To Critic’s Nods Award Winning Soul Vocalist Conya Doss Releases LP “BluTransition”
Cleveland’s Reigning Queen of Indie Soul Conya Doss received rave reviews worldwide for her debut albums while gracing the covers of local Cleveland publications and collaborating with Dwele in McDonald’s nationwide soulful McCafe commercial, now the Ohio based school teacher turned charismatic songbird whose garnered accolades from BET J, Soultracks, iTunes and Ohio Hip Hop Awards releases her emotionally resonant fifth studio album Blu Transition
Purchase Album Blu Transition
Listen to Single “All in You”
Conya Doss 2002 thru the present A Video Documentary
“Conya has the voice of song bird, beauty of a Demont “Peekaso” Pinder painting and artistry of timeless poetry” Raheem DeVaughn “Doss has a vocal style and ability to make you feel like you know her. Comfortable to listen to yet lovely and soothing. An awesome and underrated talent.” Anthony Hamilton
“Conya knows how to capture and create a vibe with her music!” Dwele
“I voted for Conya as “Best Underground Artist” at the 2008 BET J Virtual Awards!” Ledisi
“A whole lot of soul in a beautiful package…a must hear.” DJ Jazzy Jeff
“When people look back at the building of this independent soul movement they will realize Conya’s angelic voice and music have been one of the strongest parts of the foundation this music stands on.” Eric Roberson
“No matter what twists and turns relationships may take, they never seem to make this honey-voiced newcomer from Cleveland lose heart. Her poem is a smooth and sexy one worth more than just a cursory reading.” USA Today
“A product of Cleveland, the town that gave us Tracy Chapman, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Conya Doss manages to embody all those disparate aesthetics-and then some. Her CD warms the heart with soothing vocals and finger-snappin grooves.” Vibe Magazine
“Cleveland schoolteacher turned neo-soul songstress who’s written for 3LW and others, might be Ohio’s best kept secret since Hi-Tek.” Complex Magazine
“An embarrassment of riches isn’t a phrase generally associated with today’s music. One exception: the next-generation R&B emanating from the likes of Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, India.Arie, Alicia Keys and Angie Stone. Well, make room for this strong contender – Conya Doss. Her engaging voice whose slight rasp adds to her organic vibe. The Cleveland native applies lyrically rich life and love lessons to a mixture of R&B, funk, jazz and pop music.” Billboard Magazine
“McDonald’s Golden Arches just got a little brighter, and drinking coffee just got a little sexier thanks to Conya Doss and Dwele, who lend their heavenly voices to the new McCafé campaign, the company’s budget-conscious version of Starbucks. The duo is the first African-American singers to serve as the voice for the caffeine-themed jingles.” Essence.com
“Conya is a move into the straightforward, historically rooted R&B that hasn’t been heard much in more than a decade; music that embraces pop hooks and lowdown funk as it plies the smooth, mid tempo groove of the classic R&B pioneered by Gaye. Her music is bluesy organ vamp and funky vocal-caught insider’s ears for the neo-soul veneer.” Cleveland Magazine
“If you haven’t heard Conya Doss yet, chances are you will soon enough. Cleveland isn’t the only market excited about her – already, a number of record industry players consider Doss to be a female version of D’Angelo. All these signals indicate that Doss could become Cleveland’s very first neo-soul diva – filled with well conceived changes in timbre, emotional content, vocal delivery, tempo and mood, Conya Doss is a journey instead of a collection of recordings.” Cleveland Free Times
“After one listen to Doss’s debut single it becomes clear why the Cleveland songbird has become such a hot item. Spry and instantly infectious, the luminous cut has gained steady airplay on major stations from Miami to New Orleans to Chicago. With a voice that’s equally tender and tensile, Doss exhibited striking range, interspersing candied soul with touching torch songs.” Cleveland Scene
“And so it is. Conya Doss, seventh grade teacher is poised and ready to teach the world to sing. If the whole world is to be her stage, we get a front row seat at the first period assembly.” Cleveland Call & Post “This Cleveland native joins the ranks as a special needs teacher whom seems poised on the brink of stardom. It is always wonderful to hear someone like Conya, who can really sing!” Venus Magazine
