Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1101

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Nyree: Soul Food Connoisseur

Nyree Nyree Nyree Nyree

New soul sensation Nyree truly is the quintessential ‘international girl’ in every sense. Born in the UK to Armenian parents and currently residing in France, the multicultural, bi-lingual, song-bird is busy promoting her debut album "International Girl". Introduced to music by her parents at an early age, the classically trained musician uses her talents to display a contrasting array of influences, including classic soul orchestration with quirky yet insightful lyrics all presented through a unique, rich and sultry delivery.

Industry tastemakers have already credited Nyree with ushering  the arrival of Armenian soul, a moniker that she greets with nervous laughter but she is happy to embrace, “What an honour to be heralded as that! It's awesome. For me, when you think of soul, I guess Armenia is not what you think of…as a product of Armenian heritage, that's great. The music there is very diverse. You've got traditional being infused with pop and the soul (scene) is at its beginnings, I would say. That's something which I can promote because I love to sing soul music”.

“(I think my heritage) is a massive influence” - I think that's ‘everything’ - that's why I sort of consider myself the international girl. I'm Armenian-British, born in London, which is super multi-cultural as a place. I grew up with a lot of languages in my life. My parents themselves, although they were born here, my grandparents weren't. Armenians are so musical. There's a lot of multiculturalism in my life and that influenced my music hugely. I think there are lots of people, now anyway, that identify with that…they feel part of an international tribe".

Sighting Michael Jackson, George Michael and Minnie Riperton among her early influences, the burgeoning songstresses seemed to naturally gravitate towards the old school sound of her early musical heroes. "I have always really connected with male singers because my voice is quite low. Growing up I loved the Michaels: Michael Jackson, Michael McDonald, George Michael...but then there are puritan female voices which I've connected to like Karen Carpenter and Tracy Chapman. I grew up listening to a lot of Roberta Flack and Minnie Riperton that's why the soulful side started coming out when I started writing. As I've gone on there's Luther Vandross, Marvin Gaye, Al Green, Stevie Wonder, I could go on forever… I think listening to all of these people growing up has been a massive influence”.

Inspired by her quest for idyllic love, the album's lead single "Brighter Shade Of Love" is a beautiful homage to the soul sound of the 60's and 70's. Explaining the concept behind the song, Nyree shares "For me, it's a homage to classic soul. It's kind of retro and it's got that Motown, 70's side (to it). As to what's it's about, it's about a quest for perfection or idyllic love. I'm singing about a painting obviously, a masterpiece and wanting the person inside the painting to be real. It's about wanting that perfect love, that transports us somewhere else, something of hope, particularly now".

Always the explorer, Nyree took a musical pilgrimage of sorts during the album's recording process, globetrotting to locations like Miami, Paris and the Caribbean,  She insists, however, that it was not quite as glamorous as it seems. Laughing she says, "It does sound super glamorous but it really wasn't - we used big and small studios. We (recorded) mainly in London, I’d say. A lot of the production and post-production and mix came from Miami because we wanted that American soulful sound. That ability to be able to (record) from anywhere is really great".

The single “Brighter Shade Of Love” is out now and debut album “International Girl” will be released in the spring.

You can read more from our interview with new Soul sensation Nyree including her dream collabs, music background/education and what motivates her songwriting in the current issue of Blues & Soul Magazine - click the 'BUY NOW' link below to order straight from the B&S shop or read on for high street retailer details...

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Words Karen Lawler

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