hamilton    3:57
Woman Knows ft. Bilal & Jill Scott    5:10
I Swear    6:12
Nectarine ft. Andre 3000    3:59
Star ft. Floetry    4:21
Nothing Really Feels The Same    4:40
Crazy ft. Rashan Patterson    5:16
Daddy How?    3:38
Where ft. Jill Scott    4:02
One    1:46
Can't Let It Go    4:23

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Slept On Soul Stars: Lina and "Save Your Soul"

After a brief start as a songwriter in the late 90s, Lina (real name Shelina R. Wade) released her debut single "Playa No Mo" at the turn of the millennium. During that time the R&B genre seemed to be split into 3 categories: urban-crossover, hip-hop soul and neo-soul with Lina being one of the few unsung participants of the latter category. Her debut album "Stranger On Earth" was critically applauded for its unique fusion of R&B, swing and vocal jazz music but it was pretty much slept on. Following this Wade was released from her contract with Atlantic - a label not entirely versed in R&B outside of Brandy Norwood - and went onto sign with Hidden Beach Recordings, best known for their success with Jill Scott in the early 2000s. She launched her own label Mood Star Recordings and released the above compilation "Save Your Soul" in 2005 which featured many songs written by her across many

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Christynette: Bass Of My Soul (Album Sampler) (Promo) (Gemtoy, 2001)

First featured by us on our Street Beats series, UK singer Christynette was first heard on MC Malarchi's 2000 single "4 U Days" before releasing her own "Enough Love" in 2001. She was one of a handful of artists signed to independent label Gemtoy Records in the early 2000s along with MCs 2Sticky and Ghettoganza, and a further female artist Shea. Described as the UK's "First Lady of Urban Soul", Christynette appeared on the Radio 1 stage at Nottinghill Carnival and later appeared on BBC 2. Her debut album "Bass Of My Soul" was highly rated by the label but seemingly went unreleased. The only artist to get an actual release from this label it seems was Malarchi whose debut album "Forgotten World" was released in 2001. Regardless, presented here are 7 tracks which would've been on her album,  a blend of soulful slow jams and colorful early 2000s flava. A real lost opportunity along with many of these obscure single-track artists who featured on Street Beats and similar promo-only compilations sent to radio stations and DJs. As always me and my dedicated team hope to someday find more of them.

Enough Love    4:24
Gentle Distance    3:44
The Deeper We Get    4:18
Unbelievable    4:14
The Impossible    4:27
The One Who Always Loved You    4:29
Enough Love (Urban Remix)    4:55
U4Days (Remix)    4:27
Enough Love (2 Step Remix)    3:37

 Hear more unreleased heat from Street Beats here.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Fun*Dmental 03: Demo Sampler (Promo) (daWorks Entertainment, 2oox)

A further UK group from the mid-2000s who were signed to Jazz Black's daWorks Entertainment label. Black was a former producer for many notable UK R&B artists including Hinda Hicks and most artists from the Mission Records label from back in the day, including two of my all-time favorite groups Montage and Serenade. I guess they called themselves Fun*Dmental 03 to avoid confusion with fellow British hip hop/ethnic fusion group Fun-Da-Mental but they won best newcomer at the MOBO Awards in 2006. Again much like 308, they released a few singles and then disappeared despite being crowned both the label's and the UK's "premiere boy band." They changed their name to FDM soon after. 
 
Playground    1:42
Butterfingers    1:17
Trick Nut    1:33
Where She Lays    1:55
Party People    1:58
Wait A While    1:39
Untitled    1:25

308: Demo Disc (Promo) (On Point Entertainment, 2007)

 
Early demos from Croydon-based brother duo 308 who won BT Broadband's Unsigned Talent competition in 2007. Their first single "Gots To Go" was an underground success with the 2-Step influenced "Don't Confess" with Kele Le Roc also getting some notable praise. An album "No Turning Back" was slated for release though if it was ever was, it is most likely little more than a mixtape. The duo have continued to release singles through iTunes although aside from "Gots To Go" and it's b-side "No Turning Back", nothing remains of this particular project at all. Influences included Ryan Leslie, Usher and Craig David.

