*Her voice provides a sea of meditative freedom and her talents spark a melodic flow of R&B inspiration. Jean-Norris Baylor, formerly one-half of the successful 90s duo, Zhané, is excited for her music and message to be spread to your family and friends this holiday season. Her new Christmas EP, “Light Up The World,” produced through her and her husband’s record label, Be A Light, is scheduled for a digital iTunes release on November 23, 2011 and the single release “Celebrate” on November 15, 2011.
It’s been five years since the charming Jersey native’s testimonial solo debut, Testimony: My Life Story, which was released on the independently owned label, Be A Light, with husband and producer, Marcus Baylor, in 2007. Now with a feel-good new body of work and a voice that seems to get smoother and perfected with time, Jean delivers a timeless six-track EP producing a collection of songs that celebrate Christmas in a soulful way.
“This Christmas project is all about family, inspiring others, celebrating life, and of course, gratitude for God’s perfect gift to us,” says the sultry vocalist. “Light Up The World” is anything but your typical re-creation of jingles made popular and traditional. This gift of music, created in several different studio locations speaks beyond the heart and settles into your soul, in an abundance of manifestation and recollection. “We didn’t want to make a traditional Christmas album, but rather something a little different for the holiday season. I wanted to write songs that capture real life, but still with a twist of gratitude and inspiration during the holidays.” With their newly formed production company, “The Baylor’s”, Jean and hubby Marcus collaborated with producers Carvin “Ransum” Haggins and Dana T. Sorey to bring a soulful ‘feel good’ holiday sound!
“Working with producers Marcus Baylor, Dana T. Sorey of C Bazz Entertainment and Carvin “Ransum” Haggins of Carvin and Ivan Productions gave this project a fresh sound that will reverberate with the masses,” Jean enthuses.”Carvin is a master vocal producer who focuses on the song as a whole and always delivers a great product. Dana Sorey is a very melodic songwriter/producer who has a great ear for intricate vocal arrangements.” She adds, “Co-creating with my husband and business partner is the absolute best. He knows me better than anybody and pushes me beyond my comfort level. As a musician he understands how to create the foundation of a great track. As a producer, he knows how to put all the pieces of the puzzle together for a complete song.”
Aesthetically infusing R&B and Soul, “Light Up The World”, offers a surprising duet with Eric Roberson that gives a nostalgic feel of the Donny & Roberta days on the track “For Your Love”. The celebratory title track “Light Up The World”, features an amazing horn arrangement that is reminiscent of a little “MJ” flavor. You’ll want to throw your hands up and dance to the music, while simultaneously making the world a better place. In classic holiday fashion, the first single, “Celebrate” takes you to a place of thankfulness and appreciation. Live bass & horns are added to the bonus version of “Celebrate” to bring a little something special to the track. “You Are” is a “worshipful’ song with a beautiful melody featuring a soulful keyboard performance and lyrics that are profound in their simplicity of what Christmas is really about.
“I think people from just about everywhere can appreciate this uplifting music during the holiday season. Right now, many people are struggling just to make it,” Jean expresses. A gifted singer/songwriter/producer in her on right, Jean has penned songs for artists and films alike, including Mary J. Blige and the Warner Bros. release “Of Boys and Men” starring Angela Bassett, directed by Robert Townsend. In like manner, she served as co-writer and co-producer on each song of this project.
In the midst of gearing up for another full-length album, most recently, Jean can be heard on the latest offering from neo-soul artist, Eric Roberson’s ‘Mr. Nice Guy’, “How Would I Feel”. Through Jean’s musical journey she has touched the lives of many with truthful lyrics and an honesty that makes not just her lyrics –but also her being — relatable. She captures the essence of life’s ups and downs, as well as its changing discourse.
“My hope is that these songs will encourage the spirit of giving, love and sincere regard for others.”
Celebrate now, but there’s so much more in store!