Come To Me Album Review – Street Voice UK

KELLY EREZ – Come To Me: After blasting out many punk and metal albums over the past few days it made a change sitting down and checking out Kelly Erez’ debut album. This R&B / Soul singer really does know how to deliver the goods.

‘Come To Me’ is an excellent album that leaves me wondering why this lady isn’t more well known. Forget what see you see in the charts and check out this lady as her songs really do blow me away. Tracks such as ‘Letters’, ‘Hand On Heart’, ‘I Don’t Mind’ and ‘We Got It All’ really did do it for me.

In fact while a friend was sitting here earlier he commented on what an excellent voice Kelly has and I totally agree. Lyrically and musically fans of the more commercial sound will really dig what Kelly Erez has on offer. This album also comes well produced and well packaged. I have no doubt that this album will be in my top 20 of albums released in 2012. 9/10

Come To Me Album Review – Reviewed Online.co.uk

Kelly Erez – Come To Me (Album Review)
Brilliant debut album from up-and-coming R&B artist, Kelly Erez, points to fruitful future
5/5
review by Iain P W Robertson

There is something of a glut of R&B wannabes trying to strut their stuff in the UK at this time. Some of them are blokes and quite a few of them are women. Yet, not all of them can measure up to the original standards of the genre, largely because, in my view, they are manufacturing a sound and not embodying genuine soul in their performances.

I have said it before and, at the risk of repetition, while ITV’s ‘The X-Factor’ has a moderate role to play in providing rubble for the burgeoning pop industry, its insistence on churning out musical stylists creates an impermeable fog of incongruous rot, through which intuitive artists are forced to break their way into the market. It is not easy and is made more difficult by the issues facing the recording industry.

However, Kelly Erez is making that break. Having released an EP last year to considerable accolades from around the industry, she has managed to compile an album of such stellar beauty that I believe she will soon find herself hoisted onto a platform among the true greats of the R&B scene.

Her eleven track album, Come To Me, is a glossy and impeccably produced work that features neat and uncomplicated track titles, such as the opener ‘Letters’, followed by ‘Hand On Heart’, ‘Come To Me’ (the title track) and ‘Xtra’. Not one of them is lacking in any way and Ms Erez’s voice possesses a rich tone and a wide range.

According to her management, Kelly has been collaborating with some of the most established writers in the UK for the past year, most of whom have gained major hits with the likes of Kylie, Celine Dion and Gabrielle, among others. Yet, this debut album is a construct with her sister, Natalie, who was also responsible for the overall production, albeit mixed by Ian Carter, a Mercury Award nominee.

The tracks are delicious. Kelly’s innate soul percolates to the top of each of them and inhabits the core elements of each song. She could so easily have emerged from North America’s heartland of R&B and soul but, no, she hails from Stratford, London, and does her nation proud with her song-writing talents and impeccable delivery.

Kelly is very active on Facebook, Twitter and other popular social media sites. You can Google her for more biographical information and she is not afraid to open her heart to her fans, which are building by the day. It helps that she has the looks to go with that exquisite voice but she does not have to rely on superficialities to make her mark on the music scene. Trust me, you will start to hear a lot more about Kelly Erez, as her career sky-rockets.

To read this review on the reviewedonline.co.uk website, click here

EP Review From Street Voice UK

KELLY EREZ – This Is Me EP: 

Sitting in my hands is a three track sampler from the recently released ‘This Is Me’ EP by Kelly Erez. R n B really isn’t my thing simply because much of it is simply dire but like all releases sent in I gave this a fair hearing. Within seconds of putting this three track disc in the player I was blown away! Kelly Erez is one of those artists that have a natural gift for singing. So much soul coming out of her mouth to be believed! You just instantly warm to those vocals! Musically I was impressed as the tunes and vocals really came together leaving you wanting to hear more! For me all three tunes are class though my favourite was ‘Hand On Heart’ which really got inside my head. Kelly Erez is where it’s at! Believe me this lady is gonna be huge! 9/10

Steve DIY

Read My Blog from Pledge Music

‘Learning To Sell Or Not To Sell’

Selling music is not easy, in fact it’s fair to say it’s never been harder. With disposable income under pressures that did not exist when I was first discovering music and how important it would be in my life, I spent all my money on music. However, I did not have to compete with thinking about spending money on iPads, TVs, computer games and all the other distractions there are today. Remember ‘Home Taping Is Killing Music?’ That was about as ‘bad’ as music piracy got.

