New blog friend (or friend of the blog) Cheyanne did a post a few days ago that featured a song by Ledisi. I’ll just put it out there that Ledisi is one of R&B’s brightest lights. Love her voice and her singing style. Girl can sing her face off. However, it has been a minute since we’ve heard new music from her. It wasn’t long after I saw Cheyanne’s post at Tangerine Wallpaper that SoulTracks and SoulBounce both featured an article about some covers she had released on her Soundcloud page.
On her streaming EP “The Nostalgia Movement, Vol. 1,” Ledisi takes on classic songs from Patrice Rushen, The Isley Brothers and the late Natalie Cole. While her versions pay homage to the originals (with snippets of interviews with Rushen, Ronald Isley and Cole at the beginning of each song), her takes stand well enough on their own.
From the Soul Tracks story, Ledisi shares her motivation for this project:
“Before my beautiful friend Natalie Cole passed away, I had started the process of tributing some of my favorite legends. The idea came about because I always see people covering the same songs over and over. I thought to myself why not tribute the R&B Music I love, give a little bit of a new flair to the arrangements, and educate the listener all at the same time. My prayer is that my version of these songs will make the listener want to go back and hear the original. That is my way of paying homage to those who came before me.
Performing tributes has always held a very special place in my heart. Many don’t know this, but singing Luther Vandross’ song “My Sensitivity” on The Forever For Always For Love project ultimately lead me to my record deal with Verve Universal and allowed me the opportunity to meet Patti Labelle for the first time! Since then, I’ve been blessed with so many other amazing opportunities, including meeting Stevie Wonder, George Duke, Natalie Cole and Patti Austin for the first time; singing to the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, at a Music Cares event for The Grammys; singing “Endless Love” for Lionel Richie; and meeting the great Maurice White and the legendary Verdine White after recording “Devotion” for the Earth Wind and Fire Interpretations Project.
My goal has always been to honor the original recording but find ways to be true to who I am. I have done it most of my professional career, and it never gets old neither does it ever get easy. I will always love the original version of any song I remake because attached to those songs are memories, a place and a time.
Nostalgia means a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations
Yeah…that’s how I want people to feel.
Wow…I love Music, Enjoy!”
Hearing her do Rushen’s “Settle For My Love,” The Isleys “I Once Had Your Lovin’ Baby (And I Can’t Let Go),” and Cole’s “I’ve Got Love On My Mind” makes me glad that she’s back in our presence, doing what she does best. If you are a fan of Ledisi, you already know how this is going down. If you’re not, take a listen to one of the current greats in R&B doing what she does. And take her advice and seek out the original songs, if you haven’t heard them before.