Press Release: DonnaJean Media Group and Jim Garrard Speak on the 9th Annual OUTmusic Awards

Press Release: DonnaJean Media Group and Jim Garrard Speak on the 9th Annual OUTmusic Awards

DonnaJean Productions | DonnaJean Media Group

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

OUTmusic Awards

The LGBT Academy of Recording Arts (OUTmusic Inc.) is a 501(c)(3) Organization in New York State with the mission to promote the advancement and appreciation of LGBTQ music culture & heritage as a recognized art form, create opportunities to support the development of young aspiring artists, increase visibility in honoring, documenting and archiving the contributions and achievements of marginalized LGBTQ artists into music & entertainment history.

DonnaJean Media Group and Jim Garrard Speak on the 9th Annual OUTmusic Awards

DonnaJean Media Group founder Jim Garrard comments on the devastating heartbreak from the postponement of the 9th Annual OUTmusic Awards

West Hollywood, Calif. 19th, January 2015

DonnaJean Media Group founder Jim Garrard confirmed today that the 9th Annual OUTmusic Awards have been postponed for unfortunate reasons out of his control.  The 9th Annual OUTmusic Awards were to be held on January 19th, 2015 at the Town Hall Theatre in New York City, New York by OUTmusic Inc. and DonnaJean Media Group.

DonnaJean Media Group Founder and Senior Executive Producer of the OUTmusic Awards commented, “I’m extremely devastated by this news and want to thank all who were involved in the 9th Annual OUTmusic Awards; everyone from the nominees, the performers, the production team, and the venue.  Unfortunately due to financial circumstances surrounding the event that was out of our control, the OUTmusic Awards had to be postponed to a later date to be decided.  Everyone worked hard towards making the OMA’s an event that the LGBT music community was deserving of and its truly heartbreaking that it didn’t work out.”

After previous investors involved in the event pulled out in the final week, DonnaJean Media Group made a last minute effort to raise the funds needed in the period of 36 hours. “Being as OUTmusic Inc. is a nonprofit organization, ability to raise investors are limited as the OMA’s does not provide a return on investment; with a 36 hour window, we raised the funds for the event by offering a percentage of the backend on the documentary film “For Which We Stand (One Queer Music Nation, In The Visible)” that was to be partially filmed at the OMA’s.  However upon further review of the credit worthiness of the organization during the 24 hour hold that takes place with these types of transactions, the credit standing did not meet the requirements requested by our investor.”

9th Annual OUTmusic Awards

The 9th Annual OUTmusic Awards presented by Lexus; were to be held at Town Hall Theatre in New York City, New York on January 19th, 2015.

Garrard went on further to say, “It’s hard to sit here and know that such a dedicated group that have worked hard for months at this are faced with such an obstruction.  Diedra Meredith, president of OUTmusic Inc, and a highly respected friend of mine; has put her heart and soul in to this event.  She believes in the mission of OUTmusic to the point where she has spent countless sleepless nights working towards this year’s event.  From dealing with the sponsors, the venues, the talent representation, the marketing, and everything inbetween; She is a one-woman army with a mission.  I can’t begin to describe the feelings of sympathy I feel for her knowing the emotional mess this must be putting her through.”

“Andrew McDonald, president of Production Peoples Inc., another long time friend of mine came in to put the actual show together.  PPi and McDonald are without a doubt the best in the industry at what they do.  I can say with 100% certainty that under McDonalds planning and his crew’s expertise, the 9th Annual OUTmusic Awards would have been the best presentation of the OUTmusic Awards to date.  I hope Andrew McDonald and his crew at PPi are able to come to an agreement to present the postponed showing of the OUTmusic Awards when we are able to secure funding, because it’s a loss for all those involved to not witness his expertise at work.,” says Garrard.

DonnaJean Media Group stands behind it commitment to help Meredith and OUTmusic Inc. make the 9th Annual OUTmusic Awards become a reality.  Garrard and DonnaJean urge all who can to make a charitable tax-deductible donation to OUTmusic Inc, a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization to help raise the funds needed to celebrate the biggest night in LGBT Music History.

About DonnaJean Media Group:

Bringing a powerful group of modern visionaries together for a collaborative synergy that’s resulted in a media conglomerate composed of a film and television production company, record label, live event production company, and a management house; DonnaJean is the future of entertainment.  DonnaJean Is Now.

