Sweet Fruit, the debut EP release from Soul Singer Lisa Zuré, is one of the most uniquely sensual and authentic incarnations of R&B today. A prolific singer/songwriter, Lisa Zuré has always brought a soulfully sensual and innovative musicality to every song she creates. The sound of her voice is unique and slightly addictive; once you have heard it, you will want to hear it again and again. Before moving to Brooklyn, Zuré worked with a number of well-known and come-up producers and artists in both LA and the SF Bay Area. She came to New York in 2005 with a musical vision and the hope she would find kindred souls who would catch her vibe. Coincidentally, the very first Brooklynite she encountered was veteran producer Eric “Mr. Diz” Cole (aka K-Swift)… and the rest is history. Working nonstop, the two discovered—almost by accident—their signature sound, which (for lack of a better name) they call “Modern Soul.” The music has been embraced in the US and overseas (Europe, Africa and Asia) by listeners of all ages and races, and is steadily gaining a dedicated fan base all over the world. Obviously, the sound has universal appeal.
“My music grows on people,” says Zuré. “It’s just been a matter of getting it out there to let them hear it.” A 2007 pre-release of the single, Can’t Tell Him No (included on the Sweet Fruit EP), was warmly received; in June of that year, Can’t Tell Him No spent several weeks in the Top 20 of French FM station RadioLaser, and remained in regular rotation for most of that summer. Additionally, for all of November 2007, Zure and her song, Can’t Tell Him No, both maintained their position as No. 1 Independent Artist and Song on the Vibe/BP Music page, garnering hundreds of fans from all across the US (particularly the Deep South) and across the globe. Songs from this current project are already being featured on radio shows (including KISS FM) in Sweden, New Zealand and the UK, as well as on various popular podcasts.
Although Sweet Fruit is an EP, Zuré has dubbed it a Multiple Single Release. “Everything in the music business is changing. With digital downloads, every song on an album has to be worthy of being a single. We ended up releasing this project a year later than planned because our music kept evolving and raising the bar, so we had to keep working to meet our own rising standards. Now that we have, I coined the phrase Multiple Single Release to describe our approach to marketing this project.”
Each song represents a different aspect of the artist’s experience. “Love fuels all my work, even when it’s filtered through pain. I guess you could say I’m a love junkie. It’s always about being authentic, expressing pure emotion in a musical way. This time, the thing that fueled me most was Diz’s beats. They triggered a musical emotion and I stayed true to that source. The collaboration birthed this organic sound that neither one of us could have created alone.”
“Sweet Fruit,” the title track in this collection, was already written when Zuré met guitarist Chris Morgan. “Months before, I’d actually seen Chris playing with Angie Stone on a music/travel video filmed on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. The video stayed in my mind because I spent a lot of time on those islands (my daughter was born in BC) and Angie Stone is one of my favorite singer/writers. So the combination of Angie and Vancouver Island was my personal Heaven on Earth. When Chris contacted me and I realized he’d toured with her, I was so excited. The minute he played me the guitar loop, I knew it was a perfect fit.” Sweet Fruit also features bass by the talented Nate Jones, well known for his work as Music Director for Lyfe Jennings. “I think a lot of women can relate to this song. Basically, it’s a heads up for any man who thinks his woman is just gonna lie up passive while he’s running around on her…” Sweet fruit, only getting sweeter, juicy in the garden, cuz there ain’t nobody watchin’…
“Be With You” was inspired by one of Diz’s most passionate tracks. “We first released the song on our mixtape Introducing LadyZuré. Later, we added acoustic guitar (played by the awesome Shelton Garner) and electric guitar (played by Curt Chambers of Franklin Bridge, who incidentally plays for Eric Roberson). Be With You is a powerful lovesong about the kind of love that drives you to be with the someone, regardless of anything.” I wake up thinking about you late at night, when I look in the mirror I see your eyes, and I don’t care if it’s wrong or right, only wanna be with you…
“Break It Down” was another head’s up to men song. “Basically, the song just lays it out… Let me break it down to you…. reeeeeal slow…….You’re never here when I you need to be and I’m definitely not in the mood to be alone, so…”
“Can’t Tell Him No” is a song that feels like walking down a dusty road in Tennessee somewhere on a sunny day, just flowing in an essence that is so close to the bone. “It’s one of the purest songs I’ve ever written.” He’s my summer rain, he’s a sweet refrain, when he calls my name… I can’t tell him no…
“Gotcha” (original and remix) is just a good old-fashioned dance song. Like the way you feel my rhythm. got me diggin’ into it…. “Diz’s track challenged me, it got me dancing and made me want to create a melody that was an inescapable polyrhythm.” How you get your spine to move like mine when we’re on the dance floor… Diz’s remix was made later, putting a slow grind sexy spin to the song that is sticky sweet with a dark edge.
