Friday, April 18, 2008

Willis -- not Arnold's brother, either

I speak of the artist known as Willis. She's amazing. The first time I heard her haunting sounds was, oddly, while watching CSI: Las Vegas. Lab technician Hodges is awaiting test results from some forensic doohickey machine and he dances to a creative cover of Cameo's "Word Up!" Willis' version will not put you into a hyper dance groove. Instead, you'll be entranced by the coolness of her take on the once quick paced tune.
Taken from her Myspace page bio:

  • HAVING GROWN UP IN WEST LONDON ON A DIET OF ELVIS PRESLEY, HOLLYWOOD MUSICALS, NURSERY RHYMES AND COUNTRY MUSIC, A FORTUNATE INABILITY TO REMEMBER OTHER PEOPLES LYRICS FORCED WILLIS INTO WRITING HER OWN SONGS. THOUGH HUGELY INFLUENCED BY FEMALE AMERICAN ARTISTS LIKE BARBRA STREISAND, ELLA FITZGERALD AND BRENDA LEE, SHE BEGAN SINGING TRADITIONAL IRISH FOLK SONGS BEFORE DISCOVERING 1970S AMERICANA, VIA NEIL YOUNG AND THE BAND, DURING THE 90S. A SIX YEAR SPELL WORKING AT THE ECLECTIC LONDON STORE, SOUL JAZZ RECORDS, BELATEDLY INTRODUCED HER TO THE WORLD OF DANCE MUSIC AND ELECTRONICA, AND BY THE EARLY 2000S SHE WAS RELEASING RECORDS VIA HER OWN LABEL, CRIPPLE CREEK. AFTER RECORDING 'COME GET SOME', AN ALBUM FOR 679/WARNERS, SHE RETURNED TO RUNNING HER OWN LABEL AND IN 2008 THE 'GET IN THE RING EP' IS SET FOR RELEASE VIA CRIPPLE CREEK. WITH FURTHER RELEASES PLANNED ON THE CRIPPLE CREEK IMPRINT, WILLIS WILL EMBARK ON LIVE DATES LATER THIS YEAR.
Apologies for the caps. It's written as she wrote it. You can download some of her tracks on iTunes. Included in the limited songs is another cover. This time it's Dolly Parton's "9 to 5." Trust me, if you hated that catchy song, you might find yourself changing your mind when you hear Willis' rework of Dolly's most notable cross over hit.
Naturally I can't discuss an music artist without giving you a taste of what makes her one of my most favorite artists around today.

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