Her spirit is reminiscent of soul singer Roberta Flack, but her sound is all her own. Kamilah (ka.mee.la) Marshall and her debut CD, Gypsy Moonshine, promise to take you on a journey that will leave you breathless. Her style is a fusion of country, blues and funk. Marshall calls it funkabilly, a phrase coined by Nashville’s Joanna Cotten.
If you’ve Googled Kamilah Marshall (formerly Martin), you already know she’s been in the game in New York and Los Angeles for years. Since 2003, Kamilah has been one of the Staggering Harlettes, singing backup for Bette Midler, recently closing in The Showgirl Must Go On at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. Broadway fans know her from RENT, Hairspray and Disney’s The Lion King, while her LA followers find her giging around town at venues like Molly Malones and the House of Blues on the Sunset Strip.
Kamilah grew up in Orange County, California, listening to every genre music had to offer. “Mom blasted Aretha, Patti and the Pointer Sisters, while Dad handed down a jazz education that included Miles, Bird and Coltrane,” she says of her growing up years. “Somewhere along the way I picked up Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix and I fell in love with country music.”
Marshall graduated high school six months early to tour with Heart Strings, a show designed to raise money and bring awareness to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Six months and 40 cities later, Kamilah had shared the stage with Nell Carter, Salt N’ Pepa and Patti LuPone. ,” Marshall says about her first tour. From that moment on, she knew performing wasn’t just a hobby.
With appearances on the Tonight Show w/Jay Leno, Late Night with David Letterman, The View, and Oprah, Marshall is humbled to say she has worked with the best, whether it’s onstage with the great Bette Midler or in the studio with producers Salaam Remi (Amy Winehouse, Jasmine Sullivan) and Nile Rodgers (Madonna, David Bowie). And a recent performance with the Long Beach Pops proved she can do anything she sets her mind to. The recent release of the soundtrack for Sex and the City 2, finds Kamilah singing an old standard, Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered, and she is featured on The Original Cast Recording of the Broadway musical, Hairspray and the soundtrack for the film, Hairspray, The Musical.
But it looks like Marshall still has a few surprises in store for her fans. Her new CD, Gypsy Moonshine is Illuminating and Inspiring. Marshall sings about people and life experience and somewhere between her melodies, you’ll hear her soul and find yours. Marshall is sure to captivate and transport you to a backwoods Memphis juke joint or a Carolina family reunion. Kamilah’s spirit is a light in the dark, as she sings about her life and yours.