Daily Archives: June 10, 2018

Royal Wedding Singer James Francis Releases Video For New Single Free To Be Me

James Francis was one of the few singers to perform at Prince Harry and Megan Markle’s wedding as a member of the Kingdom Choir. Last year the British singer released his first single “Want It All” and received a Jump Music Video Award nomination. “Free To Be Me” is his second release and video director Tyler Chalk filmed Francis walking around and dancing in London’s Primrose Hill neighborhood as a show of civic pride. Francis is mapping out his solo aspirations and can also be heard in advertisements for The Great British Bake Off and Tesco. 

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Throwback: Deniece Williams-Free

 Deniece Williams was a session singer for Stevie Wonder’s Wonderlove, Minnie Riperton and Syreeta Wright before she scored a solo deal with Columbia in 1975. She originally sent most of the songs from her debut album to Earth, Wind & Fire for Philip Bailey. Surprisingly, she ended up recording the songs with EW&F with Maurice White and frequent collaborator Charles Stepney producing the bubbling soul of This Is Niecy. The band’s orchestrated jazz funk harmoniously fit with Williams’s incredible range and sublime soprano. “Free” was her breakout song and it demonstrated the fierce control of her higher octaves within a  whisper. “Free” and “It’s Important To Me” helmed This Is Niecy’s commercial success. Williams’s prime period was at its beginning and she would continue to assert the nimbleness of her vocals until the end of the ’80s with signature songs and outstanding albums. In 2017, Williams launched her YouTube channel with three new series to teach viewers vocal techniques, share stories about her career and give inspirational messages. 

 

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