Smooth, sultry vocals over an undeniable groove; original music with live instruments and heartfelt lyrics; think: the live feel of the Brand New Heavies combined with the soothing sounds of Sade.
Barbie's impact on the Seattle music scene this past year has been recognized and rewarded... with the introduction of her debut CD, In Love With a Memory, this self-produced singer/songwriter is clearing her own path to success. A sold-out CD Release Party at the famed Dimitriou's Jazz Alley last February resulted in a packed performance schedule at festivals, clubs, restaurants and coffeehouses. Fans are enjoying Barbie's creative songwriting, honest approach and fresh, melodic voice.
The CD enlisted the support of Barbie's friends, several first-call musicians in Seattle such as bassist Garey Shelton, drummers Ben Smith and Mark Arrington, guitar luminary Michael Powers, and many others. Grammy award-winning producer/songwriter/singer Jay King (of Club Nouveau fame) also contributed, penning the lead track on her CD, "Humanity."
To support the release, you may have caught Barbie performing with her band at The Bite of Seattle, the Out To Lunch Concert Series, numerous Starbuck's, Borders Books, Duke's, Jazzbones or several other favorite venues. Most recently, Barbie and her group were featured in a live performance in-studio at KCPQ Channel 13 during their morning news program.
Influenced by such diverse artists as Nancy Wilson, Dianne Reeves and Prince, Barbie has developed a style that blends all of her favorite elements: meaningful lyrics, solid grooves and catchy melodies. A musician herself, Barbie often writes at the piano and draws inspiration from people, life experiences and situations. She has worked as a studio vocalist for clients such as Westin Hotels and Microsoft, and also as a model.
Currently, Barbie has completed her second CD, Ballads Through the Night, due for release in December, 2002. Catch her performance in an intimate venue near you, while you still can!
NEW MUSIC WEEKLY (REVIEW), Inside Album Mix by Glenn Rossney - April 4, 2003
Seattle continues to be a hot bed of music these days. Not only do they still have a stronghold on the alternative/Seattle sound but you will find a diverse sound as well. We recently received several CD releases from singer/songwriter Barbie Anaka and were we ever impressed. This artist combines brains with beauty and has got some excellent material that is very radio ready. On her "In Love With a Memory" CD album, Barbie has some strong singles. Our favorite is the cut "Humanity" (Green Light) that really fits what is going on today in the world. She also has a CD of standards entitled, "Ballads Through the Night" that she recorded with David Loy. It includes some great tracks including "Higher Ground", "I Can't Make You Love Me" and "On Broadway". We will keep you apprised on the future of this emerging talent.
NEW AGE RETAILER MAGAZINE (REVIEW) - January/February 2003
"Fresh Tracks" music column by Steve Ryals
In Love With a Memory
Green Light Productions
Barbie Anaka is a contemporary vocalist with a smooth-jazz flair. Her lyrics are pure New Age. The musicians gracing In Love With a Memory are excellent, and the arrangements sing with originality and gentle passion. Anaka's voice is pure and fresh, and her deeply caring heart clearly is at the root of her singing. The album is filled with songs of hope and healing, of the loneliness sometimes felt in spiritual seeking, and of the enormous joy available in connecting with the divine inside us.
Anaka sings both lead and background vocals and also contributes piano and percussion. Guitars, bass, drums, percussion, synthesizers, and programming complete the sound. My favorite song on In Love Wth a Memory is the first track, "Humanity", a song by Jay King and James Richard. A rousing paean to ending world poverty and famine by sharing the wealth, "Humanity" is a loving wake-up call to the planet. If you're interested in carrying contemporary songs with a New Age focus, be sure to give In Love With a Memory a thoughtful and heartfelt listen.
INDIEMUSICREVIEW.COM (REVIEW) - 10/02
Barbie Anaka, In Love With a Memory
(Green Light Productions)
When it comes down to it, female singers are a dime a dozen. But truly great female singers are significantly more difficult to find. Seattle's Barbie Anaka is a truly great female singer. She's also a talented songwriter and a beautiful woman.
Anaka's debut release, In Love With a Memory, instantly earned credit and acclaim in the northwest's regional jazz scene. Her sold out CD release party at the famed Dimitriou's Jazz Alley was backed up by some kind words from an influential jazz DJ. But the ten tracks on this disc speak for themselves, spinning up delirious melodies and a stir of mixed emotions.
The CD opens with the single, "Humanity," a track co-written by Grammy award winner Jay King and James Richard. This song delicately fuses soft electric riffs with a soulful plea for a peaceful planet. On this tune and others Anaka's heart shines as strong as her gorgeous vocal delivery. Whether she
sings about the hope of a peaceful future, the reflections of a past relationship (In Love With a Memory), or unkept promises (Words), the conviction in her voice is always strong and true.
On "One More Time," one of the album's high points, Anaka hits pure pop perfection. With style and charm she sings, "You've opened my mind/ Touched my soul/ Although it's just a memory/ I'll never forget/ I don't ever want to let you go..."
Numerous local jazz players graced the grooves of this
recording including bassist Garey Shelton, drummers Ben Smith and Mark Arrington, guitarist Michael Powers and many others. Their influence and contribution to this project painted a sophisticated and textural musical backdrop to showcase Anaka's sensual vocals and impressive songwriting.
While In Love With a Memory has been making waves in the northwest, Anaka and her gang have been busy writing and recording a new CD due for release in fall 2002. If the follow-up is anywhere near as strong as the debut, Barbie Anaka can look forward to a successful career as a jazz/ pop vocalist and songwriter.
WEEKEND ENVIRONMENTS NEWSLETTER (REVIEW) - 06/02
Next month I am doing an extensive review on female singers since Audiophiles seem to gravitate in that direction. In the process of reviewing artists I have come across a CD that I continue to play over and over.
I know some of you will feel that I am being biased since she is a Washington performer but give this disc a listen and you will be well rewarded.
The name of the CD is " In Love with A Memory" by Barbie Anaka.
I like every song on this wonderful disc. Like all records there are some songs that I like better than others but I believe that you will find that there is not a single song that you will want to skip.
Another thing that I found impressive is that Barbie wrote 8 of the 10 songs on the record. It is common on a first release to at least do a few old standards but this recording is all brand new material.
No "Over the Rainbow," "Fever," "St James Infirmary" to be found here although I am sure that she could do some amazing versions of any of these songs.
I know that there are a lot of female artists that are very popular with the Audiophile community.
And everyone's favorite Eva Cassidy
I would add to that list Pia, Surabhi, Mary Black, Lorenna Mckennit, Lynn Miles, Lucy Kaplansky, Rosanne Cash, Emmy Lou Harris, Sade and Randy Crawford to name just a few.
I have mentioned some terrific female artists and I did that to make a point. The emphasize is that I like "In Love with a Memory" as much as most of the records by any of these artists and that is extremely high praise!
My favorite song on the record is called Words and the lyrics say, "words break you down and turn your life around" and my hope and goal is to get the word out on how good this disc and any other unknown artists I discover are and share them with you.
We spend so much on components and my goal is to find really good quality music to help all of you find the software to fulfill your Audiophile dreams.
In the last couple of years the most listened to artist in CES rooms have been Eva Cassidy, Patricia Barber and Diane Krall. I believe in the coming year it will be Nora Jones, Jennifer Warnes, and Barbie Anaka unless something new comes out in the next few months. All three of these artists have released records this year that are very impressive!