New Releases & Reviews
What's new - August 19, 2008
I'm so excited to tell you that your girl (that would be me) graces the cover of the latest issue of Stony Island Magazine, a quarterly publication that aims to celebrate progressive urban culture in the Chicago metro area. Pick up a copy and check out the interview, it's fab.
Thanks Stony Island!!
"Plant your seeds, sow your earth, sprinkle love and trust it works... Flowers Bloom In Spring"
Stony Island is available at www.stonyi.com and these Chicago locations:
Dr. Wax - 5225 S. Harper
Da Book Joint - 9527 S. Jeffrey
Exchange Cafe - 7201 S Exchange Ave
Hyde Park News Stand - 53rd & Lake Park
Mariama's Fashion/Oils - 7114 S. Jeffrey
Soulfly Boutique - 11614 S. Western Ave
Kreative Soul Boutique - 3744 N. Broadway Ave
4 The Soul- Reciprocity Inc.
Trizonna's latest album
June 29, 2007
“The Night of My Life” with Trizonna McClendon
The title of Trizonna's Debut release Overtones and Innuendos reveals a portion of this album's meaning. A better representation would be found in the names of its standout tracks including, Flowers Bloom in Spring, Extra Special and Night of My Life. Now you can begin to surmise what this experience will be all about. Trizonna, has molded this release in her own image, full of fun, enthusiasm, and innocence. During the course of this interview I was baptized in the joy and satisfaction she had for her creation but even more so by the artist herself.
In our fast paced and increasingly smaller world, you can't help but to be reeled in by the beeps, buzzes and bells of our connected existence. Overtones and Innuendos was the cure for my “Wi-Fi blues”. Trizonna sings of long gone, albeit fondly remembered, simple pleasures of a much different time. After talking with “Triz” for over an hour I realized that there is innocence in her affect that instantly makes you want to listen to her every word and wonder what has shaped her insight.
This collection of Funk, Hip Hop, and good ole' fashioned Soul is reminiscent of one of my all-time favorites, Adriana Evans. I was impressed at the way she was able to seamlessly own her music no matter the style. Arduous in its conception, Overtones is a self-affirming salute to Trizonna's resolve and dedication. I loved the new life she brought to the undeniable classic `Reasons' by Minnie Ripperton, (thanks “Michi”). No one covers songs like this but Triz was able remain true to this song's essence without mimicking the original. I really liked it on the album but absolutely fell in love with it performed live!!!
Fueled by overtones of love and self determination with the ever so slight hint of playful sensuality, this work answers the question, what would life be if it were simpler and without habitual facade and masquerade? The carefully chosen tracks deliver complex answers simply and beg yet another question, “why would anyone choose to produce music totally juxtaposed to mainstream media's force-fed, fast food, beat laden appetizers that have numbed our soulful pallets?” I wish I had the answer; however, I would be remised if I did not suggest a well balanced diet of Overtones and Innuendos for those of you tired of the artery clogging mediocrity that is contemporary R&B.
Listen to the Mosaicthump interview with Trizonna McClendon!
Overtones and Innuendos on Amazon.com
Monday July 16, 2007
New Music - Trizonna McClendon
Trizonna McClendon must've been a chef in a past life. She knows that good, honest to the core music can stir the spirit the same way some good, down-home soul food can. When it's good it feels right. It tastes right. And when it's really good it can even make you slap your mama...or extend love to forgive her when you haven't spoken in years. Good music, like good food, has the power to change you from the inside out. It's a secret lost on many artists these days, but not Trizonna.
"People are hungry. They want something refreshing. They want something new. And what I'm doing ain't new. I'm not re-inventing the wheel. I'm just doing what's in my heart and that's that," shares Trizonna when asked why she makes music that's meaningful and "nutritious" and not the nursery-rhyme nonsense considered commercially acceptable these days.
For this Chi-City born and raised soul singer "that's that" doesn't signify end of story, only a self-assured beginning of sharing her story with the world. Since 2006 her debut CD, Overtones & Innuendos (4 The Soul-Reciprocity Inc.), has been feeding malnourished music lovers with carefully prepared stories of love and self-discovery mixed with spiritual praise and Trizonna is steadily claiming a name for herself as a gifted singer/songwriter to know.
Unlike many of her contemporaries, Trizonna leaves a little somethin' somethin' to the imagination, hence the title Overtones & Innuendos. For her, it's the mystery in the music that's sexy and she instead chooses to bare it all by writing from the heart. In fact, she wrote 75% of the songs on the album and has an associate producer credit, two very major accomplishments for a new artist who also spent most of her life not knowing she could write music. Fortunately, she discovered her gift and the outcome is Overtones-an eclectic offering of R & B soul, funk, rock, house and gospel that provides a perfect bridge between old school and new school.
"I grew up listening to music that my mother, and even my grandmother, listened to. And those types of songs, I mean, you felt every word. You felt every ad lib and I wanted to do the music that I grew up listening to. I wanted to have that type of energy."
Growing up, Trizonna was immersed in the likes of Michael Franks, Stevie Wonder, Deniece Williams, Sergio Mendez, Minnie Ripperton-who several reviewers have compared her to-and Diana Ross and remembers sitting out on the sun porch with her father, also a musician, helping him DJ records. An appreciation for music is in her genes and it shows in the musical legacy she's creating today.
