1. Billie Holiday | Trav'lin' Light
Any song of Billie’s always takes me back to my childhood and memories of watching those old black and white movies with my father. Her voice moves me so much. The Tragedy and Sadness in her tone and her incredible timing is really unique. I listen to her Music a lot when I am at home.
2. Marvin Gaye | If I Should Die Tonight
I can’t really compile a list of my favourite songs without considering Marvin Gaye. His melodies are so unique and instantly recognisable. Needless to say that his voice is beautiful and his lyrics are still relatable... I am very much inspired by his sound and the whole Motown legacy!
3. Nick Mulvey | Cucurucu
I discovered Nick in 2014, I love his guitar work and songwriting, it’s all very natural and could never be accused of being over produced. His Music feels like the Music you would listen to during a storm. I absolutely love the part in this song where the bass and the drums come in... The rhythm and energy are so infectious!
4. Erykah Badu | Green Eyes
This song is really special to me. I remember listening to it over and over again and was so inspired by the sonics of the song, the incredible vocals and the lyrics... Just about everything in this song touched me! It was also what prompted me to look in the album booklet to see who was responsible for the amazing sound, and I read the name Russell "The Dragon" Elevado. Russell produced, recorded and mixed my album So Unreal.
5. D’Angelo | Spanish Joint
The sound of this song also blew me away. There’s just incredible timing from all the musicians. I love how everything fits together and each part compliments the other. One time we listened to it with Russell (who engineered it) and he told us about the studio session for D'Angelo's album. How much of a vibe there was in the studio, with all the musicians playing together and jamming and generally having a really good time!
6. Nikka Costa | Push & Pull
Budy Mokoginta (my musical partner) introduced me to Nikka's album and we listened to it a lot. I really like the combination of elements and mixture of styles, and the Darkness of the album. The laziness of the rhythm of this song is amazing, the bass and drums are a perfect match with the timing. Then at the 3 minute mark it takes you to another dimension, very Psychedelic!
7. Krystle Warren & The Faculty | A View From The Rooftop
Russell introduced me to Krystle’s Music. He just finished producing her album at the time that we met. He played this song for me in the studio and it just gave me goosebumps all over the first time that I listened to it. I love everything about it! The intro that slowly builds up... And then when the drums start and those incredible string arrangements come in, it’s just incredible. The production of the song is also really amazing, the feel and sound is so wonderful. Krystle’s voice is really unique and unmatched!
8. Little Dragon | Twice
I remember the first time I heard this song. We were driving home after a gig in the night and one of my band members gave me a CD of Little Dragon. He said I think you will really like her voice. I instantly loved the opening song called Twice, the bended vocals and timing are so beautiful alongside the wonderful piano and string arrangement.
9. Fiona Apple | Sullen Girl
I often have mixed feelings about Fiona Apple. Her voice can sound both unsettling and beautiful at the same time. Her madness really draws me in and her lyrics are amazing. The production is so dark and takes you away from your own reality. In the middle of the song, at 1:48, she sings this long tone and it is very out of tune. The first time I heard this I almost could not listen to it, however it somehow belongs in there and now I couldn't imagine the song without it!
10. Jeff Buckley | Lover, You Should've Come Over
+ Corpus Christi Carol... Jeff Buckley inspired me so much in my early days as a singer-songwriter. His guitar playing and singing feel like one entity to me. I love the Classical, melodic and contrast in his voice, and the Darkness, Melodrama and Rawness in his songs. For me, when I hear him sing, it feels like he is in another zone, he is losing himself in his Music!