The single arrives Friday in advance of the release of the “It’s Time.” EP
CHICAGO (9 April 2020): The first weekend in March, Tracye Eileen exuberantly danced and sang “Somehow Someway” at the video shoot from a perch high atop a downtown Los Angeles building. The R&B/jazz singer had spent the last eleven years building towards this moment, excited about the upcoming release of her “It’s Time.” EP prefaced by the single that drops Friday. Taking direction from Emmy Award winner Ali LeRoi (“The Chris Rock Show,” “Everybody Hates Chris”), the Chicago native’s time seemed to finally have come. Moving rhythmically in front of a brilliant blue-sky backdrop as wind tossed her curly hair, Eileen never could have anticipated having to push the project’s release date back because of a global pandemic. The set of intimate love songs that she wrote and is eager to share with the world is now slated to drop June 12.
Eileen has been meticulously planning and preparing to take her music career to a new level. A slight delay in the release of her third recording isn’t going to stop her.
“It took a while to bring this project and my career to where I’m ready to move to the next level. My dream and goal have always been to be an internationally known soul/R&B artist. This project represents my next leap. It’s time now for that transition to happen. It’s time for all these projects to come to fruition,” said Eileen, who will begin introducing music from “It’s Time.” to fans this Friday at 6pm ET/5pm CT/3pm PT via Facebook and Instagram on what she calls “Meet Me In My Parlor: A Musical Interlude with Tracye Eileen.” Subsequent episodes will air at that time every other Friday leading up to the EP release date.
Eileen linked up with producer-songwriter Kendall Duffie in his Nashville recording studio, crafting an EP that delivers a sophisticated blend of soothing soul and sensual R&B grooves.
“I co-wrote the new songs with Kendall and it was pretty ironic that what he came up with was in line with my thoughts and emotions, expressing how I feel. I think the music composition flowed well with the sentiment of each song,” said Eileen about the disc that opens with the first radio single.
“‘Somehow Someway’ felt so soothing to me. I had taken a solo vacation to Belize and I remember being in a hammock, swinging over the ocean, listening to the instrumental track over and over and having the lyrics just come to me. ‘Somehow Someway’ describes a relationship that says, ‘You’ve got to find your way to me somehow someway’ and the experience of what that’s going to feel like being in that relationship.”
Eileen acknowledges that the songs on “It’s Time.” are about her romantic life. “The three new songs are aspirational. Now it’s time. I’ve done a lot of work on myself and now I’m ready for the type of love that I want in my life.”
Cruising on a midtempo groove with a soulful sax caress from Donald Hayes, “Now That We’re Here” is about committing to the relationship. Eileen’s jazz vocal roots are evident on the rousing “Sweeter With Time,” a tune about how love grows, anchored by a deft drum and bass rhythm track played by Terry Baker and Simeon Baker respectively.
The EP closes with two versions – including a house mix - of the first song Eileen ever wrote, “Why Did I Say Yes,” the title cut of her 2018 album.
“I started my professional music career after I got divorced, deciding to invest in myself to release a jazz album, ‘Love’s Journey’ (2012), after having previously invested in my ex-husband’s dreams. I decided to be self-revealing because I want my music to be authentic and real, songs that people could connect to, so I knew it had to be truthful. I’ve had both men and women connect with ‘Why Did I Say Yes,’ which I wrote with the longtime keyboardist in my band, Tom Viatsas. It’s about being in a relationship that you know is not good for you, but you’re in love. When you finally make your way out of it, maybe you run into the person again and you find yourself right back to where you started. Eventually, you make a choice for yourself. You choose you and you choose to operate and stay on a higher plane. The song comes from a very positive place of growth and change.”
While Eileen didn’t set out to write a theme EP where all the songs are connected, it happened organically.
“I didn’t recognize how connected the songs were until I started thinking about an EP title. ‘It’s Time.’ came to me in addition to how the songs tie together and why. I knew I wanted to write about a love that I wanted in my life having grown from my past experiences, but I didn’t plan for the songs to flow in a sequence the way they do naturally.”
Eileen’s monthly residency with her five-piece band at Buddy Guy’s Legends in Chicago is on hold for the moment because of coronavirus concerns. Over the years, she’s opened for Babyface, The Stylistics, Mary Wilson, Chante Moore, After 7 and Buddy Guy himself. In the meantime, Eileen eagerly anticipates debuting the “Somehow Someway” video on Facebook and Instagram on May 1 followed by the arrival of the EP the following month. For more information, please visit http://www.tracyeeileen.com.
“It’s Time” contains the following songs:
“Now That We’re Here”
“Sweeter With Time”
“Why Did I Say Yes”
“Why Did I Say Yes” (house mix)