DonnaJean.com | DonnaJean Media Group

Media Contact: Charles Wheeler, DonnaJean Media Group, (310)402-2193, charlie@donnajean.com

END

###

PR Newswire | Press Release: DonnaJean Media Group and Jim Garrard speak on the 9th Annual OUTmusic Awards

DonnaJean Media Group

Nominees and Honorees Announced for the 9th Annual OUTmusic Awards Presented by DonnaJean Media Group and Lexus

OUTmusic’s LGBT Academy of RECORDING ARTS(LARA) announced today the nominees and honorees for the 9th production of the OUTmusic Awards hosted by Lea DeLaria (“Orange Is The New Black”) and out recording artist Ari Gold.

The 9th OUTmusic Awards presented by Lexus and DonnaJean Media Group will take place at the historical Town Hall Theater in New York City on Monday, January 19, 2015.

The OUTmusic Awards gala evening will be the finale of a four day spectacular celebrating the 25th anniversary of OUTmusic, which will kick off on Friday, January 16th with the Pre-OMA Benefit Concert for the Brooklyn Community Pride Center (BCPC) featuring the best LGBTQ ARTISTS in music & entertainment.

Honorees and nominees will be celebrated for their achievements and contributions to music, entertainment and media history.

Of note, Matt Fishel received 6 nominations in total mainly for his Radio-Friendly Pop Song release; the track interestingly was nominated as Best Alternative Song, Best Pop Song and Best Rock song. Not sure how you can be three genres at one time, but hey! I do like the song.

Also, Tony Award Winner Billy Porter (Kinky Boots) will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s gala.

This year’s Honorees include:

• OUTmusic Vanguard Award – Monifah Carter star of “TV One’s R&B Divas Atlanta”

• OUTmusic Lifetime Achievement Award – Billy Porter Tony Award Winner Best Actor and star of the Broadway hit “Kinky Boots”

• OUTmusic Heritage Award – Holly Near award winning singer/songwriter and human rights activist

• OUTmusic Visionary Award -Thomas McCormack & Michael Mitchell creators of the former Gay & Lesbian American Music Awards (GLAMAs)

• OUTmusic Spirit Award – Wolfgang Busch Producer, Activist and Director of the documentary “How Do I Look”

This year’s nominees include:

ALBUM OF THE YEAR

Omar Thomas Large Ensemble – We Will Know
Tegan and Sara – Heartthrob
Well-Strung – Well-Strung
Charice – Chapter 10
Karmen Buttler – Daze Of Love

BEST ALTERNATIVE SONG

Toya Delazy – Forbidden Fruit
Jess Godwin – Bleed
Sarah Donner – With Pride
Matt Fishel – Radio-Friendly Pop Song
Aris – Fallen Blind

BEST CD COVER ARTWORK

Omar Thomas Large Ensemble – We Will Know
Dan Paul – The Make Up
Charice – Chapter 10
Matt Fishel – Not Thinking Straight
Derek Nicoletto – Just Panic And Get It Over With

BEST CLASSICAL RECORDING/PERFORMANCE

Well-Strung – Since U Been Gone (Mozart Meets Kelly Clarkson)
Marc Peloquin – Gotham Glory

BEST DANCE/EDM SONG

Michael V. Doane – Looking For Love
Jason Walker Feat. Bimbo Jones – Tell It To My Heart
Jonte – Deja Vux
Sir Ari Gold – Play My F**kn Record
Reina – Forever

BEST FOLK/COUNTRY SONG

Antigone Rising – That Was The Whisky
Run Jenny – Get My Whisky On
Linq – Seneca Falls To Selma
Dan Paul – Painted Over Portraits
Karmen Buttler – Something Great

BEST GOSPEL/INSPIRATIONAL SONG

Gary Floyd – Music In The Meaning
Adrian Ross – Anything
Ray Isaac – Mother Mary Song
The Relationship – Come Bless The Lord With Me
Aris – Pray For Change

HUMANITARIAN SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR

Omar Thomas – Hymn
MRF feat. Lisa Bello, Justin Waithe, Sheree Dunwell – Be Strong (LGBT Youth)
Jen Foster – SHE
Ray Isaac – Who I Am
Majola – Boet Sissy