As an emerging independent artist I have learnt 3 things that have changed my perspective on my music. One is that as an artist, I have to know the business; this is after all, the business of music. The second is about the depth of relationships, especially with music fans and it’s the part I love most outside of actually writing, recording and performing. The third is that recorded music has no or little value these days…and yes, that’s alarming!

Much has been written by the doom-mongers about the ‘end of the music business’ but in reality it’s in quite rude health, it’s recorded music that’s taking the body-blows as people choose to spend their hard earned money elsewhere. It may still be on music but a concert ticket might get bought as opposed to an album.

I took a decision to start my career off as an independent, partly out of need and partly as I wanted to ensure I was close to those who were discovering my music in the early days.

‘Starting Out’

Music for me has always been a powerful outlet to express my thoughts, beliefs and attitudes towards various experiences. During my quest to build a successful music career, several attempts have been made by others to encourage me to dress a certain way (often more revealing than I am comfortable with!), write/sing lyrics that I personally feel are inappropriate for me because they are either too provocative or offensive, or make music that is more ‘disposable’ rather than what I like to call ‘evergreen’. The small but absolutely focused team who I am very fortunate to be working with now share my vision, goals and passion for making real music and establishing a great relationship with my fans.

Last year, I uploaded a couple of videos on YouTube of me singing self-penned acoustic tracks in the studio with my sister Natalie (producer and co-writer) playing the keyboard. I received really positive responses from new fans across the globe. At this time there wasn’t an expectation to have a finished product because it was obvious that I was at a stage of introducing my music to the world. Hundreds of messages of support and encouragement came flooding in which I have been incredibly moved by. I personally make regular contact with my fans, not only because I recognise that it’s these fans who can really help make my dream happen, but because I have a genuine love of connecting with people. For me, connecting with my fans is a way of giving something back and creates a more intimate experience of being on this journey together.

‘It’s about Experiences not product’

When I was making plans for my debut EP, my following online was growing at a reasonable rate and I enjoyed interacting with people who discovered my music. Since then and with the EP released, I could not imagine any other way of being.

Let’s be clear. People don’t really buy music anymore. I know that sounds dramatic but it’s not a terrible thing, they just spend differently and you need to keep up to date on the business of music and consumer behaviour (even as an Artist!). The ‘behaviour’ is that people buy into unique experiences rather than ‘product’. If you try to ‘sell’, as an emerging artist you may as well pack up now. In the established-artist world, Radiohead are blazing a trail on frontline of what the ‘new business of music’ looks like.

‘Join Me On My Journey’

My EP, ‘This Is Me’, was funded via PledgeMusic and it’s been an exhilarating experience for me as an artist. Every step of the way, my fans have been involved in my record. From track selection to naming the EP itself…the title ‘This Is Me’ was chosen after I ran a poll on my Facebook page and I have always maintained that this is a record ‘for the people by the people’. My fans not only made it happen but they are helping in the promotional campaign as well as providing feedback on videos and future projects. I use the phrase ‘Join Me On My Journey’ by way of an invitation as this is effectively what I am ‘selling’, the experience of being involved with my music, making a difference, direct interaction and getting exclusive access to experiences that usually money can’t buy.

Bundles are the way forward. If I asked ‘would you like to buy my EP for £4’ I would get a modest response, If I asked ‘would you like to a set of lyrics, handwritten and signed for £30 and my EP comes with it’ I had plenty of takers! Looking at the numbers more than 50% of my sales come from bundles of experiences such as meeting me at a gig, introducing my show, getting handwritten lyrics, signed photos, so-on-and-so-forth. The average selling price for my 5 track EP is £20! My last gig in London sold-out in advance.

To say people do not buy music anymore is incorrect, they just buy it differently. In the new music business, they buy experiences.

‘Get My EP for FREE’

To aide discovery and distribution of my music, for a limited time, I’ve decided to offer my EP for FREE! Since it’s release earlier this year, it has had a lot of critical acclaim and a lot of people of said some very complimentary things about me as an artist, which is very rewarding.
Please visit my Facebook Page to get the EP for free at:

http://www.facebook.com/kellyerezmusic

Maybe at some point in the future, you’d like to buy a Kelly Erez concert ticket ☺ Enjoy the music and please do ‘join me on my journey’…Kelly x

Click here to read the original blog on Pledge Music

‘Hand on Heart’ review on The Smoking Section

As Hip-Hop and R&B musicians continue to get more comfortable in each others skin, it becomes harder and harder to find the respective genres in their purest forms. Thankfully, separation still exists across the pond as the UK manages to produce one or two new singers each year. Next up to bat is Kelly Erez, a rising starlet with a velvety voice that belies her London roots and is perfect for mid-tempo ballads. Currently unsigned, Kelly has built quite a buzz for herself online, steadily rising up the charts on ReverbNation and  gaining new fans daily through her website.

