Camille Safiya's Soulful Road To Gold
It doesn't get any more intimate than recording your music from your own basement home. Such is the case of rising songstress Camille Safiya who's father has invested in her talent since day one. Dr. George Friedman-Jimenez, NYU professor and percussionist has slowly build a studio for his daughter to continue to grow musically. To know that Camille sets her voice free and allows her vocal chords to reach heights, all from a home's basement is quite special. The humble New Jersey painter and singer is releasing her album 24K tomorrow. I was able to get a sneak peak of her album at her listening party at Premier Studios (the building where Tupac was shot) last week. Here are my notes from the intimate evening with her biggest supporters.
Above: 24K album art cover. Photography by One Soul.
The bones of 24K include funk, soul, and heavy bass filled with personal interludes of her life experiences to date. Reminiscent of music like the sounds of Macy Gray, Erykah Badu, Tina Turner, and Solange Knowles, 24K starts with a short piece called "Sassy". Here she reveals to her audience that she knows herself to admit that she is too sassy for the current man that she was interested in. The following track is "Wild THANG", an ode to 70's funk. The electric guitar and bass is prominent in the track as she shares an experience when she was controlled and made a fool by a man. "I'm a wild thing I see you wilin' trying to tame me , I'm a lion, I see you trying to fuckin' cage me". She makes it clear that she's ready to be herself unapologetically without having to ask anyone for permission and that her love won't be captured by material things like hand bags and pearls. The production and message make "Wild Thing" my favorite track on the album.
Her 4th track, "Amnesia" is a slow tempo R&B about forgetting a hurtful love that didn't work out. As a woman I know how intimate this song is to her, because I understand that how one grows from any heartbreak is essential to our future growth and experiences. Forgetting isn't just about mending those feelings, its about getting over a powerful energy that has potential of hindering you or blocking you from your own greatness.
In "Deep Sea Diving", she opens up on being vulnerable, open to feelings, and open to a mans pleasure. The production is a mixture of chopped and screwed deep house, trance and chant music; definitely something that Party Next Door would sing over. Right after is "Love and War", the typical love story that most of us have experienced; going with the wind--when a man or a woman sticks around when he/she knows that you have catched feelings and the feelings aren't reciprocated. Rather then bottling up her emotions, Camille translates her pain to communicate with her audience exactly where she's been.
24K ends with "Moon Light" --a look into Camille's spirituality. From meditation to the chambers of energy that are our chakras, she refers to these sources as her givers of light. She says "open up your chakras, open the portals, run around like you're immortal". Make sure you visit http://www.camillesafiya.com to listen to the full album. Fearless Leon wishes our soul sister and Leona continues growth and self-discovery in her musical journey.