A report by Don Saint-James for EurWeb.
Singer and recording artist Imani Ray is a rising star, and she’s riding the electrifying waves of Caribbean music, specifically Soca, well into the stratosphere. Since bursting on the national music scene two years ago with her debut release “Breakaway,” Imani has not disappointed Soca fans, as she continues to raise the stakes with each new song and concert appearance.
While Atlanta is now home for the Soca diva, Imani was actually born in Queens, New York. Yet, her roots run deeper to Trinidad, where her mother and grandparents are from. Imani’s great-grandfather, Stephen Solomon, was a legendary Trinidad & Tobago calypso artist. Imani has also spent significant time in Trinidad as a visitor and performer, where she embraced the cultural beauty of the Caribbean island, especially the vibrant pulse of its music and brand of dance.
As a result, Imani has creatively crafted a unique style of singing that incorporates her Trini roots, punctuated with Soca, also known as the “soul of calypso.” With Caribbean/Soca as her foundation, Imani has masterfully blended a touch of soft funk, pop, R&B, and reggae to her music portfolio.
Imani currently has three singles that have been released over the last few months. Her most recent is “Body” and was released in late September. The song is a collaboration between Imani and Trinidad-based Optimus Productions TT. “Body” is a hot, sensual, high-octane dance tune written by Imani, which features her sweet, but powerful Caribbean/Soca flavored vocals.
“This song ‘Body’ will allow you to embrace an intimate moment with your dance partner and get lost in the vibes,” Imani said. “That was my vision when I wrote the song. It will put your moves to the test.”
In June, Imani dropped another single called “How You Lie,” a dance-crazed Soca-pop tune which she also wrote. Additionally, Imani is enjoying the success of the recently released song “Luv,” which is a Tory Lanez cut and features her vocal styling in collaboration with DJ Stylz in London, England.
While the songstress is someone to be reckoned with, Imani is also an accomplished dancer. Actually, she brings the total package of singing, dancing and “exotic beauty,’ all of which give audiences mesmerizing imageries to her high-energy, must-see live performances, much in the vein of Barbados-born singer/recording star Rihanna.
“I’m very proactive,” Imani said in a Trinidadian accent and cadence. “I’m proactive in everything that I do. I am multi-talented, and definitely like to use all my talents together because they all complement each other. I just love to perform. When I’m not performing, I’m preparing to perform, because my life is music, dancing and performing.”
Imani reflected back to when she began to believe that she could be an accomplished vocalist and recording artist.
“My father passed away when I was 16 years old and dancing was not good enough for me anymore,” she said. “I turned to singing, because someone told me at 14 years old that I had a great singing voice. I began to take vocal lessons, and began to really develop my singing abilities, which helped me cope with the passing of my father.”
After graduating from high school, Imani knew she had something to offer the world as a professional vocalist, greatly packaged with her explosive skills as a dancer. Imani is inspired by such recording artists and performers as Rihanna, Soca superstar Machel Mantano, and was heavily influenced by the late Tejano/pop superstar singer and recording artist Selena. While influenced by these artists, make no mistake that Imani Ray has own style and individuality as a vocalist and performer.
As Imani continues to soar, her goal is to become an international recording artist to empower others through her music.
“I want people to know that when it feels like life can’t go on, it can,” said Imani. “You just have to find a positive solution. That’s what I’m doing with my music. After losing a parent, I could have chosen to go down a dark path, but I chose music because music changes lives for the better. That’s what I want to do; I want to change and uplift people through my music, and become a humanitarian to the world.”
For more information about national recording artist Imani Ray, her new music, to see her new video, and learn of upcoming concert appearances, visit her website at: www.imaniray.com.