“Hand On Heart,” like all of her songs, is reminiscent of the music that we heard coming out in the ’90s. Her voice and lyrics are the main attraction, instead of having to be blended into the production, allowing them to connect with listeners on a level that’s not as commonplace these days.

Thanks in part to her rising popularity, Erez was able to fund the production of her debut EP This Is Me through Pledge Music, a site which allows fans to make donations in exchange for exclusive interactions with the artist. The concept may sound familiar because Public Enemy tried something like this with Sellaband.

Kelly Erez’s debut EP This Is Me will release worldwide through all major digital outlets on February 14th, 2011.

Click here to read the article on The Smoking Section website

Blues & Soul Feature

“There were a lot of producers that wanted me to go on dance tracks and sing things that I thought were inappropriate. I am not into doing things that are too sexual or derogatory. A lot of people told me that I needed to sing that way to get to where I wanted to be and wear revealing things.”

At twenty seven, Kelly Erez is slightly old to be an “about to blow talent”. Usually you expect someone who has just started growing hair in some unusual places with a prodigious talent to have that statement connected to them. Kelly however is indeed this new talent and “Age Aint Nothing But Number” because as she freely admits: “I wanted this all my life”.

Her EP ‘This Is Me’ is more than a working title, it is a motto, a mantra that I feel sure will shape her bright future “the title is a statement of intent and we actually put a poll up on facebook saying I needed a title for the EP by the weekend. This title just came up in the poll and funnily enough it was a title that my manager thought of and it was funny that the fans also came up with that title and so I thought let’s just go with that because I wanted people to see what I am about.”

Far from delving into or being swayed by the popular music of today, Kelly has used this first release to delve into the widely appreciated golden era of music: the 90’s where SWV, Brian McKnight and TQ plied their trade. Slow jams and ballads are the ingredients on an EP that has a cover of Burt Bacharach’s classic ‘Closer to Me’ which is telling in terms of where this lady could be heading.

The EP transports those of the late twenties and up at warp speed into 90’s heyday reminiscing: “We were definitely after that 90’s vibe in truth and we wanted to take the listener through a journey and take them through the different aspects of love with a positive ending to close the EP”

The EP is also unashamedly inspired by greats such as Mariah and Boyz II Men and the influences of beautiful keys and soaring infectious melodies are unmistakable. Meeting Kelly in her home town of Stratford on a cold morning Kelly is on time (a great sign for a professional) and immediately engaging.

She is “new to this” whole media interest and we start to talk about her interview on 1Xtra on DJ Target’s home-grown show which is a massive notch in terms of the urban credibility. Though “nervous” she is starting to warm to the idea that she may have “fans” but she clearly still finds it uncomfortable. She humorously opts for “listeners” as opposed to fans during our conversation.

It is this kind of attitude which is infinitely vulnerable and warm that will surely make her popular but I quickly realise that this is a lady with unassuming steel. She has a clear vision, strength and resolute moral stand point which by all admissions has meant that her success has taken longer than it maybe should have: “You only get one chance really to make a good impression. I had times where songs I had sung on where going to be sent to Sony but they wanted me to do things that I was not comfortable with” she clarifies” There were a lot of producers that wanted me to go on dance tracks and sing things that I thought were inappropriate. I am not into doing things that are too sexual or derogatory. A lot of people told me that I needed to sing that way to get to where I wanted to be and wear revealing things.”

While that story is not the same for everyone I feel a great sense of admiration for a lady that was keen for her dream but under the right circumstances and indeed on her terms, “I have worked on different projects and I have really just tried to find my sound. I am so particular and fussy about the sound I wanted to bring. I really wanted to do the whole soulful Rn’B and the whole ballads. I have always been drawn to singers with real soul like Maxwell, Mariah, John Legend whose voice I think is amazing. “She adds,” I think that music is so powerful and I know that people say they did not plan to be role models but anyone in the public eye will have a certain group of people looking up to them. There is enough negativity in the world and I am just really conscious of trying to portray messages that inspire people.

