Y’all know how I do, I’m always interested in new music. So when the homie AJ the Poet hit me up asking if I was familiar with an artist by the name of Lira, I had to check it out. Let me say thanks to AJ because this young lady is dope. The multi-platinum award winning South African superstar will release her 5 song ep Lira EP on July 26th to introduce us in the U.S. to her music.
In 2003 LIRA’s debut album All My Love earned the grand distinction of dethroning an international superstar from the top spot. The title track knocked Beyonce’s “Dangerously in Love” off the #1 position on South African charts, marking the first time in history a local song had been played as frequently. In 2009, nine million South Africans tuned into LIRA’s telecast LIRA Live in Concert: A Celebration, subsequently the DVD went on to secure triple platinum certification becoming the country’s fastest and highest selling music videodisc, supplanting yet another international diva’s reign at the top: Celine Dion’s DVD Live in Las Vegas; A New Day.
LIRA has released four platinum selling albums including Feel Good(2006), Soul in Mind (2008), Return to Love (2010), and the soundtrack to LIRA Live in Concert; The Celebration (2009) while the title track to her debut album “Feel Good” officially became the first music video from a South African artist featured on VH-1. In the summer of 2010. Later that summer, she was also selected to take part in the 92nd birthday celebration of former South African president Nelson Mandela. Her American LP Feel Good will follow all this success early in 2012. For now, we have July 26th to look forward to.I was privileged enough to check out the EP and thought I’d share my thoughts with you.
1. Feel Good (Live)
Live music is always one of my favorite things (when artists can sing like this) so having that open the EP is a great choice. I really like her voice, she can just sing. A lot of artists out there but so much bravado in their voices that they sound like sheep or over sing so much that you can’t even make out the song. Lira is on stage here and just singing from her heart and I really enjoy that.
2. Rise Again (Live)
Keeping things on the stage, we get a live song about perseverance and determination. Rise Again is that drive that keeps you dusting off you’re shoulders and staying steadfast to what you’re trying to accomplish. The guitars on this song give it a Spanish flair and a very energetic vibe. This is definitely a good summer vibe.
3. Dance of Life
The verse starts “like the Romba and the Samba” and takes from those musical influences. This is a really good drink and a two step song here. The song itself is not about dancing, but about being with that someone special through the dance called life. You need someone that will be by your side helping you navigate and persevere. At times you’ll be out of synch, but hopefully, you’ll have times when you make it all seem effortless. I can dig that sentiment completely. The music really takes an upswing about two quarters of the way through.
This is my favorite song on the EP. As the title implies, this song is about a crush on someone from afar. You know how you meet someone and something just clicks, like, everything they do or say speaks to your spirit, this is that song. I hope this song does really well.
The title means “thank you” in Zulu. I’ve always wanted to learn African languages, this song is going to be my Rosetta Stone. It’s entirely sung in what I perceive to be Zulu, but I could be wrong about that…it’s definitely a language I’m unfamiliar with and it sounds GREAT! The music on the track again seems to have some European, traditional influence along with a great tempo that begs you to dance.
The EP is a really good introduction to who Lira is and why she’s already a big deal abroad. With her US debut on deck for 2012, if this EP doesn’t hold you over, feel free to head over to her site to get more music and info. She’s also on tour right now and will be hitting up cities like DC and LA in the very near future so be sure to check out her site at www.misslira.com for specifics.