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"Dionyza: Quite Like Me"

In the world of modern R&B music, there is typically an inverse relationship between the quality of the CD and the raciness of its cover. One attractive but vocally challenged female singer after another has posed provocatively on the front of her CD, providing a beautiful wrapping on a sad gag gift: a by-the-numbers collection of faceless dance tunes and disposable ballads. It is the ultimate head fake; the musical equivalent of a pick-pocket who does a trick to attract your attention while his partner steals your wallet. So when a disc like Dionyza's debut album, Quite Like Me, is issued with its cleavage filled front photo, a reviewer's first reaction is a groan: we've seen this movie too many times before. But the young chanteuse gives her own head fake -- she delivers a shockingly infectious, balanced disc that is even more attention-grabbing than its provocative cover. The daughter of former Motown songwriters Michael and Brenda Sutton, Dionyza (named after a character in Shakespeare's Paraclese) has been known for several years around her native L.A. as a top-notch background singer. And here she's used her time in the "biz" to put together an A-list team of collaborators for her debut album, including Rashod Holiday & Sauce (Ne-Yo), David Frank (The System), Jared Gosslin (Macy Gray) and Nate Butler (3LW). The disc starts off strongly with "I Told Myself," a playa-busting track co-written with Robbie Nevil ("C'est La Vie") that indirectly samples a 70s composition by Dionyza's parents, and continues with one irresistible cut after another. "If This Could Be Love" is a wonderful 80's-style duet that Dionyza mentor Teena Marie would kill for. And it is indicative of a consistent strength on Quite Like Me: the ability to hearken back on classic soul sounds while making the album thoroughly contemporary. It is a balancing act that this disc handles as well as any of the past year. But behind it all is Dionyza's keen sense of melody. Nearly every song -- from the Janet-like "Practice Makes Perfect" to the sexy Leon Ware-ish "Give It To Me" to the funky, electronic "Stir It Up" to the earnest ballad "Whole" and the UAC gem "Today Will Soon Be Yesterday" -- is beautifully hooky and memorable. Quite Like Me is really a left-field release; a disc that consciously slants toward a young R&B audience, but has the sense of melody, production and vocals of a classic soul record. It is another head fake by this young artist. Dionyza makes more of an impression with her musical talent than with her attractive-but-contrived CD artwork, and happily demonstrates a case where the book is surprisingly better than its cover. Recommended. By Chris Rizik --Soultracks.com - Soultracks.com

"Dionyza : Quite Like Me"

How do music stars become stars? Why is it that some talented singers never rise to the top of the charts while other, less talented artists go on to become household names? These are some of the questions that may pop in your head while listening to the music on Dionyza Sutton's debut album, Quite Like Me, released independently in the U.S. on Dec. 23, 2008. Despite having a voice that's better than a handful of women on the charts right now, Dionyza is still a relatively unknown artist. Which is a shame, since Dionyza (pronounced Dee-on-cha) is definitely a young artist whose star deserves to shine more brightly.

The Complete Package
The record industry being what it is, when it comes to female singers, music execs sometimes don't look for talent as much as they do for other things, like a pretty face, great figure or great personality. But Dionyza's actually got the complete package. And she even comes from a music industry family: her parents, Brenda and Michael Sutton, were singers/songwriters for Motown Records back during its heyday. And as a nod to her folks, on her song "I Told Myself," Dionyza samples a song her parents wrote, "Sunrise," which was recorded by The Originals in the 1970s. (The song was also previously sampled by Kanye West for the Scarface/Jay-Z song "Guess Who's Back.")

"I Told Myself," if released by a major label, would definitely have been a radio hit: it's got the entire required formula, including a catchy, often-repeated chorus; a pleasant familiar beat; and some simple, sweetly sung lyrics. But although "I Told Myself" is the album's most hit-worthy track, there's plenty of other good material here, including the pop-y, upbeat title track, the sultry "Give It to Me," and the sassy dance track "Stir It Up."

