Sola Reign
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Sola Reign

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | INDIE

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2014
Solo Alternative R&B

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A little over two weeks after breaking ground with her “Boudoir” single, emerging Canadian songbird Sola Reign has finally set free her debut EP, About A Boy. But in the event there are still some listeners questioning Sola’s ability to, well, reign, the singer has allowed the full project to be streamed for free via her soundcloud.

Clocking in at exactly seven tracks and a little under 26 minutes in length, About A Boy is exactly what it claims to be – an EP that chronicles of Sola’s experiences with a lover. It begins with “Genesis,” a deeply personal spoken word intro in which Sola questions her judgment and admits that she’s crazy, but only because “she entered into something without a title.” From that point forward, it’s a “dark R&B” ride (to use the artist’s own words) through sensual highs and emotional lows. Lead singles “Boudoir” and “You” are stellar in their own right, but there are certain other gems on About A Boy that can’t be overlooked. Like “Open Letter,” which flips a sample from Usher’s “Confessions Pt. II”; and the Spanish guitar-driven outro “Muerto,” over which Sola’s voice simply flourishes. - Bradford J. Howard


“About A Boy” is the new Ep from R&B artist Sola…. Been listening to this on & off all morning, one thing I gave up on was trying to label her or her music. It is dark as it is tagged on soundcloud…. even says that in the email. But its not emo or gothic, its dark but good. I don’t fee like I want to kill myself or anything I just want to vibe, actually danced to a few tracks. The production is so amazing throughout I would have to consider that the best part. The beats are crisp BUT the use of samples the various blends of sounds and effects make this project have serious replay value. Not to say that the songwriting or overall subject matter is bad either, there are points where she shows some emotion through lyrics like on “Old Thing“. My biggest problem is that I can download every song EXCEPT the last track “Muerto“…. I”m quite pissed lol… Overall this is a solid project start to finish. One thing I really love about music is when it doesn’t focus on certain things about the artist. I hear so many songs where the artist clearly shows you their race, religion, sexual orientation. In these 7 songs you don’t get any impressions of those things from Sola. That doesn’t mean she isn’t being personal or connecting us to who she is, its more about the art & displaying its beauty. Job well done. - brainofbmw


Press play on Sola Reign‘s new About A Boy EP and what you hear is not an opening, but rather closure. Opening track “Genesis” is anything but; fearful strings begin to unravel and darkness falls quickly over its recorded landscape–Reign sings a lament for her skin’s melanin and it becomes the very reason for the heartache and loss that burns her inside. This is a record that sets forth from the end of love gone wrong. Reign has cut all ties and is ready, it seems, to drown.What do you think?

The fall never stops. The waters only deepen. Reign’s breathy, earnest delivery on “Open Letter” recalls the rasp of R&B singers twice her age and is a beautiful introduction to an album that, dark and wounded as it may be, is still a joy to listen to. Its joy is owed to the incredible vocals found on every track. Yes, About A Boy is a study in top-notch dark/future R&B production, but after every listen it’s that melodic yearning–Reign’s human presence–that lingers. Lyrically, the Toronto songwriter bucks the blurry-filtered #MOOD trend that so often obfuscates future-R&B’s artists; her meanings are clear–we’re well aware of what hurts. As “Boudoir” unwinds its stuttered-trap tale, Reign openly aches for her ex-lover: “Why don’t you come to my place and hold me / I want to feel your hands down my spine.”What do you think?

Each track passes and the watery atmosphere of About A Boy grows colder and more compressed. “Nostalgia/Krystal’s Meth” recalls the darker ballad cuts of Kendrick Lamar’s Section.80, its oscillating synth chords and trap hi-hats stitched together so tight that somewhere Sango is sweating. The track samples The Pharcyde’s “Runnin” in a barely-there fashion–in fact, familiar hip-hop and R&B samples appear on almost every cut on the EP. But rather than act as a foil to Reign’s message, ‘Cyde’s lines are more fleeting. They pass like murky headlights on a two-lane highway late at night.What do you think?

It would be easy to catalog an EP like About A Boy away for future bedroom mixtape use, to compare her to the likes of FKA Twigs and move on from there. It’s all here. The ideal blend of slithering guitars, vocal reverb, trap clicks and massive bass can be found on just about every track. But if Reign is taking a page out of the book of Twigs and others like her, she’s also dipping her hands in ink and making her own mark. Listen to the advance stream of About A Boy in its entirety below, and get ready to hear a great many good things from Sola Reign in the future. Coming up for air is overrated. - Scott Heins


“You” is the latest release from Cananda’s own R&B artist Sola Reign. “You” is a song off her upcoming EP “About A Boy“. I like the vibe of “You“, not something to add to your “Grown Folks Music” playlist but more so music to zone out or maybe smoke to. I don’t smoke, but I can see this being something my friends who like to enjoying this while partaking in the herbal of essences. I’m interested to see what Sola’s EP will be like. - http://brainofbmw.com/


Toronto’s Sola, aka Sola Reign premieres “You…” ahead of her upcoming EP About A Boy for Kayda Productions/FaceFilms Records. While a lot of contemporaneous comparison lingo has been flying, Sola strikes into a sub-surface faring wave with production that moves the mind, and the senses with the “You’re special and you know it” sensuality that moves with the syrup-slo-mo arrangement speed and viscous sonic seep. The beat rock gently against the warm jet water rush of time elaspsed splashes of intense love deluxe proposals like Sola’s beckoning call of, “let me be the girl for you, let me share the world with you.”