BEST INTERNATIONAL SONG

Toya Delazy – Forbidden Fruit
Ember Swift – Laowai (Foreigner) 老外
Matt Fishel – Radio-Friendly Pop Song
Charice – Yakap
Suzanne Nuttall – Trophy Wife (Your Body Won’t Lie) French Version

BEST JAZZ/CABARET SONG

Omar Thomas – We Will Know
Miche Branden – Story Of My Life
Sean360x – AppleJack Ci’mon Dill’Sithe
NHOJJ – Our Love Is Here To Stay

BEST NEW AGE/INSTRUMENTAL SONG

D’Lance Jones – Forever With You
Mark Barnes – On This Day
Dan Paul – A Subtle Casting
Sean360x – UniaumSOUL

BEST POP SONG

Charice – Unexpected Love
Bec & Sebastian – Barricade
Tegan and Sara – I Was A Fool
Matt Fishel – Radio-Friendly Pop Song
Sir Ari Gold – Play My F**kn Record

BEST PRODUCER OF THE YEAR

Aris – Deaf, Dumb & Blind
Darren Orkert – Short Story Long
I.K.P. – Torch: Ignite It!
Matt Fishel and Mark Crew – Boxer Shorts & Razor Blades
Infinite – Infinite Various Artist Productions

BEST R&B/SOUL SONG

Reina Williams – Ooh Damn (Like Ooh)
Complete Love featuring Mikhial Douglas and True McG – Woman To Woman
D’Lance Jones – Forever With You
MRF – Be Strong (LGBT Youth)
Monifa – The Other Side

BEST RAP/HIP-HOP

Shorty Roc – Blue Flames
MRF feat. Lisa Bello, Justin Waithe, Sheree Dunwell, Shawn Caliber – Mob Music
I.K.P. – Settin’ the Record
Zebra Katz – Tear The House Up
Infinite feat. Sonny Lewis – New York

BEST ROCK SONG

Matt Fishel – Radio-Friendly Pop Song
Steve Grand – All American Boy
The Cliks – Savanna
Aris – Hallelujah
Derek Nicoletto – Hell in Gramercy

SINGLE OF THE YEAR

Toya Delazy – Forbidden Fruit
Tegan and Sara – I Was A Fool
Monifah – The Other Side
Jason Walker feat. Bimbo Jones – Tell It To My Heart
Sir Ari Gold – Play My F**kn Record

BEST SPOKEN WORD RECORDING OR LIVE PERFORMANCE

MRF feat. TJ Johnson, Cleveland P Jones – Tender
Kameltoe – Keep The Cycle Going
Poet On The Watch – Not On My Watch
Aris – I Believe In Love featuring Paula Cole
Kalup Linzy – Love In My Imagination

VIDEO OF THE YEAR

Shangela Laquifa – Werqin’ Girl
Jess Godwin – Bleed
Antigone Rising – That Was The Whiskey
MRF feat. Lisa Bello, Justin Waithe, Yasko Kubota – Trying
Jen Foster – SHE

BEST SONG ON A SOUNDTRACK

Complete Love featuring Mikhial Douglas and True McG – Woman To Woman from the LGBT Film “Woman To Woman”
Rob Gokee – “Rebecca” from the Webseries Producing Juliet
Kalup Linzy – Katonya’s Commission

BEST COMEDY RECORDING OR LIVE PERFORMANCE

VonTanner – It’s Christmas Everyday

DonnaJean Productions and DonnaJean Media Group Finalize Co-Production Deal With Aposse/CMC

SassyGirls_2Today, DonnaJean Media Group and DonnaJean Productions Founder and President, Jim Garrard, announced the company has signed a deal with Aposse/CMC, led by President John Lage, a production and management incubator, to co-produce a reality series tentatively entitled Brew Crew. The Brew Crew series is a classic show within a show about three sassy wine marketeers from Hollywood who spin-off into the world of “craft beers”. The new venture takes the three high-brow women to sleepy Macon Georgia where they must make it work with three country brewers. Time is of the essence as venture money is on the line. The goal? Churn out two new flavors within six months or else. Currently, the two companies are readying the treatment and sizzle reel for market. Inquires: Jim Garrard jim@donnajean.com

Team_-2

 

Press Release | DonnaJean Records Signs R&B Sensation Michael Brown

Donnajean Records Signs R&b Sensation Michael Brown

DonnaJean Records, the Atlanta-based indie that continues dynamic expansion with December’s addition of R&B singer/songwriter Michael Brown.

