Cleveland’s Reigning Queen of Indie Soul Conya Doss to Release Blu Transition
Listen to her first single “All In You”
(Los Angeles, California – August 23, 2010) Nestled between Indiana and Pennsylvania, lies a state that has yet to be fully tapped of it’s musical capacity. In a region whose lineage reflects that of Babyface, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Tracy Chapman, Marilyn Manson, Gerald Levert, The O’Jays, Macy Gray, James Ingram, Roger Troutman and Zapp, The Gapp Band and Avant among others, Conya Doss is the latest female vocalist to emerge over the past decade and hold steadfast to her Midwestern roots. Much like what her predecessors Erykah Badu, India.Arie and Jill Scott did for Dallas, Atlanta and Philly, Doss has already pinned Ohio on the soul music map. Having graced the covers of numerous local publications, regularly performing to sold out Midwestern venues and garnering 500k Myspace profile views as an indie artist Conya also appeared in and recorded a song alongside Detroit vocalist Dwele for McDonald’s McCafe commercial. Conya’s awards include “Best Female Vocalist” by Soultracks, the leading online resource dedicated to classic and modern Soul music, “Heineken Redstar Soul Artist of the Year,” “Best Female Vocalist” at Ohio Hip Hop Awards, a nomination for “Best Underground Artist” at the BET J Virtual Awards and was listed on iTunes as “Best R&B Underground/Indie Artist” and “Best R&B Indie Track” for the single “It’s Over.”
Inspired by Bonnie Raitt, Ani DiFranco, Mint Condition, Rude Boys, Jane Child, Donnie Hathaway, Angela Winbush and Nina Simone, Doss attended Cleveland’s famed School of the Arts at the same time as R&B crooner Avant (“Conya was an upperclassman, she’s always been very talented.”) Popmatters.com has referenced her “pleading and yearning” vocal style to Lauryn Hill and Doss is frequently voted as one of the “top acts to watch” by local Cleveland publications.
Of lately the singer has been busy burning the midnight oil composing and arranging music for this dazzling, well-crafted 2010 album that sets the tone for what lies ahead. Her unabashedly emotional fifth studio album Blu Transition, with Blu being the name of her newborn son, is not only a collection of words set to music, it is a gift; an energy exchange that reflects the duality of love and pain. It’s an anointed story. It’s one of endurance, but more importantly it is about life being full of unexpected moments with both tragedies (death) and triumphs (birth).
With a refreshingly crisp and remarkable vocal range, as well as sparse yet beautiful instrumentation, Conya Doss has found success in simplicity. Blu Transition continues in Doss’ brilliant delivery of sweet, supple and heartfelt lyrics but she plunges deep into a bluesy-jazz vibe with spiritual undertones reminiscent of a 70’s sound in both harmony and mood. The music carries a laid-back, earthy quality that features various moments; from truly moving and haunting to a rootsy reflection of where the singer has come from with messages steeped in love, risk-taking, rejection and heartbreak. Composing yet another intricately crafted and cohesive body of work that illuminates her unequaled musicianship, Conya only scratches the surface of what she is capable of. Her music is not lost among the pantheon of new crooners, but instead invokes the spirits of legendary composers-singers such as Chaka Khan, Betty Wright, Natalie Cole, Me’shell N’Degeocello and Alanis Morisette.
Blu Transition stretches Doss once again to express herself to the bare bones, this time around in impressive varieties of vocal styles. On the single “Best Thing” we find the songbird flying high in a falsetto tone while dipping low into baritone territory on “Wi Fi.” Doss is most poignant on the records that expose her soul, acknowledging what her life has been like since her last album. “All In You”, “Celebrate” and “Never Be The Same” are sure to overwhelmingly echo the sentiment of fans, newcomers and singers alike that will qualify them as classics. Each note she parts her lips to sing, Doss sets free a pure tone that moves you through lifetimes, which is like a light bulb turning on in one’s head; a gentle reminder that there are other people to consider in life besides oneself. While the artistic chapter in Doss’ life known as Blu Transition may be short on quantity, it is awesomely long on soul rendered quality.
“Unlike artists in other regions, the Ohio area is very limited when it comes to enabling me to practice my craft–especially the kind of music that I do,” says Doss, “Cleveland has a tremendous amount of talent, and I chose to stay local and utilize some of our amazing producers and songwriters. Originally I had the opportunity to work with musicians on the East and West coasts but ironically while searching for the sound that I wanted it was at home all the time.”
Conya possesses an indistinguishable reverence to the soul divas of yesteryears by encompassing invigorating vocals with thought-induced messages that silhouette charismatic, rhythmically charged production that simultaneously blazes a trail for her brand of melodic soul. Conya’s music is an organic experience- a hybrid collection of up-tempo jams and fluid slow grooves that artistically join her sleek voice with intoxicating melodies. She is just as comfortable with lascivious R&B wails as she is with gospel-themed fare. In a time when many pop stars have become further and further removed from the folks that they speak to with their custom made looks and unattainable lifestyles, Conya remains a lot like us: a tender, tough, self-possessed young lady who puts her community before commercial concerns.