Could she be the next over-produced, under-groomed, and surprisingly talented artist on the precipice of greatness and internet meme?
Many artists have a kind of raw talent which drives them toward a profession in their respective field. Many artists get distracted by all of the opportunities and possibilities; they begin to lose focus on the passion which beats like a drum at the heart of their talent. Zaina Juliette has a rawness and a knack that is heard in any of her songs. She takes time to spotlight her backing band, and sings about more than just love and partying. Her downfall, though, may just be how much she and her managers are pushing toward being a ‘star’.
On her blog/website, she has an oddly well-produced video on the front page. It adds an air of mystery to her style, and I was honestly intrigued. Within the clips and fancy edits, though, are the early signs of this package’s shortcomings. Through the eye-catching edits, there are some that are just as eye-catching, yet sad to see. For instance, an image of her used often is that of her in a crown, one which has been copy-pasted onto her head in a program like MS Paint. I don’t understand this, because in the context of her high-production intro-video, it stands out as a short-cut. This can be said about the music, too.
Every other song on the ReverbNation page is stellar. While there are certainly things that could be improved, those don’t make or break the songs. My first impression was her vocals; like a clear river flowing over so many jagged, craggy rocks. On short, terse phrases, her voice can grab your attention; while on longer, more melodic choruses, she has a hypnotic cadence. The voice, nearly always the first thing I notice, has an ability to stand on its own and the music which joins can too. In some songs she notes the members by name: Mike Lockhart, Lyubo Radkov, Robin Calarese, George Robert Dickens, Tina L. Turner. At best, this band’s sound is full, transitional, and the accents that each instrument can stand out at any moment in a song. They are less backing, and more partners. At worst, they are mixed in such a way that dampens the track, and raises the treble that I don’t enjoy. The melody is tinny, or the sound is flat.
I feel that the problems with the production, which are all relatively small, resonate throughout the entire product. I refer to this as a product in such a way that they seem more interested in selling, than creating. It’s a shame because the talent there is such a breed that, like an endangered animal, all you need is to be shown their majesty to love it. You don’t need to slap a Slow Loris on a lunch box and t-shirt for people to fall in love, you merely need to bring them to light. This group is a rare breed, and if they were to tone down the manner that they sell themselves, market themselves, and ‘brand themselves’, then I think they have a fighting chance.
I understand the paradox in what I’m suggesting, because there’s a certain amount of business behind every creative endeavor. You have to market yourself to survive in any creative venture. That being said, I think we get the point. Now SHINE! You’re in orbit, be the natural-born-stars that I can already see from songs like “Hit Em Hard” and “Cray-Z.”