Michael Brown Signing Contract

PRLog – Jan. 6, 2009 – ATLANTA — DonnaJean Records, the Atlanta-based indie that continues dynamic expansion with December’s addition of R&B singer/songwriter Michael Brown.

Michael Brown. The name itself is pretty common. It rolls off the tongue with relative ease. But there is nothing common about the DonnaJean Records R&B sensation who bears that name.
From his warm smile to his charming personality to his golden voice, Michael Brown is the total package.
The Chicago native was bitten by the music bug at an early age. “When I was young my parents made me stand in the middle of the room and perform for them.”
But not every child sings the way young Michael sang. Influenced by the likes of Stevie Wonder, Usher, Michael Jackson, Jodeci and Boyz II Men, Michael infuses his music with a familiarity and passion that is rarely achieved by his peers.
Michael got his first taste of the effect that his voice has on others when he was in junior high school. “I performed at a talent show and everyone screamed. The crowd went wild afterwards. I walked off stage and this girl that I liked just kissed me!” That was a sign of things to come.
Today, as DonnaJean’s sole R&B artist, Michael is poised to make a name for himself with his brand of soul music that he describes as “the melody of his heart.” “I want people who hear my music to know that I am a young man who has been through his share of strife,” he says, “and I’m not afraid to talk about it.”
Michael’s debut CD, “So Sincere,” features an array of songs that are pleasantly reminiscent of the golden days of R&B while still managing to be current and innovative. He describes “Enough” as a smooth joint that talks about the beauty of a woman.” The ballad “Never Again,” with its driving beat, “explores the subject of falling in love with your best friend and getting hurt in the process.”  And  “Give it to Me,” Michael says, is “a jazzy club banger that’s speaking about the cutie that’s checkin’ my swagger from afar and I’m letting her know that I’m diggin’ her too.” The album, which Michael says “reflects my personality as a whole,” is written entirely by the singer and produced by Mr. DaLicks.
While he enjoys singing and performing, Michael Brown is also passionate about helping others. “My goal in this business is to not only have longevity but to help others by opening and speaking at community centers, giving to charities, and having my own label. I think my role as an artist is not just to make great music but to be a positive influence in the world.”

ABOUT DONNAJEAN RECORDS
Atlanta-based DonnaJean Records is a division of DonnaJean Entertainment, a multi-media company with offices in Atlanta and Los Angeles.

Founded in 2003 by Jim Garrard, DonnaJean specializes in signing, developing and releasing music by artists from a wide range of genres, including Dance, R&B, Hip-Hop, and Christian.

DJE’s film division works with writers, directors and other producers to create uplifting and entertaining projects for theatrical and home video release. The company currently has one television project in development and several others on tap for 2009.

In April of next year, DonnaJean will present the 6th Annual Southeast Urban Music Conference, a three-day event featuring artist showcases, film screenings and entertainment-related seminars and workshops.

For more information, visit DonnaJean records at http://donnajean.com

# # #

With many years of musical experience in virtually every genre, DonnaJean Records treats its performing artists like partners. We can produce and market into all listening areas, while still allowing our Artists to achieve their own performance

Press Release | DonnaJean Records Signs Christian Songstress Kelly Ingram

IMG_0040.JPG

DonnaJean Records signs Christian Artist Kelly Ingram. Her uplifting debut single is set for a November Release. DonnaJean Records, the Atlanta-based indie that continues to expand its scope with recent Christian artist signings, has added singer/songwriter Kelly Ingram to its growing roster.

ATLANTA, GA, OCTOBER 8, 2008 — DonnaJean Records, the Atlanta-based indie that continues to expand its scope with recent Christian artist signings, has added singer/songwriter Kelly Ingram to its growing roster.

Ingram’s debut single, the heart-tugging and inspirational “I Am All These Things,” has received early praise at radio and has already been touted by tastemakers as a hit-bound favorite. The single is set to be released November 11.

“Signing Kelly further solidifies our foothold in Christian music,” says Jim Garrard, founder and CEO of DonnaJean Entertainment whose roster also comprises Christian hip-hop artist DPB and Grammy nominated singer Claudja Barry whose single “I Will Stand” climbed to number four on the dance music charts last year. “Kelly is one of those artists that comes along very rarely,” says Garrard. “She is a special young lady with an amazing story and an amazing gift.”

