Sierra Leone’s soul diva – Azania at Whitney tribute concert

Dennis Kabatto

The Sierra Leone Telegraph: 23 February 2013

Azania live in concertSierra Leonean-American born soul sensation – Azania, will be performing at the ‘Jeremiah Abiah presents – Artists You Ought To Know (AYOTK)’ tribute concert, to celebrate the life of singer -Whitney Houston, who died tragically last year.

The tribute concert will take place on Monday, 25 February 2013, at the Mist Theater in Harlem, New York.

“Whitney Houston is and always will be my number one idol. She is the reason I started singing and continues to inspire me,” said Azania, during a phone conversation at her home last Thursday.

Azania will join seven other R&B, Musical Theatre, Soul, Jazz and Pop artists and musicians including Carmen Jones, Jamie Owens, Jennie Harney, Linzey Jones, Lisala Beatty, Raena White, Dani Eliot and House band – Morloko.

The MIST is Harlem’s new state of the art performance facility, located in the hub of Harlem’s new blossoming cultural center.

whitneyIt will host this special tribute to the late multi-Grammy award winner – Whitney Houston – Queen of pop music, who died tragically on 11 February 2012, in her room at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in California.

The concert series “is a dedication to the vocal arts and its preservation and a showcase, celebrating great singers and their great works, using established and upcoming names in the vocal arts,” said Abiah – a renowned singer and vocal coach whose father is from Ghana and mother an African American of Cuban descent.

Arguably, Azania a classical Opera trained artist, has emerged as one of the best soul singers whose eclectic performances reflect distinct characteristics – whether she sings gospel, jazz, techno, reggae or African music.

Reminiscing a few years ago, in Paris, France, where as a contestant on France’s first equivalent version of America’s Star Search or American Idol, Azania said the very first song she performed to win the contest, viewed by an estimated  4 million people, was  a cover of Whitney’s “I wanna dance with somebody.”

Azania at WBAI 99 5 FM in New York City (2)During a recent in-studio interview on WBAI Radio – 99.5 FM in New York City, Azania talked about how she cherishes her Sierra Leonean heritage, even though she was born in Boston, Massachusetts and raised in Geneva, Switzerland.

In the studios of WBAI, Azania sang with superior singing abilities, especially when  teamed up for a duet with Ghanaian artist and band leader – Osekre and ‘the Lucky Bastards’ for a live rendition of ‘Sweet Mother’, a popular African tune by Prince Nico Mbarga.

Azania confidently assured her fans that she is fully prepared for Monday’s celebration of the life of her idol – Whitney Houston.

She said she “feels so blessed and honored to be a part of this beautiful tribute to the woman, whose voice has touched and brought love and joy to me and to so many lives.”

Show time for Monday’ showcase is 7 pm at MIST Harlem – 46 West 116th Street in Harlem, New York City.  Telephone (646)688·5886.

 

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