- Felix is charming, colourful and movingPosted 3 months ago
- Celebrate Heritage Day with Black Coffee at Old Mutual Music At The LakePosted 3 months ago
- STR.CRD stays in Jozi but moves venue in its 4th yearPosted 3 months ago
- Maxwell finally touring South Africa + Tickets now on salePosted 3 months ago
- Channel O Africa Music Awards celebrates 10 yearsPosted 3 months ago
- Bafana Bafana vs Botswana: WIN TICKETS!Posted 3 months ago
- Kendrick Lamar headed to our shoresPosted 3 months ago
- Bafana Bafana vs Nigeria: WIN TICKETS!!Posted 4 months ago
- Bodybuilding: Special Focus on Mr. Olympia 2013Posted 4 months ago
- R Kelly is headed back to South AfricaPosted 5 months ago
Ciara hosts listening session for One Woman Army
Sony Music South Africa invited a few members of the press for an exclusive, advanced listening session for Ciara‘s upcoming album titled One Woman Army. The event took place at the Sony Music offices in Westcliff this afternoon.
During the day, Ciara was involved in a press junket where different TV stations and publications got their chance for one-on-one interviews. Having seen some of their journalists’ interactions on social media, I grew more eager to see Ciara at the listening session.
The way security was so tight, we were not even allowed to take pictures with our cameras, let alone do anything on our phones. This is what we were informed of before Ciara was introduced to the panel that waited with baited breaths to hear new music from Ciara; who has been heaving woes in her career in recent times. If you can recall, she was dropped from Jive Records over a year ago. She had been homeless until LA Reid recently brought her back, hence the preparations for her comeback, if you will.
The first thing I realised, like most had mentioned during the day after meeting her, as she entered and greeted us, is that she is really, really pretty. More than her physical beauty, there is a certain aura about her that reels you in to her.
Before presenting the songs, Ciara spoke about her history and how she got to this point. She expressed excitement about being back at home at Epic Records, thanks to LA Reid, a man who initially discovered her. She went through a list of people that worked on One Woman Army, her fifth studio album. Among them are The Underdogs, Tricky Stewart, and Jermaine Dupree.
Four songs were played for us. The first one is titled Sorry, a heartfelt ballad she said she wrote when she was in Dubai one night. This was my favourite song from the four that were played. The production is on point. And what I loved about it is the fullness of the sound, yet not cluttered. As it was played, we got to chatting with the editor of Destiny Man magazine, Kojo Baffoe, about how it sounded like a Teddy Riley production. Even the synthesizer weaved into the bridge. When Kojo asked later during the Q&A, she said she produced the song with a friend of hers.
The second second they played, which is a second single off the album, is called Livin’ It Up. Geared more towards the pop sound, Livin’ It Up contains elements we’ve become very familiar with in today’s R&B. The literal whistles and bells that have seen a surmountable surge in today’s music, period.
Overdose was a third track on the player. It consisted of a signature R&B sound, more simpler and pure. The bass caught my attention more than anything, from the very beginning.
The last track to be played was the title song of the album, One Woman Army. Ciara explained the title, uttering that she felt she was at a point in her life where she wanted to let people know who Ciara was. Kojo made mention that he thinks the clubs will eat this song up. I agree. I loved the marching band sound, coupled with some African drums in the bridge. That really appealed to me about the song.
After the four songs, the floor was open for questions. These were mostly about the album and her music career so far. I asked her if she had any more slow, ballad-y songs that highlight her vocal abilities in the album. Ciara responded that on top of the first song she played us, Sorry, there are more songs that are more mellow. When I was leaving, a girl from Destiny Magazine told me how she didn’t like my question because it sounded like I was questioning her Ciara‘s vocal abilities. It’s a question I wanted an answer to. When I listen to music, I want a balanced view of what I’m hearing. The production, the vocals, the lyrics, and all other elements that make a song or album. If she didn’t like my question, that’s on her. And I don’t think Ciara or anybody else took my question in a negative light. Or did they? Do you think my question was out of line?
Anyway, the listening session was a lot of fun. Ciara sang along to the songs and danced. It was like she was giving us our own mini private show. I also enjoyed listening to her insights about her music, herself, and the industry.
One Woman Army is due for release in December. Be on the look out for it. Before that though, Ciara is planning to drop Livin’ It Up, to be accompanied by a video like she did with Sorry about two weeks ago. Having heard a few songs today, I certainly am looking forward to hearing more from the album.
Photo credits: MuscularButLean/Billboard