How many artists find their way to fame through the United Nations?
How many have felt hunger, not knowing where the next meal would come from -- and turned that into a commitment to making a difference through music?
And how many have made it a habit to do the impossible -- to gain admission to a select performing arts school with no training or experience, to move to New York with three hundred dollars to her name and eventually launch a foundation whose food drives earned praise from Mayor Bloomberg?
That's enough to narrow the field, but add to this the fact that she has just released 9, her exquisite debut recording, and you're left with Angela McKenzie, truly one of a kind as a singer and source of inspiration.
The ten tracks of 9 offer an intimate glimpse into McKenzie, who is as unconcerned with boundaries in music as she is in life. Elements of quiet soul, smoky jazz, poetry, and even country music crop up in her performance -- small wonder for a singer who cites Loretta Lynn, Dan Fogelberg, and Bobby "Blue" Bland as her most cherished influences.
There's a universal scope in her music and her background, but that only partly explains how McKenzie developed her most crucial quality -- the one thing that has empowered her to beat the odds time and again.
That quality is … fearlessness.
9 is a collection of practical love songs penned mostly by women songwriters like Grammy winner Diane Scanlon and Indegrrl foundation founder Holly Figueroa. All songs are performed in the classic Roots-Rock and Soul styles by Angela McKenzie and the music was arranged and played by Adam “Batman” Haggar and Annastasia Kuporosova. Says Angela, “I wanted to create an acoustic space where I could sing robustly and honestly without grandiose production and record to old fashioned analog tape.” Adding, “I enjoyed performing every piece on the album but what makes the ups, downs and in-betweens of creating this project really worth it, is knowing that proceeds from 9 will be used to further AMcK’s charitable initiatives.”
To find out more about Angela, check her web-site at www.angelamckenzie.com