Gots To Go 3:47
Don't Confess 3:39
Lost For Words 3:26
Wanna Be The One 3:34
Don't Walk Away 3:32
Compromise A Way 3:51

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

YD Records Presnts: Step Up II Da Mic (Promo) (YD Records, 200x)

More rare R&B/2-Step music from out the UK with Step Up II Da Mic, a showcase with a flavor of new music from the heart and soul of London. I don't know anything about any of the artists but the project itself appears to have originated from a monthly event "Your Destiny" which showcased new up and coming talent from around the capital. The tracks themselves are a mixture of original songs and covers with "Sweet Dreams"  in particular being a cover of the popular 80s song of the same name. After being sampled half a dozen times in numerous mediocre hip hop and R&B songs, it's nice to hear a modern 2-Step take on it. A real blast from the past. No date of release but 2002 as per an archived snapshot of the web address. 

Intro    0:52   
Games You Play    3:32   
Fly Away    4:11   
Grapevine 2002    3:17   
Interlude    0:16   
The Landing    4:10   
Slow Jam    3:56   
Interlude    0:36   
Could It Be    4:04   
Sweet Dreams    3:54   
Fly Away (Remix)    4:11   
Outro    2:05   

Ebony Alleyne: Little Bit Of Love (Promo CDS) (2NV Recordings, 200x)

More early 2000s indie R&B from out the UK with Ebony Alleyne, an artist who was signed to Sony as a singer-songwriter when she was only 19 years old, only for them to pass on her when they found she could not be pigeon-holed into the typical R&B sound that was popular back then. Listening to her husky contralto over the modern beats on this song, you can definitely hear the contrast. Regardless, Sony had financed her first album to the tune of £150,000 before they got cold feet and then UK Label Expansion Records, known for their rediscovery of many great soul and R&B acts, finally brought the rights to it in 2007. It's unknown where this particular song "Little Bit Of Love" may have originated from but it was produced by Shatek King, mostly known for producing DMX' "X Gonna Give It To Ya". There is also a bonus skit on the disc from guitarist Carlos Santana that mentions a familiar name and label: Clive Davis and Arista Records.

Little Bit Of Love (Radio Edit)    3:31   
Skit (Carlos Santana Voice Mail Message)    0:33

Des: Do You Wanna Know? (Kornerstone Productons, 200x)

Further unknown R&B found by Lewsic and appears to originate from Toronto, Canada although not 100% certain. Nothing is known about the artist but the label appears to be associated with reggae music. Surprisingly though, there isn't one lick of reggae or any of the associated genres on this album. It is 100% contemporary R&B with classic soul vocals, presumably from the early 2000s (as per the label's other releases) but the sound is very mid-to-late 90s. 

Can We Be Friends    3:54
Missin You    4:26
Do You Wanna Know    3:36
Here We Go Again    4:11
Caught In A Daze    3:59
Cycle Of Life    4:17
Ain_t Gonna Get    3:39
Always On My Mind    4:33
Pay Back    3:52
I Love You    3:34
This Time    3:53
Candle Lite    3:32

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Urbanize: Future Local Heros Vol. 1 (2005)

Further R&B and Hip Hop music out of Manchester, UK with “Urbanize” featuring a selection of gems hailing from the city’s “fruitful” urban scene back in the mid-2000s. I posted the second volume here which was supposed to be spread across 3 limited edition 12” promos but I was only ever able to find the first disc. Much like the first volume, there is an overabundance of sketchy hip hop but there are a few gems here, notably Mica Townsend’s “Back In The Day” and the beatbox gem “Runaway” by Gemin-Eye and Mad Rush. Another mention goes to “Nobody’s Fool”, the finished version of which can be found here by former MOBO Runner’s Up LB & QT. 

Let Me Tell Ya    3:04    (MC Dizzy)
Tru 1    3:32    (Tearror & Da Lecturaw)
Nobody_s Fool    3:54    (Serina Wain feat. Akosua Mensah)
Get Up Off Ya Backside    3:21    (Northern Monkees)
Back In The Day    4:13    (Mica Townsend)
Bounce!    3:21    (Flava Combined)
Tears    3:47    (Versies feat. Crystalize)
Yes    3:52    (Raw T)
Nubian    3:53    (Peachez)
Lonely Girl    4:12    (Venus)
Black Butterfly    4:04    (Diemond)
When The Sun Goes Down    3:27    (David Thomas)
Runaway    4:33    (Gemin-eye & Mad Rush)

Go Blue: The Life And Soul Of Machester England (Blue Records, 1996)

R&B music from Manchester, UK, which admittedly isn’t the first place I envisage when I think about this genre of music, but it turns out there were quite a few good artists and groups from there and I am not talking about Simply Red and Lisa Stansfield. Featured here are a selection of great unsung R&B and soul acts from the 80s to the mid-90s including 52nd Street/Cool Down Zone, Victor Haynes and many more. Notable more indie picks here include sensual female singers Jummai and Fyza and more great street soul with 3D Productions. Jummai I don’t know anything about but she was a featured performer at Manchester’s In The City music conference which ran from the early 90s to the end of the 2000s. She was said to be working with Dennis Charles and Ronnie Wilson who were mostly known for their work with Eternal in the 90s. She could’ve been Manchester’s answer to Michelle Gayle but seemingly never had a single of her own. The sweet-voiced Fyza later had a self-titled album and a couple of singles in the late 90s while 3D productions only ever appeared anywhere but here and have a quite sought-after 12” which was manufactured by Fosters Ice for Kiss FM.

