Choklate
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Choklate

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Choklate is already taking her place along side soul luminaries like Mary J. Blige, Faith Evans, Conya Doss, Hil St. Soul, India.Arie, Leela James, to name a few. Her songwriting, her depth and her delivery has captured the hearts, ears and minds of listeners around the world. The soul is deep, the experiences are real, the beats are progressive and the production is sharp and clean. One listen to this record and you'll understand the lady behind the voice and the lyrics. Every track is pure heart and soul. Choklate covers the gamut of emotions as she sings of love, life, gratitude, dedication to the music and that higher power that is 'Bigger Than You'......and Me. ~T. Freeman - On The Verge - T. Freeman


Choklate is already taking her place along side soul luminaries like Mary J. Blige, Faith Evans, Conya Doss, Hil St. Soul, India.Arie, Leela James, to name a few. Her songwriting, her depth and her delivery has captured the hearts, ears and minds of listeners around the world. The soul is deep, the experiences are real, the beats are progressive and the production is sharp and clean. One listen to this record and you'll understand the lady behind the voice and the lyrics. Every track is pure heart and soul. Choklate covers the gamut of emotions as she sings of love, life, gratitude, dedication to the music and that higher power that is 'Bigger Than You'......and Me. ~T. Freeman - On The Verge - T. Freeman


Choklate came up wearing a black blouse, jeans and a funky “soul-cap” that crowned her braids. She claimed to be “really nervous” but that didn’t stop her from promptly going into funk mode with her song, “Never Leave.” She and the band were blending so well and the crowd was head nodding and finger snapping. Her strong alto voice and warm smile captured the hearts of anyone within earshot of her flow. For someone who claimed to be “nervous” her delivery was controlled, powerful and sincere. When she sang “Heavy” the band was killing it in a way that didn’t outshine her lyrics (big ups to whoever did there sound mixing!). This is when she disclosed that the band was local area cats who had just learned her music the day before and they hadn’t rehearsed with her at all. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the sign of true musicianship. You would have thought they traveled with her all the time. It was reminiscent of the old jazz days when people just fell through and improvised on each other’s shows. I have mad respect for the keyboard player, drummer and bass guitarist. My respect for Choklate increased exponentially in how she trusted the band, her promoter and the audience to ride with her as she poured out her heart in some of the most prolific compositions in neo-soul and music in general. ~by JayQ - Friday Fave Case - JayQ


Choklate came up wearing a black blouse, jeans and a funky “soul-cap” that crowned her braids. She claimed to be “really nervous” but that didn’t stop her from promptly going into funk mode with her song, “Never Leave.” She and the band were blending so well and the crowd was head nodding and finger snapping. Her strong alto voice and warm smile captured the hearts of anyone within earshot of her flow. For someone who claimed to be “nervous” her delivery was controlled, powerful and sincere. When she sang “Heavy” the band was killing it in a way that didn’t outshine her lyrics (big ups to whoever did there sound mixing!). This is when she disclosed that the band was local area cats who had just learned her music the day before and they hadn’t rehearsed with her at all. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the sign of true musicianship. You would have thought they traveled with her all the time. It was reminiscent of the old jazz days when people just fell through and improvised on each other’s shows. I have mad respect for the keyboard player, drummer and bass guitarist. My respect for Choklate increased exponentially in how she trusted the band, her promoter and the audience to ride with her as she poured out her heart in some of the most prolific compositions in neo-soul and music in general. ~by JayQ - Friday Fave Case - JayQ


Gary Bannister, artistic director of Jazz Alley, said he heard Choklate's music on a local radio show. "I immediately recognized the quality of her production and thought it would be something that might help Jazz Alley move into a new arena of presenting," Bannister said, via e-mail. "It's a win-win for everyone, she gets a nice venue, we get a rising star that's going to bring a whole new audience to Jazz Alley."
~by Tom Scanlon - Seattle Times


Gary Bannister, artistic director of Jazz Alley, said he heard Choklate's music on a local radio show. "I immediately recognized the quality of her production and thought it would be something that might help Jazz Alley move into a new arena of presenting," Bannister said, via e-mail. "It's a win-win for everyone, she gets a nice venue, we get a rising star that's going to bring a whole new audience to Jazz Alley."
~by Tom Scanlon - Seattle Times


