Renee Sebastian - Mrs. Sebastian (2008)

Renee Sebastian
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From the moment Renee Sebastian first danced on stage in her native country, she knew she felt right at home and could express herself freely without reservation.   Besides her flair for entertaining audiences, there is a determined attitude to control every aspect of her life as an entrepreneur and an artist -- in front and behind the stage.  The Pilipino born singer/songwriter always knows how to handle her affairs when it comes to performing, while investing interest in a new breed of high quality soul musicians. 

Renee's creation, Renee Sebastian's Blowout Lounge, which started in New York City in May 2006, features undiscovered singers, rappers, DJ's and poets putting together high quality full concerts in an intimate setting.  With the same care she handles live shows, she pays special attention to every detail of her own music on her newest six-track EP, Mrs.

From the moment Renee Sebastian first danced on stage in her native country, she knew she felt right at home and could express herself freely without reservation.   Besides her flair for entertaining audiences, there is a determined attitude to control every aspect of her life as an entrepreneur and an artist -- in front and behind the stage.  The Pilipino born singer/songwriter always knows how to handle her affairs when it comes to performing, while investing interest in a new breed of high quality soul musicians. 

Renee's creation, Renee Sebastian's Blowout Lounge, which started in New York City in May 2006, features undiscovered singers, rappers, DJ's and poets putting together high quality full concerts in an intimate setting.  With the same care she handles live shows, she pays special attention to every detail of her own music on her newest six-track EP, Mrs. Sebastian: the production, songwriting, and intricacies behind each song.  Hanan Rubinstein, an up and coming soul artist, and trumpeter Keyon Harrold who has played with artists ranging from Jill Scott to Wynton Marsalis, aid in Sebastian's production vision. 

Lyrically the album is notable in its frankness. This is particularly true with "This Is Me," also dubbed Renee's story, in which she communicates with brutal honesty the hurts and the triumphs she has experienced.  But her lyrics aren't the only features on Mrs. Sebastian that pack a punch.  Her vocals are vulnerable but direct, with Sebastian tossing in elements of jazz, hip-hop, pop, and classic soul but with a slight twist compared to modern Neo-Soul fare.  Again, "This Is Me" is the prototype: a musical circus bridging jazz harmonies, hip-hop breaks, and a matter of fact lead vocal tone.   Sebastian shows her softer on an ode to motherhood, the warm pop-flavored, "Good Morning Son."  Finally there's "Every Lesson," driven by Rubinstein's soulful guitar licks and the gutsiest vocal by Sebastian on this EP, appropriately about making the break to emotional freedom; "The happiness I'm searching for starts with me." 

It is apparent on this EP that Mrs. Sebastian is extremely comfortable about who she is, whether it is her musicality, her lyrical message or her expressive alto.  Soul music has definitely found a refreshing new voice.

By Peggy Oliver

 
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