After a brief rest on the bench, Cover Star is back! This week spotlight’s Berlin beauty Lolaca Manhisse, who tackles Beyonce‘s latest song ’Standing On The Sun’. How did she fare? Find out below…
The full version of the Sia-penned number may not be out yet, however – like most King B cuts- it’s clear this is yet another song that only the skilled should attempt. And skilled, Lolaca is. Indeed, a few diction issues aside, she held her own, breezing through the track’s varied vocal tones and textures well. We like…do you?
For more on Lolaca, check out her Youtube page here.
This week’s That Grape Juice Cover Star comes from Nashvillian duo Ceron and Bdot. Press play below to hear the twosome take on Al Green‘s signature classic ‘Let’s Stay Together’:
Amazing! With tonal quality and stylings reminiscent of Chrisette Michele and Marsha Ambrosius (with sprinklings of Lil’ Mo), Bdot laid into ‘Let’s Stay Together’ with a melisma marathon – runs, riffs, and scats galore! But, even in its abundance, the songstress managed restraint and allowed her passion to shine through to avoid overdoing it (a trait absent from many-her-Youtube contemporary).
Delivering a fiery rendition of the 70s hit (especially from the 2:15 mark) with the accompaniment of Ceron’s skillful guitar pluck, it goes without saying that we need many more duos like this on our radios. Well done Ceron & Bdot!
This week’s That Grape Juice Cover Star comes from Youtube beau Caleb Rekcah. Watch as he lays into an acoustic cover of Brandy‘s ‘Wildest Dreams’ – the second single from her critically acclaimed set ‘Two Eleven’:
We appreciate singers who can put their own twists on tunes without taking away from it. Caleb did just that. Softly cooing in the beginning of his cover (giving it a “lullaby” feel almost), the second verse saw him really ramp up and bring the song home.
While maintaining the vulnerability of tone the song calls for, Rekcah opted to avoid B-rocka’s rollercoaster (and oft inimitable) ride of runs and melisma, instead inserting his own blend.
This week’s That Grape Juice Cover Star comes from Youtube songbird Jouelle. Watch as she shines with her cover of ‘Body Party’ - the latest single from Ciara‘s highly anticipated 5th album ‘One Woman Army’ (start at :30):
Sang Jouelle! We definitely give kudos to the songstress for putting her own soulful spin on Ciara’s softly sung number. Opting to inject a bit more melisma and “umph” into the tune than its seductively cooed original, Miss Young put on display an instrument somewhat reminiscent of Elle Varner‘s (in part).
Yes, a few missed lyrics and misfired runs here and there, but what shines through is Young’s undeniable potential. Overall, a fairly solid showing!
This week’s That Grape Juice Cover Star is delivered from Youtube sensation Damita. Watch as the soulful songbird soars with ‘Stay’ – the latest single from Rihanna‘s #1 album ‘Unapologetic’:
(Start at :19)
The beauty of the song is its vulnerability – the somberness in its lyric and sound.
And, to say Damita took that and ran with it is a clear understatement. Maintaining the tone of the song, she lifted the lid on a cover that not only does the original justice, but also puts her signature stamp on it – providing a power that its original performer has yet to quite master.
This week’s That Grape Juice ‘Cover Star‘ pays homage to Black History Month with an epic showing of ‘Lift Every Voice’ from Virginian trio Resound (Joseph, Mariah, and Jessica). Watch as the three take on the Negro national anthem below (start at 1:10):
Absolutely breathtaking! It is no wonder that famed gospel artist Byron Cage sought to shine a spotlight on this talented trio. Never have we ever heard such effortless harmonic transitions, passion, and masterfully executed melisma by three awesome vocalists who are just as powerful jointly as they are solo.
Here is hoping the coming months will let us hear more from ReSound as they are truly deserving of the attention being brought their way!
This week’s That Grape Juice ‘Cover Star‘ comes from Atlantan crooner Corey Mekell. Watch as the U.S. native suits up for a slick cover of Justin Timberlake‘s long-awaited comeback single ‘Suit & Tie’ below (start at :14):
Now this is what we’re talking about!
If ‘Suit & Tie’ is the beginning of R&B’s resurgence on charts, let’s hope that acts like Corey Mekell are part of the new school that resuscitate interest the genre. For, as the young crooner’s Youtube page evidences, he’s certainly got what it takes to do so.
Lending a very radio friendly sound to his original and cover jobs, Mekell is giving us a much needed mix of style and substance with his offerings – one that we are certainly not mad at! Kudos to Mekell!
This week’s That Grape Juice ‘Cover Star‘ comes in the form of an archived performance of powerhouse vocalist Sasha Allen. Watch as the beauty pays homage to Whitney Houston‘s first #1 hit ‘Saving All My Love For You’:
Wow. Just wow.
To say that Allen did this song justice is a minimalistic review of this awesome showing. Many-a-reality talent show contestant have tried and failed to cover Whitney’s top hits, but where Sasha succeeds was her ability to make the song without overdoing it.
The melisma, the power, and easy on the eyes? Sasha would definitely be a fierce competitor for the next generation of top vocal divas.
This week’s That Grape Juice‘Cover Star‘ comes from the R&B/pop stylings of Youtube sensation Travis Garland. Watch as the Texas talent takes on the task of Ne-Yo‘s top 10 smash ‘Let Me Love You’ below:
Garland was nothing short of great! With vocals uncannily reminiscent of Ne-Yo (and Justin Timberlake in parts), Garland lends a performance that could easily run side by side with some of today’s top crooners.
It’s refreshing gifts like his that gives us some hope that real talent will one day make its return to radio. Because, without doubt, this kid has it.