Her music is a bittersweet and meaningful journey; an honest yet pleasurable exploration to the soul. She is a refreshingly brazen vixen that possesses the fierce triple threat of talent, attractiveness and intelligence. With an immaculate and compelling voice that sounds like nobody on this planet, Renee Sebastian is determined to revitalize the music industry with distinctive elements of R&B, Jazz and Soul harmonies in addition to stunning the globe with her mesmerizing songwriting skills that exude sheer genius.
Renee’s debut is nothing short of remarkable. Aptly entitled, Reneessance, a potent mixture of charming sentimentality, heroic feminism and the dawn of new beginnings, this collection of rhythmic poetry is all about transformation. “I selected that title because I’m beginning to put more focus on the artistic side; the side of me that’s been screaming and trying to break out all these years. But this album is also about what I’m doing in terms of my career and in terms of how I’m creating my music. It’s definitely all me; from conception to production to ultimately its release.”
High-octane performances and musical perfection come natural to this California native, who is a professionally trained Jazz dancer and by the age of 13, was used to wowing audiences of over 2,000. “I went to school in the Philippines and grew up performing as a dancer and choreographer in front of large crowds. Whenever I was on stage, I owned it.” Amazing people is inherent for Renee, having been born with the combination of exotic good looks and the gift of dance. It wasn’t until the latter part of her teenage years that she recognized her vocal abilities. “I always knew I could sing because both of my parents are musical. As a kid, I got exposed to all types of music because we only had the radio and it’s been the biggest part of my musical ear.” And after hearing Anita Baker over the airwaves, it changed her life. “I heard her and was like, ‘what the hell was that?’ That’s how I got introduced to R&B. The passion that she poured into her songs was just so blatantly obvious that there was no way I could not pick it up. And I loved that about her, how she really takes you into the song and just hypnotizes you and let’s you stay in the moment. She’s the one that inspired me to sing in that kind of flavor.” Another artist that captured Renee’s attention was Meshell Ndegeocello (“The minute I heard her first song, it stayed in my soul and I just loved the way she rendered her music”), as well as James Taylor, Michael McDonald, Michael Jackson, Sade and Prince (“I adore them because they’re all extremely wonderful songwriters”). She later trained under top vocal coach, Seth Riggs who has worked with music legends like Michael Jackson, Luther Vandross, Barbara Streisand, Enrique Iglesias, Natalie Cole and Quincy Jones and studied at the illustrious Jazz School at Berkeley, CA.
Renee respects unadulterated artistry and musicianship, especially since she effortlessly pens her own lyrics and is a naturally gifted pianist with no formal training and “let what God gave me flow through my hands.” From heavy, soulful, quintessential ballads to explosive funk jazz tracks, it’s this exhilarating mix that transcends time and makes her compositions so relevant. “Writing is something that I don’t have to think about. I love trying to take a particular part in my life and use it as a point of reference and fantasizing about it. So a lot of the songs that I write may have a bit of truth to them in that they’re what I experienced in life but a lot of them are fabricated because I don’t want my songs to be just storytelling about my life. I want my music to be something that tells a story that can affect more people.”
She also enjoys writing on subject matter that has double meaning, such as “Deliciously Dangerous,” her lead single co-written by Ali Soleimani who has worked with artists such as Cyndi Lauper and successful Italian pop artist Elisa. “I wrote the basic structure in like 15 minutes while watching MTV air Craig David’s “What’s Your Flava?” He asked the question and I just blurted out Well I’m ‘deliciously dangerous’. From that I wrote the song for those who have been typecast or stereotyped. It’s about how appearances often never really tell the meaningful truth. Going out and saying “I’m real” or “what you see is what you get” can be thought of as admission of predictability and is neither delicious or dangerous; so to be deliciously dangerous one must have a sense of mystic and the power of control.” Another must-hear joint is the goose bump-worthy, “Please Break My Heart,” a soulfully sincere gutbucket ballad about being in a relationship where you’re partner doesn’t want to try anymore. “This is a very personal song and taps into my true emotions.” Vocally, there’s no denying that this rising superstar is in the R&B category, yet with the Pop and Soul influences, Reneessance is a stunningly impressive first effort that will instantly become a classic.
Although she’s a self-described “progressive artist” and has toured with the San Francisco Funk/Jazz/Rap band Speak, Renee holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science with a minor in Mathematics. “I’m business savvy without a doubt. That’s what sets me apart from other people in this industry. I thrive on taking charge of my own future.” Part of controlling her destiny includes overseeing the creative production of her shows and a full-on production for Renee includes eye candy and great music, which is sure to cast spellbinding emotions over viewers. “I love movement, but dancing is not necessarily about moving fast or going left and right, it’s more about how every flick of the finger is uninhibited. I tend to want to bring all that out when I perform and it’s the moment in time where I’m feeling really free. I love that feeling of standing on the stage seeing no faces, only this black hole in the audience. It’s a time when I’m the most honest.”
One can’t ignore this soul flower that expands right before our ears. The irresistible intensity of her vocal delivery produces varied moods and her rich but complex lyrics are a honeyed treat. Renee Sebastian is heralding a new wave of Soul infused Pop soaked in Rhythm and Blues that is a throwback to the genre breaking artists of yesteryear. With unforgettable melodies that center around heavy instrumentation, textured arrangements and layered, confessional lyrics, this visionary masterpiece gives you everything you desire.
©2015-2016 Indie Music People All Rights Reserved