Her fans-which are now worldwide thanks to support from Internet radio, college radio, Myspace and DJs as far away as the UK and Japan-admire her righteous lyrics and brand of sexy, flirty and introspective music. Her female fans especially appreciate her vulnerable lyrics about the ups and downs of love (an informal poll will probably uncover that "Sunshine and Lemonade," "Trizonna" and "Dude" stay on repeat). Overtones & Innuendos is the quintessential young woman's soundtrack to love and life and with one listen you'll come to know her as simply Triz, the way her family and friends do.
Her musical sincerity is refreshing and Trizonna admits that it's just not in her nature to be dishonest about who she is and what she believes, but this kind of confidence hasn't always been easy. There was a period of time when she hid her gift and refused to sing. The people around her made her believe singing was unrealistic. It couldn't happen because, "It's real hard...it's millions of singers out there...you're not gonna make it in Chicago," they told her. It wasn't until a friend asked Trizonna to sing at her wedding that she decided to believe in her talent again.
"Believe in yourself and believe in your talent because if you don't nobody else will," is the main piece of advice Trizonna shares with artists looking to get into the industry. "No matter what anybody says, no matter how hard it is, if you really want to do it just keep pushing forward."
Not only does her advice sound good, but it is good. Trizonna McClendon recently wrapped up her spring 2007 Borders Books & Music Tour. This was her second promo tour with the mega retail chain. It seems that Borders and the rest of the world can't get enough. We like the soul food Trizonna McClendon is serving and eagerly await seconds.
| Chicago Sun-Times Review
September 1, 2006
BY DAVID JAKUBIAK Hip-Hop
McClendon's debut evokes Riperton's spirit
Taking in Trizonna McClendon's debut CD, "Overtones & Innuendos," which will be released next week on the Chicago label 4 The Soul/Reciprocity, a disciple of Minnie Riperton living in a hip-hop world emerges.
"Really?" McClendon gushes upon being asked about this. "I adore her."
It's not that the recovering-cubicle captive, who once worked administering exams to securities brokers, copies Riperton's pitch or even her cadence, but that McClendon's singing reveals a vulnerability that invites the listener to her most intimate internal debates.
"We got a reason we're here/ sometimes you got to leave your friends/ get closer to the spirit within/ 'cause ain't nothing like you knowin' you," she offers on "Heavy Precipitation," the CD's second track, which, naturally leads into the next song, "Flowers Bloom in Spring."
Raised on the South Side, McClendon recalls sitting on the patio and listing to music with her father, himself a bass player who had once been signed to Chess Records but became heartbroken when his group broke up before their first record. Together, they would listen to artists like Michael Franks, Gino Vannelli, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and Manhattan Transfer.
"You could put on music and it could change a mood. It became something that carried me on through from the next day to the next week. It got me through," she remembers. But despite a spiritual connection to song, McClendon didn't immediately pursue music. "It was not something I thought would be a good career choice," she says.
So after high school, she attended Jackson State University in Mississippi, then she took the job giving tests."When I was in corporate, I had a friend who asked me to sing at her wedding, and I was like, 'No way!' But when I did it, that gave me the confidence to quit my job, become a waitress and pursue music full-time," she explains, pausing to chuckle, as if she still can't believe she did it.
Part of going at music full-time required McClendon to move to New York City.
"After working the scene in Chicago, I decided that if I was really serious about this I needed to move some place where I could network and make it happen," she says. "I call this the Sidewalk City, because you can bump into anyone on the sidewalk: artists, producers, musicians." But it was an old college friend, Olskool Ice Gre (Greg Lewis) of the rap outfit Abstract Mindstate and the label 4 the Soul/Reciprocity, who pushed her to record the CD.
For the listener of contemporary R&B, McClendon's music will seem remarkably different. She talks about spirituality and relationships, self-confidence and perseverance. At no point does she compare her body to an illicit drug, nor does she portray herself as a hyper-sexualized freak.
"I can't sing about things I don't know about," she says. "The things you hear on the radio, that doesn't represent my life. I don't do those things. That's not to place judgment, but it's really important for me to present myself in a respectful way. I can't tolerate anything else. And I never want to embarrass my mother."
And with a CD that offers a breath of honesty and refreshing truthfulness, McClendon can be assured none of her friends or family should be anything less than proud.
David Jakubiak is a local free-lance writer.
I recorded a new song with a group named "Steal Vybe".
It was released on a small label in Italy. The song in named "Trizonna".
The CD entitled Creations can be purchased at:
Tower Records on line.
Search Name: Steal Vybe
"The Trizonna McClendon sound is a sweet fusion of r&b, pop
and contemporary soul with sprinkles of vintage hip hop.
Ms. McClendon hails from the windy city Chicago,
however now residing in Brooklyn.
She has graced the stages of several New York hot spots singing
backup for Dwele, Lizz Fields, and Vinia Mojica,
as well as holding down the mike doing her own thing.
Trizonna, affectionately known by close friends as "Triz"
will be serving up her sweet confections this summer.
Get your dessert bowls ready:)"
Click on the player for a sample taste
Written by: T. McClendon for June Seven Music
Produced by: Chris "Cee Rule" Forman and
Damon "Mr.Dizzy Fingers" Bennett
for Steal Vybe Music
Lead and Rhythm Guitar by: J.R.