Calling Ingram’s talent “a true anointing from God” and her music “an uplifting testimony,” Garrard said she penned “I Am All These Things” in a mere twenty minutes. “We are extremely blessed to have Kelly as part of the DonnaJean family and I cannot wait to share her beautiful and inspiring message with the rest of the world.”

Ingram’s eponymous CD is slated for release early next year. Says Garrard, “We are rushing the release of ‘I Am All These Things’ because we know that this is a record that is needed right now. It is a record that will change lives and give hope to people worldwide.”

Garrard said Ingram is already booked for several performances across the southeast. “I see her following in the footsteps of wonderful artists like Amy Grant who have made it possible for Christian and gospel music artists to cross over to mainstream audiences without losing their Christian base or compromising their messages.”

Ingram’s signing comes on the heels of the release of DPB’s groundbreaking debut album, “Re-Identity,” which marked the label’s foray into the Christian market. Says Garrard, “I am extremely proud of these two signings. Artists like Kelly Ingram and DPB allow us to make a positive difference through music.”

 

ABOUT DONNAJEAN RECORDS

Atlanta-based DonnaJean Records is a division of DonnaJean Entertainment, a multi-media company with offices in Atlanta and Los Angeles.

Founded in 2003 by Jim Garrard, DonnaJean specializes in signing, developing and releasing music by artists from a wide range of genres, including Dance, R&B, Hip-Hop, and Christian.

DJE’s film division works with writers, directors and other producers to create uplifting and entertaining projects for theatrical and home video release. The company currently has one television project in development and several others on tap for 2009.

In April of next year, DonnaJean will present the 6th Annual Southeast Urban Music Conference, a three-day event featuring artist showcases, film screenings and entertainment-related seminars and workshops.

For more information, visit DonnaJean Records at http://donnajean.com 

View PDF | October 3rd, 2008 | Press Release: DonnaJean Records Signs Christian Songstress Kelly Ingram – Uplifiting Debut Single Set For November Release

The Jamaica Observer – Standing Strong, Not Still

Standing Strong, Not Still | Claudja Barry

by Michael A Edwards, Entertainment Editor | The Jamaica Observer

Glamorous, multilingual and highly travelled Claudja Barry is the picture of grace and unhurried, gimmick-free success.

Sitting opposite this writer inside the lobby of the Knutsford Court, she looks every bit like someone who has sung in some of the world’s best venues – among them Studio 54, The Saint, (NYC), The Palace (Paris), Budokan Hall (where she won the Silver Prize at the Tokyo Music Festival), The Verona Arena (Italy).

Her performances and stage presence have made her not only a star in the pop and club music arenas but have also made her an accomplished actress in film and television as well as on stage.

Barry may be best known to Jamaicans of a certain age as a founding member of the Euro-pop group Boney M, Barry left the group after only a year to pursue a solos career, and in fact doesn’t wish to talk about that time in her life.

She’s far more anxious to talk about I Will Stand, her current single that’s fast on its way to becoming an international anthem.
“Its really a song telling young women to stand up, to recognise their self-worth and not have anyone else try to define them,” she explains. The song has heightened personal relevance for the singer as she prepares to send her daughter off to college, but had its genesis some three years prior, when Barry, who had been on a self-imposed hiatus, decided it might be time for her to get her musical legs going again.

The single is presently lodged at or near the top of a number of international dance charts (including #4 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play), and already there are several remixes and versions making the rounds. A video is being planned and Barry is looking at 2007 for an album release. She is, in fact, a partner in the company, Donna Jean Records, that released the track.

But the real story is Claudja Barry herself, her amazing travels in the entertainment world, and her current perspective having learned through experience. Born in Jamaica, Barry left with her parents for Toronto Canada at age 7. In her teens, she headed south to New York City, to study acting with the famed Actors Studio of lee Strasberg. From there, she jumped to London, landing the lead role in the Royal Court Theatre production of AC/DC, which won the Evening Standard Critic’s award for Best Play.

She again hopped the pond, so to speak, this time landing in Germany, where she appeared in several musicals, including a musical adaptation of Othello (which in turn led to the Boney M call). Hollywood also called, and barry had roles in the features Rappin’ and Paper People.