The media love to categorise and evidently compare and Kelly is already getting the comparisons to Mariah for her choice of music. The pressure is now on for a young lady dubbed “the next big thing”

“It is exciting but I do not really think of it as being pressurised because this is my dream and I just want to do it. It is looking good. Over the last few months through MySpace, Utube and stuff the following is almost sixty thousand. I have been surprised that it has got to this point in truth. Originally we just put up a couple of clips up on Utube just some acoustic versions done at the studio with my sister playing the piano and the response was just overwhelming”.

Indeed I checked out some of the comments on Utube and people are going crazy for the East End girl. Now realising her ambition we both agree that the hard work that she has put in is evidently making the current success even sweeter, “I have practised a lot. There was something there but I have had to work hard, I developed my sound and singing lessons from a lady that actually taught George Michael who is quite well known. I watched MTV Bass and listening to music and just absorbing everything about music.” She adds almost forgetting it seems this detail,” I remember I used to sneak out of lessons when I would get an idea and go to the music room and do the track. My teachers knew really but they would let me go. Since I was sixteen I have worked two jobs and all of that money was ploughed back into my music career”

Her family and her faith are support networks that she is keen to acknowledge, “I am definitely a spiritual person and I definitely feel very connected to God and I just get excited when I talk about God. I feel that I have this blanket of warmth around me. I am just so thankful for all that is happening for me.” Her sister Natalie has been a main source of inspiration in Kelly’s life, “Natalie always wrote and produced songs and I grew up listening to that. She actually taught me how to write harmonies and I just loved it and the process. It is amazing to have a melody and an idea and then writing it and in an hour it just becomes the piece of music and it just makes me so excited.”

Kelly exudes a certain pureness in her art exemplified by her clean note perfect vocals. Ian Carter who has worked with names like the Sugababes and Steve Bush (Corinee Bailey) evidently add the ingredients to make her soulful, classic RnB appealing to the masses. While her sister Natalie influenced by the 80’s creates a writing force that “compliments each other”. With a recent publishing deal signed Kelly is clearly following the plan that she has mapped out in her mind,” I want to put out an album and get a record deal to create the music I love, perform more and I would really love to write for people.”

Kelly seems to have the right balance of tenacity and likeability to make her a success. She is carving out a niche as probably the only UK singer with that classic Rn’B sound and a voice up there with some of the very best both past and present. She is a massive talent that is showing yet another side to the UK music scene: Kelly will be huge.

The Kelly Erez EP ‘This Is Me’ will be out February 14 – Valentines Day

WORDS SEMPER AZEEZ-HARRIS

Read the article on the Blues and Soul website

Blues & Soul; Soul Review of ‘This Is Me’ EP

The title is self explanatory and is a clear statement of intent but also there is a clear sound of determination and confidence. Here is someone saying that this is how I am and if you do not like it, that is fine but I am not about to change to accommodate you.

Kelly Erez is being touted as the next big thing and there is every reason to belief that this is true. ‘This Is Me’ is full of powerful ballad type tracks from ‘Letters’ to ‘Hand On My Heart’ and a cover of the Burt Bacharach classic ‘(They Long To Be) Close To You’ that allow her beautiful voice to immerse in her world of love.

With a plethora of the younger generation wanting to jump on the dance tsunami which is sweeping the UK, Erez is not only going to buck the trend, she is forging a niche as perhaps one of a very few singers that are delving into that classic Rn’B of the 90’s. But no fear while her influences are the main protagonists like Brian McKnight and others, the EP is clearly Kelly Erez.

Soft enticing vocals and poignant words are the order of the day. ‘Letters’ is a Testament to her talent the EP sees the creative juices of some of the UK’s big hitters in terms of writing: Steve Bush the writer for the brilliant Corinne Bailey Rae. Aubrey Nunn, writer for the equally brilliant and enigmatic Faithless. And Ian Carter, who has been behind some of the Sugababes’ most successful hits. Add a family connection with her sister Natalie also supplying her talents and the EP delivers as an introduction to a lady that has already got Utube (sometimes a good barometer for success) buzzing with excitement with acoustic covers of tracks like ‘Is This Love’ by Whitesnake: it’s brilliant and so is Kelly Erez.
WORDS SEMPER AZEEZ-HARRIS

Read the review on the Blues and Soul website

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