Black Blondie

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Black Blondie, photo by France Barbeau

Edit: This was originally published Feb. 5, 2010.

This week’s HitPredictor “Get Famous” feature puts the spotlight on Black Blondie, an up-and-coming all-female group based in Minneapolis that defies all music classifications by taking influences from hip-hop, soul, R&B, punk bands, and jazz.

Samahra Daly, photo by Tasha Baron

The group is made up of lead singer Samahra Daly, keyboardist Tasha Baron, with Liz Draper on the upright and electric bass. The trio has known each other for more than ten years, but didn’t actually start playing together as Black Blondie until just a few years ago and has been described as “sultry and soulful, funky and in-your-face.”

Black Blondie released its debut album – a work that can easily be described as intimate, bold, poetic, and honest – titled Do You Remember Who You Wanted To Be, in April 2009.  The album was both written and produced by the group and as a result, the group members say the songs “ride through a broad range of honest emotions telling stories with themes of self examination, loss, and love.” Since the release, Black Blondie has commanded the attention of the Minneapolis hip-hop, urban, and alternative scene with dozens of positive reviews pouring in.

“The name Black Blondie implies it all: A mixing of cultures, an aesthetic juxtaposition, and a playful sense of self-awareness. Fittingly, the group’s debut album, Do You Remember Who You Wanted To Be, cycles through jazz, funk, hip-hop, soul, and pop—with any or all of them appearing on a given track. It’s a masterful mixture, consolidated and controlled.”

– The Onion (Twin Cities Decider)

“When I hear Black Blondie I would have thought they were put together by a musical headhunter.  The debut disk [Do You Remember Who You Wanted To Be] offers switchblade-sharp musical performances even while jumping all over the music map. It’s a disc that can’t sit still.”

– The Star-Tribune

Tasha Baron, self portrait

The women have diverse musical backgrounds, which they credit as leading to the organic development of Black Blondie’s unique mix of sounds. Tasha was reared on experimental jazz, Russian orchestral music, and R&B, and was even a classical trombone major for a time in college.  Liz was classically trained and conservatory bred in the bass, and has traveled the world performing with ensembles of all genres ranging from orchestral to Appalachian old-time, to neo-soul and experimental punk rock. Samahra was born a natural performer and has been classified by Metro Mag and Jill Scott as one of the most unique voices and lyricists to come out of Minneapolis.

Because of the crazy mix of different musical backgrounds and interests, Black Blondie is unduly influenced by “absolutely everything.” And, as Tasha pointed out: “I think we’re open and excited about everything we hear, whether it be the dude on the corner rockin’ the 5 gallon buckets, or some ultra hipster making abstract beats and bouncing around like a fish out of water.”

Liz Draper, photo by Tasha Baron

Among the songs we need you to rate at HitPredictor to tell us whether you think Black Blondie has what it takes to “Get Famous” are: “World Won’t Rest,” “Bye Polar Bear,” “Knife Fights and Xmas Lights,” and “Marla Singer,” the single from Do You Remember Who You Wanted To Be. “Marla Singer” is a song about the day that Samahra attended her mom’s cancer support group and her sister-in-law’s AA meeting all in the same day, and for those in the know, is named after the support-group-addicted character, Marla Singer, from “Fight Club.”  These songs will be in the HitPredictor jukebox until Thursday, Feb. 11, so make sure you have a listen and get us your feedback by then!

Black Blondie plays in the Minneapolis area on a regular basis.  However, this spring they will be doing a southern tour in Florida and are scheduled to perform at the WNFM 88.5 “Tropical Heatwave.” For more information on Black Blondie’s upcoming performances, check out their MySpace page. You can also follow BlackBlondie on Twitter, or get more information on their Sonicbids site.

Do you know an unsigned artist you think could get famous? Get in touch with us by leaving a comment here on the blog, via TwitterFacebook, or through the HitPredictor “Get Famous” portal at HitPredictor.com.

New music first — HP

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