Canada 2008

Review: Stephanie McKay – Montreal International Jazz Festival

by Winston "Stone" Ford

To be honest, Stephanie McKay was off my radar for the longest time. I remember her from that track that “Take Me Over” off her first album, which was solid. And I still keep confusing her with Alice Smith.

But that’s all under the bridge. Ms. McKay has taken me over. She really needs to be in the conversation when it comes this new generation of soul singers, because she has a voice and an attitude that rivals anybody that is out today.

I’m not going to front, I only know one of her songs, but she has managed to win over the me and the crowd with ease. McKay’s music is soulful and personal, and the songs from her new album, Tell It Like It Is has a political agenda and social consciousness that is lacking, because many soul artists are basically just trying write a song based off of a catchy hook.

McKay’s blend of soul, jazz, and even a little broken beat might be a tough sell for some, and her dive club feel could have fell flat in such a large venue. But in the end, Ms. McKay won over the crowd of 20,000 easily and effortlessly. Her performance gained her new fans, including yours truly.

Check Stephanie McKay out at her MySpace.