The worlds of places, and palaces past crumble like abandoned and dilapidated modern communities. The motion of digital planets and feelings colliding are met through a lover’s rock rhythm that is slowed in different frequencies of emission that send out signals of some of the most intimate innuendos transmitted via modern antennas and vacuum tube powered receivers.The production takes real time and alters the forward speed to a slowed pitch that pours all sounds into a viscous cup of warm molasses, bathed in a hot lathering of sounds soaked in dulce de leche synthesized syrup.

Everyone has their own creative connection to Toronto, and I was wondering how you have found its environment and scenes to have impacted your sound?

Well when it comes to my sound, I wouldn’t say Toronto played a big role in its development. My production choices on the other hand I can say is a tad bit influenced by the Toronto music scene. I say this because I find Toronto has a very smooth sound especially when it comes to production, as you can see in the current emerging artist out of Toronto. My taste in music is very eclectic, so when it comes to my sound, wouldn’t put myself in a box and say it’s impacted from one place. I draw inspiration from everywhere.

When did you first begin making music, and then how did you take on the title of Sola Reign as your moniker?

I started making music seriously a few years ago but have been writing and singing since elementary school. Music has always played a big part in my life and got me through a lot of rough times. I took on the name Sola Reign about 2 years ago. Sola means the girl that stands alone and I felt the name described my music/sound so well. My sound is not your typical, it’s not one that will be liked by everyone, which is okay. And even me as a person, I never like to follow the herd. So Sola I found was the perfect fit and “Reign” was that added touch. So basically I’m the girl that stands alone and will not be led by anyone but myself.

We are stunned over the intimate, emotionally charged chamber-scape of “You…” where your own delivery is met with these sampled, treated breath exhalation stems. What was the making of this, that sounds like a very personal song for you?

“You…” is about wanting one particular person and no matter the obstacles you will not stop until they’re yours. Everyone at one point in their lives has had that one person they were smitten with and would give anything to get them. I just found myself in that particular situation which led to “You…”.

Furthermore, can you describe for us a bit about the situations, and scenarios that have inspired your upcoming About a Boy EP?

This whole upcoming ep is about a ‘situationship’ I was in. A very unhealthy ‘situationship’ that brought me on an emotional roller coaster ride, which led to my last mixtape and this upcoming EP.

Up and coming artists from Toronto and else where that you want to give a shout out to?

I’d love to give a shout out to DJ laz vagez who plays a major role in the direction of my music and a very talented engineer and artist. I would also like to shout out an upcoming artist Nynex who will be coming out with a project in 2015. Very talented rapper, look out for him! And to all the artists in Toronto and around the world who are working there asses off to make this happen. It’s not easy and if you have the courage to step up and bless the world with your talents regardless of what others may say or think, I applaud you!

2015 mission, hopes, and projects for the new year?

2015 you can expect two EPs from me. I will be dropping another EP in the fall, which will be a lot more dark and very personal. I am working on that right now. I’m just planning on doing a lot of shows and finally introducing the world to Sola Reign. So keep your eyes and ears open! - SJIMON GOMPERS


Hi Sola, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
I’ve been great! Just been spending many nights in the studio preparing for my my next project! :)

Can you talk to us more about the story behind ¨Down 4 You¨?
Well… “Down 4 U” was written from a personal experience at the time. I wanted to shed light on the unhealthy side of “Attachment”. Being so Awed by someone so much that you would blindly do anything for them. Even knowing how bad they are for you emotionally, you would still climb mountains for them. You know their no good but you cant find it in you to walk away.

Let´s talk about your new mixtape Narcotics – What´s the story behind the title?
Narcotics was one of the first few songs I put out from this mixtape. It garnered great feedback so I decided to make that the title of the whole tape. I felt it summed up everything and really described the dark, eclectic sound of the tape. I wasn’t originally going to put out a mixtape because I was more focused with dropping material until the release of my EP but decided to just create a compilation of all the songs I’ve created around that time of the “Narcotics” single so everyone can have a taste of whats to come.

Can you talk to us more about the recording and writing process?
All the songs on this tape was written at a time when I was in a dark space. I was going through a roller coaster situationship with a boy and started to write a lot of music. Everyday was a new story, Everyday was a new song and my emotions just started pouring out of me. I would go the studio a few times a week and just sang my heart out. Everything on this tape are all my raw emotions. I never intended for it to be dark but that’s just the way it came together. There was a few songs that were harder to record than others because of the meaning behind them.

