Onitsha  Artist Profile | Biography And Discography | NewReleaseToday

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    ARTIST PROFILE
    Onitsha
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    Onitsha is a rare and inspiring study in contrasts. Her debut album, Church Girl, proves
    she is one of the brightest new stars in the firmament of contemporary inspirational music, and
    yet the concept of "star-tripping" is not even in her vocabulary. She and her acclaimed producer
    and co-writer, Shep Crawford (Whitney Houston, Kelly Price, Yolanda Adams), write song after
    song, each somehow managing to obey all the rules of great, accessible, popular music, while
    at the same time stretching—if not breaking altogether—every single one of them.
    And at every turn throughout Church Girl, Onitsha succeeds mightily and majestically at
    tearing down walls between musical genres, radio formats and—most significantly—the "usand-
    them" mentality that has much too often, and for far too long, kept the Church and the world
    in their own separate corners of Creation.
    “My Life” is easy, sturdy R&B/funk, that finds Onitsha unleashing mind-bending
    improvisations and riffs as if they were second nature, backed by a star-studded ensemble that
    includes Erica and Tina of Mary, Mary, Deborah Cox and CoCo of ‘90s R&B icons, SWV.
    “Don’t Give Up” struts a steady hip-hop groove that embodies the Onitsha sound, with
    its solid, punchy bottom end, and just enough instrumental color to add the right flavor; all
    making sure to leave lots of space for Onitsha and the ensemble to lay down vocals that are
    nothing less than stunning.
    “He Is” takes a cool, retro-soul vibe—slinky wah-wah guitar and all—and melds it to a
    modern-to-the-minute rhythm section, yielding a best-of-both-worlds amalgam that is both
    compellingly original, and like all of Onitsha’s work, relentlessly catchy, the way any great
    popular song should be.
    Onitsha proudly shows her church roots in “God Is On Your Side,” which deftly and
    even ingeniously adds a touch of hip-hop rhythm and jazzy pop to the reverential Sunday
    morning spirit that lies at the heart of it all.
    “Search Me” treads on turf that even long-standing gospel divas might fear to go, as the
    wonders of modern engineering yield a very modern-sounding mix of gospel matriarch Mahalia
    Jackson’s original, classic recording, with Onitsha dueting with “The Queen.” Presuming to
    traffic in such hallowed company is a bold, even risky move, and any serious gospel fan will tell
    you straight up that you better have the goods to deliver, or get out of town, and quickly. Never
    even presuming to out-sing the greatest of gospel greats, Onitsha simply, and with all due
    respect, just sings her parts in her own, natural, captivating and unaffected way, turning out a
    track that can’t help but make any listener smile from here to next year.
    Producer and co-writer Crawford has no trouble putting his finger on exactly what it was
    about Onitsha that made her stand out from the countless singers a hit producer hears, in the
    search for exciting and original new talent.
    “Onitsha is a truly unique voice,” he says. “I hear lots and lots of singers who can really
    sing. They’ve got all the runs and all the riffs, but they just don’t have that extra `something.’
    Think of all the classic singers, from James Cleveland, to Stevie Wonder…Gladys Knight.
    When their voices come on the radio, you immediately know who it is. That’s the stuff legends are made of".

    Entry lasted edited by ChristAboveAll on 07.20.09
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