R&B heat you need to hear: ‘Doing the Most’ by Kirby Maurier

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Kirby Maurier

Most of my music writing centers around South American artists & you can find it over at the U.K. -based Sounds and Colours. (I’ve written about lots of recent hot, new music here!) But on the rare occasion I find myself having to rave about non -Latin or global sounds, I do that here.

Meet Kirby Maurier: an Arkansas-born R&B artist from the Miami area, who happens to be the highest selling independent R&B albums in the South Atlantic Region. Her album, Doing the Most (via Valholla Entertainment), debuting at #162 on Soundscan’s Current R&B charts (US) and I can’t recommend it enough.

Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 10.08.23 AMHere I go aging myself again (damn you, Internet!), but I went to college when hip-hop R&B / hip-hop soul was at it best. (Don’t we always remember it that way?)

I’m talking about the time of Mary J. Blige, Aaliyah, Faith Evans, TLC, SWV, Total, etc… Those were the divas we brown kids were drawn to at the time. It was their lyrics we sang to on repeat when were in love or licking our wounds over a broken heart.

Maurier reminds me of that. An EP of hers, “Class of ’96,” encapsulates that (as she sings over the beats to many of the R&B beats of that era).

You can hear a good interview about her origins, the new album, and more, over on the Red Light Special podcast. And grab that EP via Worldwide Mixtapes here.

Finally, cop her Doing the Most album over at iTunes, and follow this artist on Facebook. Let’s hope her star continues to rise and she keeps on the focus on good, old-fashioned R&B. Though her lyrics exude more stark confidence, rather than the “come back to me” romance of that 90s R&B (Times have changed; this fits in line with powerful black female being celebrated these days), Kirby Maurier is obviously one to keep you eye on.

On Cuba: When What Is “Lost” Is Not Actually Gone

By Joanna Klimaski via Inside Fordham

Rose M. Perez was 8 years old when her family left Cuba.
She remembers holding her mother’s hand as they marched with the line of travelers across the tarmac toward the plane. Suddenly her mother paused and looked upward, her expression stoic.

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“I said ‘Mom, come on, the line is getting ahead of us,’” said Perez, Ph.D., an assistant professor at the Graduate School of Social Service (GSS). “I knew something was wrong, because she didn’t respond.”

Years later Perez learned that her mother had intentionally slowed down so that her relatives who gathered to watch the family depart would be able to see their place in the line.

Perez’s struggle to balance her Cuban and American cultures inspired her research on the adaptation of immigrants and refugees to U.S. society and how immigrants reconcile the worlds they must straddle.

Read more here.