Mr. Diz began his musical career at young age— the native Brooklynite was 16 years old when First Priority Music recognized his talent and signed him. Known back then as K-Swift, he was one half of rap duo The Alliance, along with Fred “King of Chill” Byrd, who incidentally wrote and produced a number of then labelmate MC Lyte’s early hits (including Cha Cha Cha). It is a little-known story that K-Swift was the “friend” who recommended his schoolmate Lana Moore to the fold at First Priority Music. Hip Hop afficianados will recognize the music of The Alliance, including their 1988 underground hit, Bustin’ Loose, as a rare and influential chapter in Hip Hop history,. Stories from this pivotal time in Hip Hop abound… The Roots credit The Alliance song “Kibbles n Bits” (which they interpreted as Table of Contents, Pts. 1 & 2 on their most successful album to date, Things Fall Apart) as one of the songs that inspired their musical creativity. As the years went on, Diz continued as a producer and solo artist— working with a range of artists— from LL Cool J and Nine-Inch Nails, to popular UK group Kosheen— including a stint from 2002 to 2005 as creator, producer and host for the internationally top-rated Sirius/XM “Boneheadz Radio Show.”
“From the moment I heard Zuré sing,” remembers Diz, “I was inspired to create music that would compliment her distinctive sound— and that’s real, cause I had given up on the spirit of being a producer or being involved in the music industry, it was like a marriage gone awry…” The first musical collaboration between Zuré and Diz was actually a jingle for the Boneheadz Radio Show, and then the songs just started flowing.
As a child, Zuré never considered herself a musician, but radio was always in the background. “Music just caught me, seeped in without my knowing it. Where I shop in Brooklyn, they play all soul music, from before Motown to the present. Everyone’s bopping down the aisles, singing these oldies and buying their groceries. As I was shopping, I realized I knew the words, melodies, even the changes and solos to songs that I literally couldn’t tell you the names of or who sang them… but they were in me.”
Later musical inspirations spanned a spectrum of genres, from Coltrane, Hendrix and Stevie Wonder (of course), to Chaka Khan, Marvin Gaye, Diane Reeves, as well as Erykah, Faith, Angie Stone, D’Angelo, Talib Kweli and Nas…. To name a few….Elements of essential R&B, Classic Rock, Jazz and Hip Hop, fused with Zuré’s own innate musicality and the music around her from day to day.
“I’m kind of rebellious,” says Zuré, “I’ll dive into one form and then try to stretch or expand it. Our music is always changing… I’m looking forward to collaborating with Reggae, African Hip Hop and other artists. I never know what’s going to happen next.”
Liten to her tracks and buy the EP HERE
This collaboration with UK Reggae Artist Jon Pecos is a Facebook Success Story. “Jon Pecos brought fresh life to Sweet Fruit,” says Lisa. “I’ve been a big fan of his since I discovered him over a year ago.” The feeling is mutual, as Jon considers this song to be some of his best work. Fans of both are artists are loving the tune… and a Transatlantic Music Video is in the works!”
You can buy the new mixes of “Sweet Fruit” feat UK’s Jon Pecos and Passion HiFi Remix on CDBABY HERE
Filed under: MUSIC, Jon Pecos, Lisa Zure