Saturday, July 17, 2021

iCandi: Promo EP (Urban Street / So Famous Entertainment, 2004)

I originally stumbled upon this great duo back in 2017 but owing to the many pitfalls of the USPS and the cheapest service they offer for 12” vinyl records “Media Mail”, it arrived broken completely in two. It wasn’t until the end of 2018 that another copy came up for sale and I was lucky enough to get it in one piece then. Originally from the Midwest, they were tipped for big things which saw one half of the duo Yolanda “La La” Brown feature on the track “S.E.X.” by Lyfe Jennings in 2006. Sadly just a year later in 2007, her life was tragically cut short when both she and her then-boyfriend were gunned down at a recording studio in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The crime is still unsolved to this day. As for iCandi, both Brown and Wichita’s Loree Marzett had been singing together as a duo since 2002 and were signed to Urban Street / So Famous Entertainment, a production company based out of St. Louis, Missouri. Taking the best of 90s proponents SWV, 702 and Destiny’s Child, the duo offered street-orientated yet tasteful R&B music with youthsome appeal and a touch of grace. Working with Midi Mafia, Dwayne Bastiany and James Glasco, they constructed a fantastic R&B set which sadly never saw the light of day as a commercial release or even yielded one proper single. Before now, the only tangible music I had ever seen by them was a white label 12” that at one point it seemed I could not get in one piece. The above promo, which my good chum Stuaaart got for an absolute steal a few months back, contains at least some of the songs they had lined up for their album back then. From the Southern-style beats on “Ooh Wee!!” (Midi Mafia), to the sweeping string arrangements of the no-nonsense “That’s My Word”, to the Beyonce “Baby Boy”-esque flava of “All Night”, this sophisticated duo – once rated as one of the hottest new female groups around – was a real missed opportunity by all.

"When it comes to stunning looks and angelic voices, men just can't resist behaving in ways that are completely out of character, borderline foolish. Perhaps all is not lost, or is it?

Singing as a duo since early 2002, ICANDI (pronounced eye-candy) has been bestowed upon the music industry like a sleuth in the night vicariously through 19yr. old Wichita, Kansas native Loree Marzett and 18yr old Milwaukee, Wisconsin native Yolanda Brown. And Wow! These ladies are just that, ICANDI.

Signed to St. Louis based production company Urban Street / So Famous Entertainment, for the purpose of re-invigorating R&B music, with 90's musical influences of SWV, 702 and Destiny's Child. Set to continue that same tradition, like true gems, this teenage duo tastefully blend their abilities to mix R&B and Hip-Hop music with a dash of youthful tease and curiosity.

Discovered by Urban Street, Loree and Yolonda started recording with the SoFamous production team of Dwayne Bastiany and James Glasco (who has contributed production and writing to Lil'Mo, 112, Sylena Johnson, ISYSS, 3LW, Deborah Cox). Constructing graceful lead vocals, interweaving harmonies on street-laced and smooth-yet-edgy beats on songs like "Can't Believe", "Then", "Ooh Wee!!" and "Mama Said" prove that ICANDI aim to shatter the typical girl group clichés that's quick to categorize and pigeonhole newcomers.

Coupled with prodigious vocals and lyrically positive affirmations of youthful emotions and feelings, ICANDI is poised to keep an eye (candi) on longevity…." -iCandi Official Website
Ooh Wee 3:44 
Ooh Wee [Radio] 3:45 
Ooh Wee [Instrumental] 4:07 
That's My Word 3:21 
That's My Word [Radio] 3:28 
That's My Word [Instrumental] 3:16 
All Night (Bonus Track) 2:48