Her solo musical career includes the disco classics Boogie Woogie Dancin’ Shoes, Dancin’ Fever and Down And Counting all of which were staples on Jamaican radio. She also found time to produce a gospel album, entitled Love Him Forever.

Though now based in New York, Barry has carved out a special place for the land of her birth. ‘ I intend to have a base in Jamaica,” she says. “I’m not saying I’ll be here all year round, but I definitely want to be established here.”

Having experienced the pleasures and challenges of life in Europe and North America, she is both philosophical and pragmatic. “The European way of life is closer to the ideal than the US or even Canada, but the thing is, there aren’t any major solo acts breaking out of Europe right now, like there were say five years ago. So even though the go-go life of America can be very difficult, that’s where the music is happening for the moment.”

Having been back to the island on several occasions, Barry is struck by need to create opportunities, particularly for the young, to realise their potential, but doesn’t wish to get on a soapbox. “There is an incredible amount of talent here,” she says. “I’d like to be able to do something to help them , especially our young women, empower themselves.”

With her career and family on the main burner, the social activism will have to wait a while. Through I Will Stand, Barry is trying to speak to one issue, as directly as possible, in the way she knows best. People are listening.

Press Release | DonnaJean Congratulates The Unstoppable Claudja Barry on the Success of “I Will Stand”

DonnaJean Congratulates the Unstoppable Claudja Barry On The Success of “I Will Stand”

July 28th, 2006

DECATUR, GA, JULY 28, 2006 – Claudja Barry’s single “I Will Stand,” has climbed to #4 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play Chart. The success of the single continues to grow around the world, topping many international charts. Currently, Claudja is preparing to release her next single from her upcoming album

DonnaJean Records’ founder Jim Garrard says, “I am so impressed and proud of how Claudja Barry has not missed a beat in her latest success, her vocals and performances are better than ever and she continues to amaze me. All of us at DonnaJean cannot begin to express our appreciation for the support shown by her fans and the industry.”

Expectations and excitement are high in anticipation of her next single, due out in early September. “The reactions from her fans have been nothing but humbling.” Many of these sentiments are expressed on her Myspace website at http://www.myspace.com/claudjabarry and her official website at http://www.claudjabarry.com.

ABOUT DONNAJEAN RECORDS

With many years of musical experience in virtually every genre, DonnaJean Records treats its performing artists like partners. DonnaJean can produce and market into all listening areas, while still allowing our artists to achieve their own performance goals.

DonnaJean Records is constantly seeking new singers, songwriters and musicians looking for a home where they can be assured that their needs come first.

For more information, contact DonnaJean records at http://donnajean.com or http://www.claudjabarry.com

Claudja Barry Enters Billboard Charts with ‘I Will Stand’

Decatur, GA (DonnaJean Records) – The new club anthem “I Will Stand” by Claudja Barry entered the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play Chart today. The chart will appear in the May 20th printing of Billboard Magazine. “The club and radio success of Claudja’s latest single (I Will Stand) has been nothing short of our expectations, which has validated our vision. I am thrilled with how her existing fan base and all of her new fans have embraced this record,” says DonnaJean founder Jim Garrard. Expectations for the continued growth of “I Will Stand” are very high.Both terrestrial and satellite radio stations continue to expand rotations of “I Will Stand” in their weekly playlists. Tune in to stations like Sirius TheBeat 36 and New Orleans’ WDVW.
With a joint venture between DonnaJean Records and DMX Music, the hit single will begin broadcasting in June in retail stores including Abercrombie & Fitch.

Claudja Barry is a multi-million record selling recording artist with a well-established following, and with the new record, a newly discovered and quickly growing fan base.
• Claudja Barry’s new single “I Will Stand” is now airing on radio and satellite stations world-wide.
• The single is now in its second pressing as sales continue to be strong in anticipation of the new album, due out later this year.

About DonnaJean Records
With many years of musical experience in virtually every genre, DonnaJean Records treats its performing artists like partners. DonnaJean can produce and market into all listening areas, while still allowing our artists to achieve their own performance goals.

