Sunday, 11 March 2018

EP: Kadija Kamara - Nothing Left To Lose

Kadija Kamara - Nothing Left To Lose
Photo Credit: Garry Carbon

Info: Based in London, Kadija Kamara is a singer songwriter who best describes her sound as 'alt soul'. With a love of 60’s and 70’s analogue sounds, Kadija combines her affinity for retro soul music with a host of modern influences. To date, her accomplishments include winning the MTV Iggy Artist Of The Week poll, voted by readers and being awarded funding for her Artist Development Programme by PRS for Music. From collaborations with the likes of Joey Negro, Zeb Bias plus many more, to backing vocals for Zara McFarlane on …Later With Jools Holland.

Kadija recently curated a night called Lady, which showcases leading female musicians in the underground and commercial music scenes.  She currently holds a residency at the popular Music venue 'The Finsbury', with label/promoters Lost In The Manor. Having had the stunning 'Eyes On You' selected by readers for Tom Robinson’s Fresh On The Net’, and with praise from CLASH, The Revue, FAME Magazine, Get In Her Ears, and Hype Machine to name a few, the stage is set for her long-awaited EP Nothing Left To Lose.

Yeah, last year I fell hook, line and sinker for 'Eyes On You', I'm still listening to it without any depreciation of its appeal apparent. Kadija Kamara's second EP, Nothing Left to Lose indulges forlorn fans of soul music with a rock edge who were wondering where the genre had gone too today. The opening title-track is as gripping as the aforementioned single, as her vocal soars the wah-wah kicks in and this is what you'd imagine if Clapton or Hendrix employed backing singers on their albums, but Kamara is no backing singer, she's a tour de force front woman.

'Running In The Name of the Game' absorbs a healthy dose of funky attitude, a rolling smoke of rocking soul harmonies bellow out from the track, fittingly it reminds me of Led Zeppelin's 'Good Times, Bad Times' musically, and the rock undercuts the soul, which is an interesting hint at where Kamara's musical heart is shared. Aagh, it's difficult to adequately describe how amazing 'Eyes On You' is, in one sense there's a simplicity in that guitar riff, but it's so lush and wholesome, and her voice is desperately appealing, as I mentioned I loved, and still love this track so much, it was such a stellar highlight for me last year. Usually I'd go back and check what I previously wrote but I just want to have a fresh perspective here. It's sultry, golden and a ridiculously addictive pop-rock song which has elements of other genres such as soul, electronica and who knows what else, it's just so damn good.

The EP closes on an unexpected note, perhaps Kamara wanted to present another side to her song-writing and vocal dexterity, and rightly so. 'Damn You' is a classic soul track, a story, a broken heart that only starts to get fixed through expression. The piano and strings act like closing brackets surrounding her vocal, throw in the backing singers and you have a bone fide throwback to the origins of extravagant soul with meaning. It's heart-warming and melting, and the perfect closure to a brave foray into mixing soul and rock.

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