Choklate’s website poses a question that I oftentimes ask myself, “What ever happened to good music?” Well, after listening to Choklate’s self-titled debut album and her recent release, To Whom It May Concern (featured as a CD of the Week in June), I’m convinced that good music is still around. Choklate has performed across the U.S. and Europe and her songs have captured a variety of audiences. Whether you like jazz, soul, r&b, or even hip hop music, I’m certain that her albums will offer you something good. This week I had the opportunity to ask Choklate a few questions about her music and experiences as an independent artist. ~ Mimi Soul - Finding the B Side - Mimi Soul


To Whom It May Concern is an album that can be played from beginning to end thanks to a varied set of tracks that moves from beat-centric hip-hop flavored soul to sultry ballads. It all blends together for a seamless experience. Production by Vitamin D and Jake One adds a healthy dose of progressive beats to the proceedings. Tracks like the title track and “Hunny’s Runnin” sizzle with furious percussion and chunky drums. In fact, the whole project has a head-nodding effect on the listener, thanks to a focus on mid to uptempo grooves. But what makes the whole project work is the synthesis of the production and lyrical content. Choklate’s words rarely settle on tired cliches of love, instead focusing on self reflection, politics, humility and her place in the world. ~ Norman Mayers - Norman Mayers


To Whom It May Concern is an album that can be played from beginning to end thanks to a varied set of tracks that moves from beat-centric hip-hop flavored soul to sultry ballads. It all blends together for a seamless experience. Production by Vitamin D and Jake One adds a healthy dose of progressive beats to the proceedings. Tracks like the title track and “Hunny’s Runnin” sizzle with furious percussion and chunky drums. In fact, the whole project has a head-nodding effect on the listener, thanks to a focus on mid to uptempo grooves. But what makes the whole project work is the synthesis of the production and lyrical content. Choklate’s words rarely settle on tired cliches of love, instead focusing on self reflection, politics, humility and her place in the world. ~ Norman Mayers - Norman Mayers


Choklate’s previous UK show was an energetic acoustic set, successfully adapting her sample-heavy compositions to the unplugged sound. However this time with a full band, the live Choklate experience was taken to another level. As with most artists promoting a new-ish album I anticipated that Choklate would neglect material from her debut to focus on To Whom... but I was pleasantly surprised. Her set got off to a cracking start with ‘Never Change’ – one of the many gems from Choklate. This was swiftly followed by the brilliant ‘Incredible’ – which is the closest thing to a personal anthem from the Seattle native. With the recognition of each track a handful of hardcore Choklate fans unreservedly showed their approval, singing along enthusiastically. Choklate herself never sounded so good, her vocals as effortlessly gorgeous live as on wax. She has an undeniable gift for improvisation – from her wonderful ad-libs to even, on occasion, busting a rap-freestyle or two. Her charismatic stage presence is the icing on the cake; whether it is sharing in the middle of the inspirational ‘Bigger Than You’ how her Christian faith helps her overcome her insecurities or joking that as a single lady she lives her love life vicariously through couples responding well to the baby-maker ‘Grown Folks’. ~ Soulculture, UK - Soulculture, UK


Choklate’s previous UK show was an energetic acoustic set, successfully adapting her sample-heavy compositions to the unplugged sound. However this time with a full band, the live Choklate experience was taken to another level. As with most artists promoting a new-ish album I anticipated that Choklate would neglect material from her debut to focus on To Whom... but I was pleasantly surprised. Her set got off to a cracking start with ‘Never Change’ – one of the many gems from Choklate. This was swiftly followed by the brilliant ‘Incredible’ – which is the closest thing to a personal anthem from the Seattle native. With the recognition of each track a handful of hardcore Choklate fans unreservedly showed their approval, singing along enthusiastically. Choklate herself never sounded so good, her vocals as effortlessly gorgeous live as on wax. She has an undeniable gift for improvisation – from her wonderful ad-libs to even, on occasion, busting a rap-freestyle or two. Her charismatic stage presence is the icing on the cake; whether it is sharing in the middle of the inspirational ‘Bigger Than You’ how her Christian faith helps her overcome her insecurities or joking that as a single lady she lives her love life vicariously through couples responding well to the baby-maker ‘Grown Folks’. ~ Soulculture, UK - Soulculture, UK


