In a little school in Cleveland, one wonderful woman gives herself to children of special needs, but after-hours, her voice may be the cure for the special needs of R&B; and Soul aficionados. Conya Doss finds that sweet spot of soul on the R&B; tip with a sound that is diligently modern, but tastefully classic. Her lyrics exude what you’d demand of an educator; thoughtfulness, intelligence, generosity and understanding. The music is a delicious spread of soft jazz guitar, hip-swaying rhythms, firm, snappy beats and slick Hip Hop styled production.
Doss has the delicacy of a Jill Scott, the depth of Erykah Badu and the flow of Indie Arie or Lauryn Hill, though the comparisons don’t do her right. It’s not that Doss outshines these songstresses of Soul; it’s that she takes us down her own side roads, on the way to groove.
For instance, the title track on her 2006 album, Love Rain Down (Conya Doss Songs-Unique Beat Recordings), is a funky little track that pours over Doss’ subtle vocal work that peaks and valleys throughout an almost hypnotic chorus. Love Rain Down is the third album after a highly acclaimed debut with A Poem About Ms. Doss in 2002 and her sophomore release, Just Because in 2004.
She’s lovingly referred to as Soul Music’s best kept secret, but often regard as a leading voice in the Nu-Soul arena. It’s easily understood once the pulsing guitar riff of “Tell Me Why” gives way to Doss asking “Tell me why is it always the ones you love…” The song is a gentle release of sadness that beautifully builds into a burning question of the inevitability of love’s paradox.
Love won’t let us forget, and Doss is a voice that sticks just the same if you dig the sounds coming out of the Nu-Soul movement. Though, her influence is broad, across the seas of classics from both Jazz and Rock, along with modern songwriters like Tracy Chapman, Mary J Blige, or Ani DiFranco. It’s a whirlwind sound that will dazzle and seduce you at a soul-gathering gala of influence; meaning, it’s music-lovers music, or as Doss says “Just good music.”
A Music X-Press Magazine, Who’s Got Next?, feature. www.musicx-pressmag.com