The European-reared American artist drops a diverse EP as a calling card for the US market.
“I know it’s different. I know I sound different. I’m not scared of that. Maybe you’ll like me; maybe you won’t. But I’m a singer-songwriter of soul music; I’m a child of jazz and this is what I have to propose.”
That’s China Moses speaking about her digital EP, “China Moses & The Vibe Tribe,” which recently dropped on MPS Records (via Edel Germany/Bob Frank Entertainment in North America). She recorded the set after four years of touring Europe and Asia with The Vibe Tribe - saxophonist Luigi Grasso, keyboardist & pianist Joe Armon Jones, pianist & organist Ashley Henry, bassist Neil Charles and drummer Marijus Aleksa - with the intention of showcasing the band’s exuberant live energy. Her goal for the four-track EP is loftier: to introduce her diverse sound to the US market while paving the way for her next album, which will be released next year.
The first two singles from the EP, “Nicotine” and “Put It On The Line,” originally appeared on Moses’ 2017 album, “Nightintales,” and appear on the EP in completely different versions that were recorded live with the five multicultural members of The Vibe Tribe.
Born in Los Angeles, Moses moved to Paris when she was seven and has lived abroad ever since. She was a teenager when her first recording was released yet she has never been comprehensively promoted in the US. Known as a progressive soul singer, Moses considers herself to be “French with an American passport,” thus her perspective, experience and music are indeed different. Each song on the EP - three of which she wrote with the fourth song being a reinvention of Janis Joplin’s “Move Over” - is essentially a different genre. The EP draws upon Moses’ Black American cultural and musical background. It goes from swanky late-night blues to intense afro beat-tinged R&B to a soulful deep funk-rock energy to a four-on-the-floor house remix by Charles, who is also a household name in the UK’s electronica music scene under the monikers Ben Marc and N400.
“Coming back to the States, what I have had to explain is that I sound Black American when I speak and I look Black American, but I have a very different life experience. I have fewer limits on what my music can or should be. I think my music has that freedom. It’s a freedom that my mom (legendary jazz singer Dee Dee Bridgewater) and my ancestors have fought for. I would not be able to make the music I make today if I was raised in the States. It’s unfortunate but true. My music wouldn’t sound the same,” said Moses who hosts two radio shows, Made in China on TSF Jazz in France and Late Night China Moses on Jazz FM in the United Kingdom.
Also released recently was the third video from the EP, “Move Over,” which is another black-and-white clip from Brazilian director Adriano Vannini lensed during Moses’ years of touring with The Vibe Tribe (https://youtu.be/pbe5kNruMno).
Writing and recording musical amalgams rooted in Black America - jazz, R&B, soul, funk and blues – Moses seeks to find her place “back home,” a process that began with the release of the EP. Part of her musical homecoming means that Moses is recording her next album in the US with co-producer Troy Miller (Gregory Porter) and is co-writing the songs with keyboardist-singer-songwriter Oli Rockberger. GRAMMY nominated trumpeter Theo Croker is crafting the horn arrangements for the collection that will tentatively be titled “Nigra Prismo,” Black Prism in Esperanto, a universal utopic language, an apropos choice given Moses’ desire to redefine what a singer-songwriter can be.
“Black Prism’ is basically what I am, and the album is a kaleidoscope of Black American music. I’m really trying to bend the notion of what a modern-day singer-songwriter is and can look like and be and the wide realm of music that you can do. I think that’s the reason I constantly do songs that are ‘different genres,’ but part of the same world,” said Moses, who is poised to be the next jazz and soul singer from Europe to create a splash in the US.
For more information, please visit http://chinamoses.com.
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