First Listen: Kea Michaels slows Smokey down on "Being With You"

(November 14, 2019) Smokey Robinson is high in the pantheon of lyricists. Of the many great songwriters who have emerged in during the rock era, Robinson is one who music experts rank with the best songwriters of any era. It is not a reach to put Robinson alongside Cole Porter, Ira Gershwin or Billy Strayhorn. “Just like Pagliacci did/I try to keep my sadness hid/smiling for the public eye/but in my lonely room, I cry/the tears of the clown/when there’s no one around.”

I could do more, but you get the picture. Robinson’s talent as a songwriter for The Miracles, the group he fronted in the 1960s, other Motown talent such as The Temptations and as the soloist who literally inspired the Quiet Storm format in the 1970s and 80s, makes Robinson one of music’s most covered artists.

(November 14, 2019) Smokey Robinson is high in the pantheon of lyricists. Of the many great songwriters who have emerged in during the rock era, Robinson is one who music experts rank with the best songwriters of any era. It is not a reach to put Robinson alongside Cole Porter, Ira Gershwin or Billy Strayhorn. “Just like Pagliacci did/I try to keep my sadness hid/smiling for the public eye/but in my lonely room, I cry/the tears of the clown/when there’s no one around.”

I could do more, but you get the picture. Robinson’s talent as a songwriter for The Miracles, the group he fronted in the 1960s, other Motown talent such as The Temptations and as the soloist who literally inspired the Quiet Storm format in the 1970s and 80s, makes Robinson one of music’s most covered artists.

Kea Michaels has long been a Smokey Robinson fan. She’s been performing his music live for many years, so the decision to cover Robinson’s 1981 torch song “Being With You” was a natural. "Being With You" spoke of a relationship that family and or outsiders didn't approve of and my similar past experiences made the song very relatable. I wanted to express the importance of standing by your partner's side because you believe in that person and the love that brought you together,” Kea said.

Kea looked to distinguish herself on the cover. The track possesses a slower pace her jazz inspired vocals that have a vocally dancing around the melody might remind some listeners of Amy Winehouse. The track includes a saxophone solo by James Casey that adds to the jazz vibe. Check it out here.

By Howard Dukes

 Kea Michaels - "Being With You"

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