Joy Denalane = The New Hotness
by Winston "Stone" Ford
I heard about Joy Denalane early last week when I was trying to find another Lupe Fiasco collaboration. Of course, in that past week she’s got the internets goin’ nuts. I don’t really mess with R&B that much anymore, but I copped the album and….good lawd, this girl is good. Her bio says that she’s German, but with that voice you would think that she was raised in the backwoods of Tennessee.
Ms. Denalane’s playbook is really nothing new compared to other “neo-soul” artists like Leela James. She just does it better. In addition, she adds collaborations with Lupe (who verse isn’ it best work), Raekwon (that’s where he’s been lately?) and Govenor. The backdrop hearkens back to the old school, but with a more contemporary tone. And the lyrics are strong, powerful, and dare I say…..mature. (Ladies need to check out the lyrics to “Let Go” and memorize them)
Having that said, the girl sort of remains a mystery. OKP is promoting her in the States, but it seems like she’s going to be a Europe-only thing for a while. You can’t even buy it from US stores yet. Hopefully that will change soon.
Oh, and to my foreign readers, can you school me on German/European R&B. I know a lot of UK artists, and I’m down with Les Nubians (France), and Nichole Willis (Norway), but I wanna know what else is out there.