Discography

2009-To Whom It May Concern (LP, MeMusic)
2006-Choklate (LP, Kajmere Sound)
2006-Waitin’ (12”, Kajmere Sound)
2005-Sound Sessions Vol. 1 featuring Choklate (LP, Common Sensse Studio)
Appears On:
Fourth Dimensional Rocketships Going Up (CD, Album) Moonshine, Ride On, Epitaph Records, 2004
Reprogram (CD, Album), Reprogram, Rhymesayers Entertainment, 2005
Reprogram (2xLP, Comp), Reprogram, Rhymesayers Entertainment, 2005
S.P.I.T. - Spiritual Poetry Ignites Thought (CD, Album), Im A Fighter, Rise, I..., Up Above Records, 2005
Soulshaker Vol. 3 (CD, Comp), Take My Time, Record Kicks, 2006
Soulshaker Vol. 3 (LP, Comp), Take My Time, Record Kicks, 2006
Stand Up E.P. (12, EP), Take My Time, Ubiquity Records, 2006
Ubiquity Records, Inc. - 12 Singles Spring 2006 (CDr, Promo), Stand Up (Take My Time),
Ubiquity Records, 2006
Gutterfly: The Original Soundtrack. (CD, Album), Finale, Quannum, 2007 Gutterfly: The Original Soundtrack. (2xLP, Alb), Finale, Quannum, 2007 Blacksheep: 8WM: Novakane: (CD, Album), Bum Rush Entertainment, 2007
Tracks Appear On:
Brownswood Bubblers (CD) Heavy Brownswood Recordings, 2006
Soulshaker Vol. 3 (LP, Comp), Take My Time, Record Kicks, 2006
St. Moritz Vibes At Badrutt's Palace Hotel (5xCD, Comp + Box, Ltd), Bigger Than
Y ou,
Milan Records, 2006
Suite903 No.11 (CD, Promo), Waitin’ Cornerstone Promotion, 2006
The Kajmere Sound Volume 1 (12), Bigger Than You Kajmere Sound Recordings, 2006 Ubiquity Records, Inc. - 12 Singles Spring 2006 (CDr, Promo), Stand Up (Take My Time),
Ubiquity Records, 2006
Brownswood Bubblers For Japan (2xCD, Comp), Heavy, Traffic Inc., 2007
Remixed and Reworked:
Real People Music (Digital), The Tea (Real People, Manoo, The Layabouts Mixes) 2010
Video Releases: (from To Whom It May Concern) Sun’s Out – 2009 (BETJ’s Soul Sessions, VH1 Soul) http://www.youtube.com/watch#!v=eMRKKCurV5Q
Grown Folks – 2010

Photos

Bio

Her debut album ‘Choklate’ has a different kick, having a sound that’s been quite the challenge for those who are addicted to labeling, particularly those who would like to put a stamp on her sound. The record was recorded over a learning period and featured production by Seattle’s finest producers: Vitamin D, Bean One, Jake One, Kuddie Mack, Amos Miller and Jay Townsend. Being the prolific songwriter that she is, Choklate wrote and vocally arranged all of the songs on her album.
Since the release of her debut, Choklate has solidified her place alongside such soul luminaries as Raheem Devaughn, Dwele, Yahzarah, Anthony David, Sy Smith, Bilal, Eric Roberson, Sharon Jones and Res to name a few. Choklate has also guest appeared and been sighted on Boom Bap Project, Blacksheep, Abstract Rude, Butta Verses, De La Soul, Gift of Gab, Supanatural and Chali 2na’s solo records and is anxiously awaiting the opportunity to work with more of her peers.

The Seattle based songstress, who writes her own music, has already taken the breath away from many listeners around the world and she’s back with her 2009 realease “To Whom It May Concern.”

Choklate infuses her sultry alto voice with hard, progressive beats and very real lyrics— sparking many different kinds of emotions. “All of the music that I make is from my soul,” Choklate explains, “I just do what I feel inside. A lot of times I go into the booth and just try stuff. Whatever the music says to do, I do. I’m just a big ol’ mash of good music.” Choklate recognizes that people who like Hip-Hop, R&B, Blues, and Jazz will be attracted to her style.

The release of her self-titled Cd in 2006 and its subsequent re-release in 2008 created a tremendous global buzz for Choklate’s music and live performances. She has toured Sweden, France, Italy and the UK. Choklate has performed at the Blue Note (NYC), Jazz Alley (Seattle) and appeared with Bilal, Boys II Men, Roy Ayers and many more. She has headlined her own U.S. tour and continues to stretch the boundaries of Soul music.

With the release of 2009’s “To Whom It May Concern” Choklate once again teamed up with hip-hop/soul producer Vitamin D and the duo have delivered a critically acclaimed CD. The Seattle Weekly says “When the album's listened to in one sitting, it's clear Choklate has matured and found a sound that can revive contemporary soul, just when others were questioning if it was dead.”

“You release me to be everything I want to be, you pull out of me the very thing I’ve been searching for in me” – Choklate from ‘This Ones Dedicated To The Music’