Marva King

Marva King

My research on Marva King led me to her Web site. I read the CV and the biography where I learned about her work with A-list performers such as Prince, Lenny Kravitz and Stevie Wonder, just to name a few. I read about the co-writing credit she got during her work with The Whispers. I went to YouTube where I saw a clip of her starring performance in the stage play version of "Diary of a Mad Black Woman." Went to the photo gallery. That photo gallery ought to include a warning for people with weak hearts.

King's definitely got the look to be a dance hall queen. She also has the chops. The Web site featured video clips of King performing. The homage to Tina Turner in which King and her back up singers do a version of "Proud Mary" shows that King has the kind of vocal range and passion the made Turner famous. She also has Turner's stage presence and energy.

Listeners can't get a sense of King's stage presence on The One, her new EP. What they do get is the sense of the kind of energy any performer has to have in order to be successful in the dance music realm. Now, I know that dance music is not everyone's cup of tea. Dance music sounds too much like disco for some people, while others don't care for the synthesized sound. Some people also complain about the lyrical content, but that's unfair. This is club music after all, and King can hardly be blamed for not writing songs about the war or the health care debate.

King does get serious on "Sistah," a neo-soul tune that honors black women specifically and all women in general. King's lyrics don't get in the way of the beats, but she proves to be a deft and nuanced songwriter. Vocally, King knows when to pull out her big gun of a voice and when to depend on sass and sex appeal. When the lyrics are supposed to be fun, King has fun with them. An example is "Chocolate," in which the food is a metaphor for the range of beautiful colors; King manages compare the object of her desire to Kit Kat bars and S'mores without sounding too corny.

The EP's two best song are the final two tunes, the sensual dance tune "Each Night" and the funky "If You Say So." In "Each Night" King teaches women how to make sure their men come home.  She uses "If You Say So" to display her vocal range. With the exception of "Holla" a ballad that includes an unneeded rap at the end, the songs King puts on the EP The One will keep club goers on the dance floor.  Marva King is not just appealing to the eyes, but has the whole package as a "real deal" top tier dance music performer.

By Howard Dukes

Available Music

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