DonnaJean Records is constantly seeking new singers, songwriters and musicians looking for a home where they can be assured that their needs come first.
For more information, contact DonnaJean records at http://donnajean.com or http://www.claudjabarry.com

 

Review of “I Will Stand” by Jimi Bruce for About.com

Claudja – I Will Stand

From Jimi Bruce

Guide Rating – rating

 

A legendary original who never sits for long

I was thrilled to hear a name I hadn’t heard in along time announced on the air and should have known she wasn’t going the way many of the “disco era” have – silently into the so-called “mature” disco night. “Yes!” I thought to myself, there IS hope for those of us thought of as left behind by disco haters!” Claudja Barry will always be remembered by me personally. I know what the day looked like (sunny), what positivity I was doing (warming and winding down from a Saturday workout), and the excitement I felt when I heard him announce and play the new song, “I Will Stand” [Donnajean Records]. Suddenly my good times and the ole (school) days flooded back to mind – a needed vacation from the stresses of today. Now if you don’t know who she is, then pull up your chair to your gel screen, my reader, and let me drop some science on you about her as I know it and as she told it to me recently.

Claudja Barry became a star, slightly under the radar before every female singer who made the scene wanted to be tapped, dubbed, smoothed, rubbed, or pronounced a “diva”; as if entitled just because they have a record out in the market.

A classically-trained vocalist, who has traveled the world, Claudja is longevity personified, and has taken care of herself and preserved her “instrument,” as she calls her voice. “I was one of the persons who took my job very seriously, and I still do. I think if you love what you’re doing, which I do, it takes a while to find the right project to come back with (it’s almost like six different tunes on this),so I’m happy I took care of myself.”I adore track three, the Sugardip radio edit by Ean Sugarman, which most resembles her signature sound through the years. “It’s also very sort of two-thousand and six” she reminds, “an updated version of the ‘Sweet Dynamite sound.” This is the version I recommend, radio stations. In da club, DJs will have fun with remixed versions on track two from Gadbois, number four from the original songwriters, and track six, an expansion of my favorite Sugardip on the disc.Even Claudja’s hair is the same on the CD cover of “I Will Stand” as it is on the album jacket of 1978’s “Sweet Dynamite,” style and all, which is a really good thing that surprised her when I pointed it out during our talk. “That IS a good thing” she said “It sort of ties-in to her new beginning but almost from the same!”
Her first major label success was on the mostly Latin-based and now almost-forgotten Salsoul Records & Tapes (back when cassette tapes were new), and I just assumed that she was singing with the big Salsoul Orchestra led by Vince Montana. But no, she says “All of my early things were done in Europe and Salsoul picked-up the product and put it out in the states/that’s how it worked…” Well we just learned something together, my reader, and yes I know I’m kind of slow sometimes – duh… “Sweet Dynamite” was the blast album that they put out, and the title track, complete with a Tom Moulton mix, a staple back then, got her started and was played to big hit status by New York City’s trendsetting Program Director Frankie Crocker and WBLS-FM, and that hit-laden album spread through the clubs across the land. “I must tell you something, when I think about the body of work that I’ve done, when you think about ‘Love for the Sake of Love’ and Jermaine Monteil who redid it [sampled]; “Down and Counting was such a great tune, “Tripping on the Moon,” one of my absolute favorites; you just think that it’s hard to sort of top those I absolutely love! But “I Will Stand” is so different from any of those things, [and] so 2006.

It’s a tune that is going to say something; not just happy happy, trippy trippy, it’s a song that is making a statement that is valid for young people today” she said. The DJ in me has a respectful love/hate thing with artists who evolve with the times – DJs always want it to be party time and don’t want to grow-up. Yet I love the reinventing of oneself, and Claudja sings and speaks to that end magnificently. “It can be party time, but the feeling today you [still] have to be so focused/you have to realize how privileged we are in this country” she reminds. In a short talk, we rapped about many things.On “Down and Counting” (1986), She comments “It was a number one Dance record, unfortunately I got caught right in the middle of when Sony was coming to buy CBS [parent of the Epic label she was on] and everything was in an uproar, so Down and Counting got counted and…” or discounted slightly more than had there been label stability back then.When I asked her what her most favorite song is that she doesn’t mind performing ad nauseam, she replied “Work Me Over,” because of the range vocally, and because it’s a really happy song; it’s kind of sexy, as well as ‘Boogie Woogie Dancin’ Shoes’.”

