Here’s an interesting one. Soul rarely gets a look-in in NMC, there’s more than enough indie pop/rock to cover but a casual listen to this new song from Janice won me over straight away.
Her latest single ‘Don’t lay it all on me’is taken from the forthcoming Netflix series ‘The Playlist’, which is a fictional one set around the origins of Spotify and in which Janice also makes her acting debut as one of the leading characters, Bobbie T, a ‘representative voice of the artists’.
And it will also form part of a four-track EP exclusively written for ‘The Playlist’, with three of the original works appearing in the series.
She was raised in a house alive to the sound of 90’s singers, pioneers of pop and soul but started her creative life as a dancer before discovering gospel music, graduating to backing vocals and then to writing more of her own material.
Her debut album ‘Fallin’ Up’ was released in 2018 after which she went through a bit of a wobbly time, having possibly been introduced to the business at too tender an age. How many times have I written that?
But she’s learned from her experiences and in April released ‘Make Me Feel’, a standalone single that announced her return ahead of a new EP to be released this autumn. A four-song collection, ‘The Playlist’ [EP] is tied in with the release of the Netflix series. An album will follow in 2023.
Oh, and she’s also starred as Mary Magdalene in the musical Jesus Christ Superstar, which toured across Scandinavia. I’m not sure what would be more daunting – that role, or being a shop steward taking on Spotify.
I noted that Whitney Houston was one of the artists that reverberated around her household. But if you think I’m going to make a comparison you’re wrong. She was a mezzo-soprano anyway and it sounds to me as if Janice is contralto.
No, actually I was thinking more in terms of some of the old soul divas. Possibly Whitney’s cousin, Dionne Warwick, but more likely Aretha Franklin or Etta James.
And the arrangement, with the violin accompaniment and little bridge, is just so.
You think I’m laying it all on you a bit thickly with parallels like that? Give it a listen. You might be in for a pleasant surprise.
You can watch the trailer for ‘The Playlist’ here. It has a wonderful line in it, directed at a smiling Janice. “Artists get paid; it’s a win-win for everyone.”
No comment, officer.
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