Earlier this year, for my first John Fluker post, I picked a song that I hadn’t heard until the day I wrote the post. The same thing has occurred with this post.
The violin, at least to my knowledge, isn’t a lead instrument on a lot of smooth jazz or instrumental pop songs. There was a time during the early 2000s when Miri Ben-Ari was featured on several hip-hop songs, and has even released a few albums of her own. And in the early 90s, Jerald Daemyon had a smooth jazz/R&B hit with his cover of Kool & The Gang’s “Summer Madness” (which I featured in this post). That was the beginning and end of my knowledge of the violin in smooth jazz or R&B circles.
A new artist is threatening to change that. Her name is Lucine Fyelon, and prior to hearing her latest song yesterday, I did not know she even existed. Apparently, she is a multi-hyphenate: in addition to playing the violin, she is also an actress, and has sung opera as well. Her parents are both classically trained musicians: her mother a conert pianist and her father is a violinist. She began playing the violin at 5 and at six was accepted into a premier violin school named after Tchaikovsky in Armenia. The Cal State Northridge graduate majored in violin performance, and has since worked with the likes of Madonna, Quincy Jones, Herbie Hancock and Miley Cyrus.
After hearing “Emotions” as part of my new releases playlist on Spotify, I began doing some research. Turns out she has several singles that she has released; “Emotions” marks the fourth one this calendar year. The video for one of her earlier singles, “Poundcake,” reportedly received over 9 million views on Facebook in just four hours. I admit, I like how her violin sounds over the programmed hip-hop style beats that accompany her on “Emotions.” It may be because of the novelty of hearing a violin in this type of setting, but I did find the groove more soothing than dance worthy. For Smooth Jazz Sunday, I am featuring both “Poundcake” and “Emotions” so that you can hear for yourselves what Ms. Fyelon can do.
As always, thanks for reading and listening.