I always have to ask those I review if they can relate an amusing anecdote about the production or a performance during their career. Claudja replied, “I did an amazing performance at the Tokyo Music festival in 1980, I was on the bill with the Commodores, The Stylistics, Dionne Warwick, and all kinds of wonderful artists. It was the first time I ever went out to sing with a live band, and by that I mean a seventy-piece orchestra on a stage like Carnegie Hall or Radio City. Of course, I’m thinking like ‘who am I? If I can just get out and through it I’ll be happy’; and I came away with three prizes, best composed song and best costume. I came away with the silver prize and Dionne Warwick got the first prize, so I was thinking, that is not too bad, I just was not expecting it.” Okay, but how about amusing Claudja? “I [invite] people to get on stage sometimes and dare them to ‘take it off,’ and when they actually take [their clothes] off, I have to stop them before it gets too embarrassing for them…” She eggs them on until the last piece is almost gone when she has to pull them back from the brink indeed – especially when the videotape is rolling.
She took me aboard the time machine when recounting her most memorable gig at the late ’70s New York City haunt The Saint. It was a New Year’s Eve party back in the days with Cerrone, and “Trippin’ On The Moon” was her hot hit at that point. This evokes serious scandalous reminiscence for my puppy years in radio.“‘I Will Stand’ is for anybody who really has strong beliefs and realized that nobody’s gonna do it for them and they’ve got to do it for themselves; and when you come upon situations where you feel powerless, you dig your heels in and say, no – I will stand because I am. It’s not just a woman’s song, it’s for anybody who is today feeling that they need to be strong and have power.” There I was thinking this was another Gaynor-type survivor song – not! The message is be who you are and stand-up for yourself by cultivating your own identity: “I’m ready to move forward/because I deserve nothing less/here I stand my own wo-man, don’t need your hand to be who I am…”
This record speaks to individuality in spirit and deed by way of cultivating one’s own identity and I always second those emotions! Written by her longtime friends Tony Moran and Warren Rigg, along with the two imaginative remixers, Claudja feels fortunate and proud to have released “this piece of product (which she has had for several years), and we’re all hoping the resonance from the public will be positive” she says.
Well, judging from comments I have read online, the buzz already is for this Montego Bay-born by way of Toronto and Hackensack songstress. She is even contemplating collaborating with Jamaican music producer Fata in the near future on a project that will revisit one of her signature hits.Our talk was part badinage, part philosophical, and all the way informative. For those who desire more, I recommend www.claudjabarry.com, her full-service site. She is “looking forward to the next set of excitements that are going to come to me” and is planning to do a tour. As comebacks go, this one is right on point.

I know that this will not be Ms. Barry’s last “stand”, so five stars is the rating upon which my spinning wheel lands.

About.Com – Dance Music & Electronica | Claudja Barry “I Will Stand” reviewed by Jimi Bruce

Press Release | DonnaJean Records Releases New Claudja Barry Single

DECATUR, GA, APRIL 5, 2006: DonnaJean Records is proud to announce the release of the new single, “I Will Stand,” from international recording artist Claudja Barry. “I Will Stand” is destined to climb the charts as her newest anthem. Claudja, a multi-million record selling recording artist has returned with this amazing new song, already touching the hearts of her fans, new and old.
Claudja took a brief respite from her entertainment career focusing this time on her daughter and family. In 2004, ready to begin performing again, Claudja contacted long time friend – producer/casting director, Jim Garrard who founded the film and television production company DonnaJean Entertainment. Subsequently, Claudja Barry joined DonnaJean Entertainment as an owner and partner, and together they formed DonnaJean Records to release her new album with Claudja in the driver’s seat.

~ MORE ~

DONNA JEAN RECORDS RELEASES NEW CLAUDJA BARRY SINGLE Page 2

• Claudja Barry’s new single “I Will Stand” is now airing on radio and satellite stations nationwide, as well as Europe.
• Initial sales of the single are strong in anticipation of the album, due out later this year.
ABOUT DONNAJEAN RECORDS
WITH MANY YEARS OF MUSICAL EXPERIENCE in virtually every genre, DonnaJean Records treats its performing artists like partners. DonnaJean can produce and market into all listening areas, while still allowing our artists to achieve their own performance goals.
DonnaJean Records is constantly seeking new singers, songwriters and musicians looking for a home where they can be assured that their needs come first.
For more information, contact DonnaJean records at http://donnajean.com or http://www.claudjabarry.com

Download PDF Version

Translate »