If there's a weakness to the album, it's that Dionyza's voice isn't fully refined yet; on some songs she sounds grown, but on others, she's seems like a teenage girl acting like an adult. Also, her vocal range is limited. But when it comes to all-around talent, Dionyza's comparable to some of R&B's better-known one-named singers, including Ashanti, Amerie and Mya. For an independent release without many big-name, overpriced producers on it, this album's a major success. - About .com


• The Cheetah Girls Movie - 2008
• High School Musical 2 - Demos and Background Vocals - 2007
• Vanessa Carlton (Oct. 2007) - Background Vocals
• High School Musical - Demos and Background Vocals - 2006
• Vanessa Hudgens - Demo & Background Vocals - 2006
• Bratz - Fashion Pixiez - Lead & Background Vocals (Jade) - 2006
• Bratz (Theme) 2006 - Lead Vocal
• Bratz Commercials - Bratz Forever Diamondz - 2005 - '06
• Raven Symone (That's so Raven) - Demo and Background Vocals - 2005
• Latoya London (American Idol 2nd runner up) - Demo and Background Vocals - 2004
• Sugar Babes (UK Artists) - Demo & and Background Vocals - 2003
• Toya - Demo & Background Vocals - 2003
• Pop Stars 2 - Demo and Background Vocals - 2002 - '03
• Christina Aguilera - Background Vocals - 2002
• Shanice - Demos and Background Vocals - 1996
• Jon B. - Demo & Background Vocals (Live performances on "Cool Relax" tour) - 1996



The main ingredients: an angelic voice, a professional work ethic and bewitching
good looks… blend them together and you get Dionyza (dee-on-juh). The Los Angeles
native was born into music. She’s the daughter of Motown singer/songwriters Michael
and Brenda Sutton. Though never pushed into the business by her folks, she inherited
its finest points and practices to become one of 2007’s most seasoned and diversified
new artists.

The proof is on brilliant display with her self-titled 5 track debut EP, “Dionyza” which will initially be released digitally January 2008 on Little Dizzy Records. She’s collaborated with hit-makers such as: Rashod Holiday & Sauce (Ne-Yo) David Frank (The System) Jared Gosslin (Macy Gray) and Nate Butler (3LW).

Dionyza says, "I've been around music all of my life, up to the wee hours in studios while Mom and Dad were working. My greatest memory is being at Motown where I got to meet Smokey Robinson and Teena Marie. Teena took my sister and me to the park while my parents were in the studio. As children we saw the ups and downs of the music business first hand, so they didn't have to warn us about anything! We can all sing… but I'm gonna take it all the way!”

Thus far, “all the way” has included chop-building, behind the scenes work and singing background vocals for top-flight songwriter/producers such as Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds and the team of Soulshock & Karlin. Her extensive credits include singing on Christina Aguilera’s, “My Kind of Christmas” album and accompanying singer Jon B on his Cool Relax tour (which included promotional stops on Soul Train and Motown Live).

Dionyza sang on the best-selling soundtrack of the Disney TV movie “High School Musical 1 and 2” and provides the singing voice of the characters “Sasha” and “Jade” on the Saturday morning cartoon The Bratz. “I guess you can say I’ve been a busy lil’ studio rat,” she laughs!

What Dionyza has ultimately become is a well-rounded creative artist of the highest order – a distinction in keeping with the classical literary character from whom she received her name. “I was named after ‘Dionyza from William Shakespeare’s play Paraclese.’ So I read the play and found that ‘Dionyza’ is a strong independent woman - the wife of the town mayor who comes to her for decisions to make. I was feelin’ that!”

Which brings us to Dionyza’s self-titled debut. She has wisely chosen to collaborate with several different writers. One intriguing example of her writing approach can be found on her first single- “I Told Myself,” which she co-wrote with Robbie Nevil. Dionyza says, “Robbie asked me, What are you going through right now? I told him I was seeing a guy

and I thought he was going to be a dog… a player. I told myself to stop hanging out with him. I told myself I need to let him go.” Robbie said, “That's it - I Told Myself - we've got a hook!”

What makes “I Told Myself” even more special is the music track. Back in the `70s, Motown vocal quartet The Originals recorded one of Michael & Brenda Sutton’s songs titled “Sunrise.” That song was sampled by producer Kanye West for rappers Scarface & Jay-Z’s “Guess Who’s Back” (2002) and was a Multi- Platinum hit. Bringing the song full circle and back to family, Dionyza has sampled Kanye’s flip of the track for “I Told Myself.”

Dionyza says the most important thing she learned from her parents was to never give up. “They tell me that I'm at a place where a lot of people are still trying to get to. Sometimes I just want to stay in the background. It’s satisfying enough sometimes just hearing another singer's voice on a track that I wrote. Then I’ll go to a great show and want to jump on stage, grab the mic and hit the stage, I really love bringing songs to life.”

Dionyza’s full length debut CD entitled Quite Like Me will be available March 2008