Last year was the 20th anniversary of ATCQ’s Midnight Marauders, and it looks like the celebration of the storied record and group continues on in 2014. Fresh off her interpretation of Outkast’s “So Fresh and So Clean”, California singer Xiomara continues to reinterpret Hip Hop in her jazzy, R & B style with a cover of Tribe’s “Electric Relaxation”. The daughter of a music professor and Afro-Cuban percussionist, this Berekley, CA native perfected her craft at Colorado’s famous Stanley Motel’s (the hotel used in the Kubrick movie The Shining) Gold Room singing Jazz standards. This grew into her organic, acoustic sound and her golden voice jumped from the hotel to opening up for Alexz Johnson, Talib Kweli, and Mobb Deep, among others. This project, which combines a variety of Tribe tunes (“Find A Way”, “Electric Relaxation”) and a “No Diggity” chorus is a winner. Dropping Bluesy, Jazz influenced vocals over an eerie Portishead back beat, Xiomara is channeling everyone from Eryka Badu to Blackstreet and ends up with an acapella Marvellettes tribute to ride out on. This tune has a Massive Attack feel, dark and stormy beats over her soulful and alluring voice. It catches you off guard, because as she interprets each lyric from different songs, I’m waiting to hear Tip, but what I’m hearing is something entirely different, something special. Produced by Billion Coast, we will have our eyes and ears open for more from this siren. She shows no sign of relaxing or set-tling down.
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More info at the Xiomara website.