 
Tell Me (How It Feels) 7:17 (52nd Street)
Just A Little More 5:34 (Fifth Of Heaven)
Heaven Knows 7:59 (Cool Down Zone)
I Just Wanna Be 5:13 (FR' Mystery)
Do You (All Nite) 4:34 (Jummai)
Colour My Life (Part One) 5:03 (M People)*
This Is Love 4:59 (Victor Haynes)
Trust In You 4:46 (3D Productions)
Keep On It 4:21 (Chapter And The Verse)
Poetical Love 7:06 (Fyza)
Set Me Free 5:38 (The Bygraves)
Black Whip 4:10 (Chapter And The Verse) 
 
*NOTE: The addition of the 90s popular electronic/house group M People is a bit of mystery. Although I quite enjoyed them back in the day, I have a feeling that this may have been just a last minute addition to this set. 

Monday, March 15, 2021

The Best of Unsigned (Touch Magazine, 200x)

Another selection of underground R&B and Hip Hop music from out the UK with Touch Magazine, an urban music & lifestyle magazine which was in publication up until 2008. Notable features include Davinah who entered and won Eastside Records' talent contest Search For A Star in 2004, smooth male artist Oogie with "Promises", Collective Minds with the uptempo "About To Change" and "Slowly Surely" from Soundbwoy Entertainment artist E.C. of which the full compilation CD can be found here.

Get Out Of My Face 3:40 (Davinah)
Slowly Surely 3:40 (EC)
(Wong) Love Of Money 3:45 (D-Stubborn)
Promises 3:28 (Oogie)
About To Change 3:02 Collective Mind)
Collaboration 3:12 (Junior Dangerous)
Random Chick 4:05 (Baby Phat)
Too Hot 3:25 (Lady Chill)
Nu Breed 3:46 (Nu Breed)
Kiss My Money Maker 3:34 (Harri Best) 
 

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Junie White: Stuck On You (CDM) (Self-Released, 1999)

Another obscure find from Lewsic and what appears to be a very private, underground release from 1999 from a UK-based female singer. No information about her anywhere - it was basically just a disc sans any and all packaging - but the featured MC AK Dope has a few 12"s on Discogs. 

Stuck On You    4:01
Stuck On You (Hip-Hop Mix)    3:44
Stuck On You (Instrumental)    4:09
When I Look At You    4:01

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

X-elle: Promo EP (Platinum Artist Management, 2002)

 
Originally featured on Andros Georgiou and the Daily Star’s Magnificent 7 series, X-elle were a 4-piece girl group comprised of Sherene Flash, Chantal Springer, Charmaine Espirit and Laura Hills from the early 2000s. Their music was described as a mixture of T.L.C., Pink (presumably from her first album era) and En Vogue ‘all rolled into one’ and they were all aged between 20-24 years old when they first appeared on the Magnificent 7 compilation with the uptempo track “Boom Da Da Da.” A much less chav-tastic version of Tommi (known for their only single “Like What” in 2003), the group wrote all of their own material, choreographed their own dance moves and worked on their own production. Alas, considering the work they put in, they are still a new one to me. They toured with major label groups such as Damage, performed live for Children In Need and even had a bi-weekly residency at The Eve Club in London’s Regent Street but still we struggled to find anything about them outside of the Web Archive for the Daily Star CD. Lewsic was lucky enough to find the above disc, which appears to be a management demo from 2002, but it is most likely the only one in existence. Mixing the Spices “Girl Power” with a little urban appeal, they had a very unique, futuristic hip hop sound that set them apart from similar UK urban groups at the time such as Tommi with their more cliche American sound and Mis-Teeq with their 2-Step crossover appeal. I don’t know if there was a niche in the market for them at the time but I certainly would be interested in hearing more. 
 
Boom Da Da Da    3:33
Did You Know    3:47
Hot Boy    3:32