“Conya has got the sultry and she’s got the soul. Songs such as the title track “What I’d Do” place her in the same league at Jill Scott, India.Arie and Co. The combination of her influences- education, her family, her students and old school music has resulted in her warm, organic sound.” Smooth Magazine
“If Eric Roberson is the King of Independent Soul Music, then Conya Doss has got to be in line for the Queendom.” Soulbounce
“Doss has respect in the industry as one of the major figures in the indie soul movement. Through her albums, Doss fused the elements that true soul lovers desire – plain spoken lyrics that avoid cliche positivity that eschews preachiness; high quality musicianship and vocals. She also displays a deft ability to bring something new to that many splendored and much discussed thing called love. Doss gives her fans more than enough of the soul music that has made her a top draw in Europe and one of soul music’s hidden gems on this side of the Atlantic. Doss has one of the most appealing new soul voices, with a slight raspiness that gives it a touch of church behind her cool, confident delivery.” Soultracks
(Los Angeles, California – September 28, 2010) Nestled between Indiana and Pennsylvania, lies a state that has yet to be fully tapped of it’s musical capacity. In a region whose lineage reflects that of Babyface, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Tracy Chapman, Marilyn Manson, Gerald Levert, The O’Jays, Macy Gray, James Ingram, Roger Troutman and Zapp, The Gapp Band and Avant among others, Conya Doss is the latest female vocalist to emerge over the past decade and hold steadfast to her Midwestern roots. Much like what her predecessors Erykah Badu, India.Arie and Jill Scott did for Dallas, Atlanta and Philly, Doss has already pinned Ohio on the soul music map. Having graced the covers of numerous local publications, regularly performing to sold out Midwestern venues and garnering 500k Myspace profile views as an indie artist she also appeared in and recorded a song alongside Detroit vocalist Dwele for McDonald’s McCafe commercial. Conya’s awards include “Best Female Vocalist” by Soultracks, the leading online resource dedicated to classic and modern Soul music, “Heineken Redstar Soul Artist of the Year,” “Best Female Vocalist” at Ohio Hip Hop Awards, a nomination for “Best Underground Artist” at the BET J Virtual Awards and was listed on iTunes as “Best R&B Underground/Indie Artist” and “Best R&B Indie Track” for the single “It’s Over.” In Fall 2010 Conya Doss’ buzz single “What We Gone Do” made history, setting a digital download record on Soultracks.com (The world’s #1 Soul Music Web Portal), replacing a record previously set by Lalah Hathaway in 2008.
Inspired by Bonnie Raitt, Ani DiFranco, Mint Condition, Rude Boys, Jane Child, Donnie Hathaway, Angela Winbush and Nina Simone, Doss attended Cleveland’s famed School of the Arts at the same time as R&B crooner Avant (“Conya was an upperclassman, she’s always been very talented.”) Popmatters.com has referenced her “pleading and yearning” vocal style to Lauryn Hill and Doss is frequently voted as one of the “top acts to watch” by local Cleveland publications.
Of lately the singer has been busy burning the midnight oil composing and arranging music for this dazzling, well-crafted 2010 album that sets the tone for what lies ahead. Her unabashedly emotional fifth studio album Blu Transition, with Blu being the name of her newborn son, is not only a collection of words set to music, it is a gift; an energy exchange that reflects the duality of love and pain. It’s an anointed story. It’s one of endurance, but more importantly it is about life being full of unexpected moments with both tragedies (death) and triumphs (birth).
With a refreshingly crisp and remarkable vocal range, as well as sparse yet beautiful instrumentation, Conya Doss has found success in simplicity. Blu Transition continues in Doss’ brilliant delivery of sweet, supple and heartfelt lyrics but she plunges deep into a bluesy-jazz vibe with spiritual undertones reminiscent of a 70’s sound in both harmony and mood. The music carries a laid-back, earthy quality that features various moments; from truly moving and haunting to a rootsy reflection of where the singer has come from with messages steeped in love, risk-taking, rejection and heartbreak. Composing yet another intricately crafted and cohesive body of work that illuminates her unequaled musicianship, Conya only scratches the surface of what she is capable of. Her music is not lost among the pantheon of new crooners, but instead invokes the spirits of legendary composers-singers such as Chaka Khan, Betty Wright, Natalie Cole, Me’shell N’Degeocello and Alanis Morisette.
