Bri (Brianna Babineaux) - Keys to My Heart

Bri (Brianna Babineaux)
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It’s easy to see why R&B producers pursued Brianna “Bri” Babineaux after watching her cover versions of songs such as Tonex’s “Make Me Over.” Those performances made her a sensation on YouTube. Her voice projects the soulfulness, honesty, longing and range that’s been heard in the great voices of the rock era stretching back Darlene Love and encompassing present day singers such as Chrisette Michele and Jazmine Sullivan. Bri has the look and, with a background that includes being a military brat and a world class college athlete, she likely has the sophistication and poise that will allow her to avoid the pitfalls that ensnare other artists.

It’s easy to see why R&B producers pursued Brianna “Bri” Babineaux after watching her cover versions of songs such as Tonex’s “Make Me Over.” Those performances made her a sensation on YouTube. Her voice projects the soulfulness, honesty, longing and range that’s been heard in the great voices of the rock era stretching back Darlene Love and encompassing present day singers such as Chrisette Michele and Jazmine Sullivan. Bri has the look and, with a background that includes being a military brat and a world class college athlete, she likely has the sophistication and poise that will allow her to avoid the pitfalls that ensnare other artists.

Still, Bri brushed aside those entreaties to pursue a career in secular music and decided to “sing for God,” as she put it. Bri’s decision to forsake the world’s riches and seek her treasure above is clearly driven by her spiritual commitment. However, it cannot be ignored that there is a perception that mainstream R&B is in a state of crisis, meaning there are good business and artistic reasons for gospel artists to eschew “the devil’s music.”

Bri’s rise to prominence comes during a time when praise and worship music continues to enjoy popularity in congregations throughout the land. Many churches have praise teams that consist of young singers and musicians versed both in traditional choral based gospel and contemporary gospel – a genre that fuses rock, R&B and hip with a Christian message. Keys to My Heart, the new project from Bri, shows that she is particularly adept at endowing a praise song with power.

Bri gets help from several writers on tracks such as the contemporary Christian praise anthem “Heaven Must Be Something Like This,” which features the kind of easy to remember lyrics that invite congregation to join in praise. Bri also displays talents as a songwriter that could easily go underappreciated because the focus naturally turns to her powerful vocal instrument on the power rock infused praise ballad “Jacob’s Song.” The track features a hook drawn from the story of Jacob wrestling with the angel of the Lord that is found in the book 32nd Chapter of Genesis. And the lyrics come from the perspective of someone who has reached the realization that God is their only hope and is holding on for dear life.

Bri co-wrote the song “Grace,” an intimate acoustic guitar number that stands out as the album’s strongest cut, in part because it hints at potential areas of growth and development from a songwriting standpoint for this talented artist.

The project that became Keys To My Heart came at the end of a long rollout. She had been gathering an audience from those YouTube videos before eventually stepping into an Atlanta studio to record Keys to My Heart before a live audience of invited guests. Now she has arrived with a project where her fans can see just how far Bri has come to realizing her potential. And it is easy to get excited about what Bri has accomplished on Keys to My Heart, while also eagerly anticipating continued artistic and spiritual development. We’ll should be hearing about this talented young artist for years to come.  Recommended.

By Howard Dukes

 
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