A BEAUTIFUL MESS - BIO
"Who knew that "A Beautiful Mess" would be one of my favorites this year!? "Maybe I'm The 1", "Love Will", "Girlfriend", "Til U Come Home", "In This Love"... i am loving it! It's like someone took 1 part Prince, 1 part Sade, 1 part Sarah and created a whole, unique, sophisticated, urban-grudged & funked out Ra-Re. It's all such A Beautiful Mess, it is!
It needs to be said tho... "B With U" is hands down, my favorite! This is an Indie goody!"
-Message from the People via myspace
Ra-Re's tone is like chocolate silk. The lyrics are pure and the vocal arrangements are left but exactly right...a must get!
- Jill Scott
"Truly one of the most forward thinking artist to emerge in the soul genre. Ra-Re Valverde's A Beautiful Mess is pure artistry."
- Rahsaan Patterson
"Ra-Re is soul music's newest jewel. From top to bottom, A Beautiful Mess is a deliciously bold, undeniably eclectic, and lyrically introspective."
- David Mitchell
The Urban Network
What happens when love don’t pay the bills/How will we get by on a feeling? Who’s gonna understand how hard we try?
What happens when love don’t pay the rent/And all the money’s spent? Who’s gonna understand the time? /I’m telling’ you love will
An excerpt from “Love Will” taken from the album A Beautiful Mess
Right away, music pundits, radio station programmers and audiences alike will listen to Ra-Re Valverde and proclaim the ushering of a "SOUL EMPRESS”. Not exactly a misnomer, but perhaps the "neo-soul" term may be too limiting.
The soul is undoubtedly there, And if the newness is prevalent, it's because of Ra-Re's youthful outlook, the fact that she's contemporary—but her heart, her passion, her outlook is that of a soul singer from generations past. To look at her myspace page, one could glean that her diverse mix of musical heroes are Prince, Sarah Vaughn, Bjork, Miles Davis, Bobby McFerrin, Stevie Wonder, John Lee Hooker, and an endless trove of artistic brilliants. You see, Ra-Re is an unabashed New Yorker—born and raised in the Bronx, yet resides in Harlem; encompassing what that wonderful city may have to offer. Hence, the name of her debut album, the independent release of A Beautiful Mess. The album is a bold and soulful effort, undeniably eclectic, and lyrically introspective. It's a 14-song musical portfolio from a singer, songwriter, instrumentalist, producer and visionary—who may be doing something that's a bit left of center, yet still commercial or accessible enough to be embraced by the masses.
Ra-Re (meaning sunrise-sunset) came up with the album's title simply as a description of her life. "The title A Beautiful Mess represents the balance between the many ups and downs that life has to offer, and finding the beauty and color in the midst,” she says.
And this beautiful mess is all Ra-Re. She wrote or co-wrote all of the songs featured, and produced five of them alone. The song "Outside the Box," (with its mid-tempo and bass-heavy groove) produced by Jamie Siegel (The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill), according to Ra-Re is the song that was an impetus for how she would approach the entire project. The opening lyrics seem to suggest it all… “Normality don’t exist for me/Mostly I live on the other side/Fine with me, I’m cream-filled with such complexities/ and see love in unordinary things/Living outside the box somewhere on high/I don’t wanna come down”
An excerpt from "Outside the Box"
“Outside the Box” leads to such other Beautiful Mess gems as "Love Will" featuring Peter Hadar—offering an optimistic yet naïve message that relationships can get tense due to financial woes, but love will…
There's also the poignant "Them Eyes"—where Ra-Re paints a lyrical yet heartfelt picture, vicariously seeing the world through the eyes of a young lady involved in an abusive relationship, and a homeless woman who may have missed her calling as a famous singer but still is able to profoundly affect Ra-Re and everyday passers-by. Growing up, Ra-Re was raised in a household with a strong independent and entrepreneurial spirit, and was encouraged to express herself. Her mother influenced her musical tastes, but the desire to actually explore her vocal talents was inspired by her grandmother, Zelphia Ann, who sang in the church.
Ra-Re attended the LaGuardia School of performing arts during her high school years. "It was a milestone period in my life," she recalls. "It's where I first learned to write and read music, develop an affinity for classical music and create some strong relationships in an environment where artistic individuality was strongly encouraged.
From there she would segue to Berklee college of Music in Boston (where she received a Bachelor's in Music Business Management)—a very pivotal point in her life. "Berklee has a lot of history to it," she recalls. "where people like Lalah Hathaway, Rachelle Ferrell, Herbie Hancock, John Mayer and Norah Jones attended. There was so much influence, and it wasn't just about gaining book knowledge, but more about relationships that I still have until this day. It was there where I was also introduced to many different genres of music and culture; it’s where I first explored the techniques of artists like Coltrane, Ella and Bach. It gave me the incentive to approach my music from an entirely different angle."
During her time at Berklee, she met MCA Records R&B singer-songwriter Rahsaan Patterson, who promised her a background vocal slot in his band when she finished school. Ra-Re co-wrote on the title cut from Rahsaan’s third album and first independent release, After Hours, and sang on the songs “April Kiss” and “I Will Always Find Myself.”
She has traveled the world, working and touring with other talented artists such as Jennifer Lopez, Trina Broussard (Ra-Re co-wrote 9 songs on Trina Broussard's 2004 Motown release The Same Girl), Lalah Hathaway, and currently with Jill Scott for her 2008 "The Real Thing" tour. "Working with Jill has been another turning point in my career," Ra-Re says. "Lalah Hathaway recommended me when Jill was looking for a back-up singer for the 2005 Sugar Water tour featuring Erykah Badu, Queen Latifah and Floetry." The tour was already in progress when Ra-Re came on board—and needless to say, she fit right in. "What I admire most about Jill is her ability to relate to her audience and pull them in so that her story is portrayed through every song."
To witness ra-re’s live show it is clear, that she has the ability to do the same, especially since working alongside so many individuals that she has admired. "I've been blessed to work with some of the most talented artist/teachers in music. I can definitely say that I've taken something from each experience, to make it my own. "What's most important to me at this present time is to find and maintain my own voice," says Ra-Re. “Sometimes you're hesitant about some of the things that you want to do, because you're not sure; unsure of what people are gonna think or how they are going to react to the direction in which you may choose to take. What I realize more and more is that this journey is really about discovering me, first, and then going out and sharing the things that have influenced my life and the lives of those around me. It took some time, but I am learning as I go that the possibilities are and have always been endless! “
A Beautiful Mess is now available through several internet outlets such as Itunes, Snocap, & CDBaby.com
For additional information go to http://www.myspace.com/rarefootagemusic