You have been compared to Lykke Li and Banks – would you say that´s just a coincidence or do any of them play a role in your music?
They don’t play a role in my music but their both amazing artist. Everything I create is usually based off of real life experiences or my mood at the time. So I never listen to other artist and try to imitate what they do. All the music I write or create comes solely from me just being myself. But we all do have a dark edge to our sound so i guess that’s where I believe the comparisons stems from.

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics in this record?
I find inspiration from my own life experiences. With “Down 4 U” it was inspired by my own crazy emotions. Every song on this EP stemmed from the same.

Will you be hitting the road this year?
In 2015, I do plan on doing a lot more shows around Canada and hopefully the states.

What else is happening next in Sola´s world?
Right now I’m currently wrapping up my EP. Which will debut soon. Then I gotta start the video process so right now I’m solely focused on that! - RJ FROMETA


“Freedom, medication, and expression.”

These are the three tenets listed on emerging Canadian singer-songwriter Sola Reign’s facebook page to describe what music means to her. The Jamaican-born but Toronto-cultivated Sola – born Camisha Young – brands her style as “alternative” R&B, though it’s clear Sola somewhat follows in the footsteps of plenty of recent Canadian musicians who draw influences from Houston (insert obligatory reference to Drake here).

Utilizing this “alternative” dark R&B sound that relies on echoes and murky beats that let her voice reverberate at every turn, Sola recognizes the path that was paved for her by artists like Aaliyah (who she cites as an influence), JMSN, Rochelle Jordan, and The Weeknd. And yet, something about Sola suggests that she’s disrupting that path to make her own way and stand apart from the pack.

On “Boudoir,” the lead single from Sola Reign’s upcoming About A Boy… EP, the songbird begins the song with a slowed-down sample from Shaggy’s “Mr. Loverman” on its hook, one that DJ Screw – or, at least, OG Ron C – would nod his head approvingly along to. This hook merely rolls out the red carpet for Sola’s lush and darkly seductive voice to take over, as she dishes out instructions for her lover to make his way towards her room quick, fast, and in a hurry so they can engage in some “sexual healing.” Indeed, the very minute Sola croons, “Why
don’t you come, to my place/ and hold me?” it’s simply too late to break away from “Boudoir’s” spell. - Bradford J. Howard


Sola’s been dropping material at a relatively consistent clip, it seems, but it took until today for one of her efforts to break through onto our pages, and we’re sure glad it did. “Old Thing” is the name of said effort, and it’s a beautiful mixture of alternative, electronic, indie, pop, and, most notably, R&B. Glory Muzic has the sonic amalgamation handled throughout, providing a light, nicely progressing backdrop for Sola to croon smoothly and soulfully over, and that’s exactly what she does. Never overwhelmingly or underwhelmingly, she sings, and the minimal-but-effective processing of her voice really provides a nice polish that laminates the entire track. We’ll be hoping for more, similar-sounding efforts from the Torontonian in the future, surely, but able to revel in “Old Thing” until more emerge. - Taylor Rummel


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

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Bio

Freedom, medication, and expression are just a few words that symbolize what music means to emerging Toronto recording artist and songwriter, Sola. With a stage name that signifies “the girl that stands alone”, there is no doubt that she continues to pave her own lane in the industry—with a voice that is unique, and original lyrical content that may not be mainstream, but stays true to who she is as a cross-genre artist. Early inspirations that led Sola to discover her passion for music stemmed from watching successful artists such as Aaliyah and J.Lo impact music lovers globally. However, for her, putting on a show was something she always loved doing—whether it be performing as a youngster in front of friends, or dancing and acting as a part of past school performances. She recognized she loved the impact that sparked from capturing the attention of an audience and having them respond to her work. Moreover, with the number of artists gaining notoriety in mainstream music today, individuality has the power to make or break any aspiring musician. Despite pressures to go with the ordinary, Sola avidly draws inspiration from her own experiences. The core of her music is rooted in real life situations that affect her and others who share similar stories. As a visually inclined songwriter, if Sola does not see the video or story play out in her mind, the lyrics just will not make the page. The emotions triggered by the beat are also integral to her process as a songwriter. Furthermore, her eclectic style completes the package as she delivers a musical variation of infused genres. At times, there is no telling what route Sola will take musically because her influences span from an array of artists including Lana Del Rey, Imagine Dragons, and Beyonce, who are all distinct in their unique craft. Sola admits that not every listener will gravitate to her sound, but this is a hurdle she repeatedly triumphs over with her willingness to be different and challenge audiences to be open to her particular art form. As her career evolves, she considers herself to be her very own creative director, taking on a visual musical approach that presents the opportunity to explore different characters—hence, her love for producing music videos. Likewise, her goal is to ultimately garner fans that share her vision and remain unapologetic for their emotions at whatever stage they are in life. For other artists following in her steps, Sola hopes to curve a distinct lane that allows those who may not belong to a specific genre, gain success with wider audiences as they shift the standards of the industry that create limits to mainstream music exposure. 

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