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“New” feature here on Songs In The Key of Life where I’ll shine the spotlight on artists from my underrated singers lists. Whenever I am fortunate enough to catch any of them live, I’ll be sharing the experience under the new category, “Artist Spotlight.”

As I mentioned, a couple weeks ago, I attended the 4th annual Can A Sista Rock A Mic? concert series where I had the opportunity to check out several of the artists on my underrated female soul singer list. One in particular, Liv Warfield has stayed on repeat in the ‘pod ever since. She is definitely an artist you should know.

Liv has long been on my radar but with such an overwhelming amount of music on deck right now, I hadn’t yet pressed play on her 2006 release, Embrace Me. Can I get a late pass?

From the moment she stepped on the stage that night and grabbed the mic, I knew all we would be able to do was hold on for the ride. Her self-assured stage presence said loud and clear, “I was born to do this.” “Embrace Me”damnit!

Growing up in Illinois in a household that didn’t embrace musical expression, Liv instead filtered her talent into excelling in track and field. I can’t imagine what it must have felt like to hide such a voice. After moving to Portland, Liv honed her skills in part by performing karaoke. She began performing with a hip-hop band in 2002. In 2004, The Liv Warfield Project took the Portland music scene by storm. Embrace Me hit the shelves tin 2006. Oh but if she would have stayed on this biannual schedule, we should have been due a new album this year!

Until that day comes, check out the live performance of some songs from Embrace Me. I must admit while I love the studio album, the live version of the songs are what pulls me in. The raw passion and soul she brings to the words on stage reminds me of one of my all-time favorite artists (and one of Liv’s musical idols) Mary J. Blige. Much like when I see Mary, Liv makes you want to get up out your seat, wave your Martin Luthada Kang church fan and get to shouting. She takes you to chuuuuch. Let’s hope this underrated soul singer sees even half the success that Mary has had. It’s truly well-deserved.

Stay tuned for spotlights on some of the other super talented artists I saw at CASRAM who are responsible for the “new” flava in my ear.

Sophisticated Sista


Brotha Man

Get into this!

Who Is Liv Warfield?

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photo credit: adrianadelphotography.com via flickr