Mehira Cruz (b. 1990, Berlin) was born to two dance instructors and grew up in the wings of the theatre. With the release of her debut EP, the young singer, rapper, and songstress is taking center stage.
Drawing from a life rich with music, rhythm, and transatlantic experiences, Cruz’s first foray into the industry as a solo artist is a warm release that draws on a luscious blend of tones and styles. The EP is led by the woozy, nostalgic “Lemon Drop”, followed by “Unforgettable" slinks off the beat with a jazzy, throaty ode to an ex lover. “Sunday Thing” finds the narrator caught between two affairs with over a skittish, driving Drum n Bass beat that leads into “Tempo”, a firmly in-the-pocket strut over brassy horns and a grooving funk. Elsewhere, “Il Padrino” finds Cruz playing the role (...) Mehr anzeigenof a lusting chanteuse, and she navigates the breathy torch song with ease.
The genre-spanning nature of Cruz’s EP is hereditary: Her father Timothy John Golliher moved from his native Los Angeles to Brussels at the age of 17 to study, perform, and teach contemporary dance; her mother Zinaida Stanley was born in London to a German mother and Nigerian father, and grew to be a prolific dancer and teacher who continues to lead ballet lessons to this day. Cruz’s childhood was spent in the theater, watching the waves of bows and beats in the musicians’ pit, and she began to play the violin when she was 8, picking up the piano when she about 9.
After a foray into choir in 2001, Mehira began to explore her voice at 14 with David Lee Brewer, who had coached Beyoncé and Kelly Rowland as young vocalists, but Cruz finally laid down her first tracks at 18 while working a trainee hotelier. She refined her toolbox of talents for years before she was plucked from a musical theatre program and signed to tour as a back-up singer for hip-hop artist Blake Worrell across France and Switzerland in 2012.
A chance encounter on the tour found Mehira under the tutelage of esteemed vocal coach Paulette Schmidt. For the next three-and-a-half years, Cruz worked with Schmidt to open her voice, developing a broad palette of timbres and textures while staying true to the raspy, honeyed quality that she centers in her EP. As Cruz’s confidence as a singer and songwriter bloomed, so did her the opportunities that came her way: She spent the years between 18 and 23 as a session singer for a bouquet of underground hip-hop artists in Berlin, and worked on a development deal with Universal France.
Cruz returned to songwriting in 2016 after the birth of her child in 2014. From a lush, leafy rooftop in Berlin’s Neukölln district—not far from where Cruz herself was born—she began the first sketches and drafts late at night. The compositions grew as Cruz’s voice was whittled to a point of precision: Soulful but self disciplined; warm but reserved; thoughtful but commanding. Now complete and fully formed, Cruz’s debut EP is ready for release in March 2018. Weniger anzeigen
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