Blu Transition stretches Doss once again to express herself to the bare bones, this time around in impressive varieties of vocal styles. On the single “Best Thing” we find the songbird flying high in a falsetto tone while dipping low into baritone territory on “Wi Fi.” Doss is most poignant on the records that expose her soul, acknowledging what her life has been like since her last album. “All In U”, “Celebrate” and “Never Be The Same” are sure to overwhelmingly echo the sentiment of fans, newcomers and singers alike that will qualify them as classics. Each note she parts her lips to sing, Doss sets free a pure tone that moves you through lifetimes, which is like a light bulb turning on in one’s head; a gentle reminder that there are other people to consider in life besides oneself.
“Unlike artists in other regions, the Ohio area is very limited when it comes to enabling me to practice my craft–especially the kind of music that I do,” says Doss, “Cleveland has a tremendous amount of talent, and I chose to stay local and utilize some of our amazing producers and songwriters. Originally I had the opportunity to work with musicians on the East and West coasts but ironically while searching for the sound that I wanted it was at home all the time.”
Conya possesses an indistinguishable reverence to the soul divas of yesteryears by encompassing invigorating vocals with thought-induced messages that silhouette charismatic, rhythmically charged production that simultaneously blazes a trail for her brand of melodic soul. Conya’s music is an organic experience- a hybrid collection of up-tempo jams and fluid slow grooves that artistically join her sleek voice with intoxicating melodies. She is just as comfortable with lascivious R&B wails as she is with gospel-themed fare. In a time when many pop stars have become further and further removed from the folks that they speak to with their custom made looks and unattainable lifestyles, Conya remains a lot like us: a tender, tough, self-possessed young lady who puts her community before commercial concerns.
About Conya Doss:
There’s a reason Conya Doss looks so comfortable onstage, gently swinging her hips like a day lily caught in a summer’s breeze, singing in a voice that’s equal parts honey and hellfire. It’s because she’s used to it. As a teacher of children with special needs within the Cleveland public school system, this thirty something soul ingénue faces an audience tougher than most, nearly every day. Of late, this audience has also come to include throngs of R&B and neo-soul aficionados enticed by the Cleveland native’s sweet, supple delivery and heartfelt lyrics.
But long before she was standing in front of sold-out clubs and crowded arenas, Conya faced perhaps an even more daunting audience: rambunctious young kids ready to learn. Ironically, in working with underprivileged youth in the public schools, Conya has learned as much from her students as they have from her. These lessons were painted in broad strokes on Conya’s candid, endearing 2002 debut, A Poem about Ms. Dosswhich she co-wrote and co-produced and whose title was inspired by a letter to her from a student in her classroom. “I incorporate music as part of my class, the traditional way of learning can be boring, so I have kids project academics through poetry or singing.” Emotionally resonant and wondrously infectious, Conya’s debut was open-hearted and down-to-earth, receiving rave reviews.
With her 2004 sophomore album Just Because there were no tales of wanton bed hopping, no bling-bling, just earnest, expressive songs of heartbreak, salvation and praise. Conya fluently took her listeners on a journey of finger snapping and head gyrating wondrous grooves laced with an electric blend of instruments that rode each beat with finesse. It was songs like “Sweet Love,” “Miracle” and “Stay” that became indie scene classics. In 2006 Conya released Love Rain Down, pouring passion and appealing eccentricity into a dozen stunningly inventive jams that reflected quintessential soul music infused with a pinch of subtle funk. “The music was more like a tribute and a praise to icons I grew up listening to such as Bonnie Raitt, Doobie Brothers and Jane Child.” Each tune effortlessly strong and beautiful, capturing the exuberance of finding love, as well as the disappointment associated with losing it. Doss encompassed far more than infectious rhythms and silken-voiced hits, she established her own definite sound instead of following radio trends. We last heard Doss on 2008’s Still, a culmination of all of her previous studio albums that offered yet another glimpse into her musical journey and fans appreciated her growth, while her assortment of sheer emotions and retro-flavored genius blew newcomers away. The exceptionally mature and inventive effort also blew critics away, landing the soulstress on the Billboard Charts. The single “What I Do” peaked at #78 and placed #39 on Adult Contemporary Radio.
If what you covet is vintage soul with modern appeal and instrument-heavy beats embellished with flavorful sounds, then the music of Conya Doss is for you. The divine vocalist wraps her seductive, magical voice and polished rhythmic sounds around personalized confessions like the warmth of a passionate embrace. Through it all, Conya’s remained grounded. And therein lies much of her appeal. When summing up what her music is about, Conya offers a simple answer: “Life in general.” Not just hers, but ours as well.
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