Lord D continues to merge the genres from Nigeria to American trap. With his newest project out we see him execute a range of different vibes from R&B to “book bap rap”. The talent in his abilities shows. Lord D mentioned to me “You’ll be pressed to find a track that’s not high quality. From the production behind his music and glamorous art work. We agree!
Rankin’ Scroo is an International Reggae Artist whose riddim stylings started cutting across boundaries in his native Jamaica as a Dancehall Toaster while yet a youth. His musical inclinations began as a very young child singing in church.
His explorative nature has led him on an odyssey across the oceans, making his mark with significant Sound System stops in New York and Hawaii. It was in Hawaii that he met his partner Ginger. As they wrote and performed together, they became instrumental in the creation of the Jawaiian genre of music; a melding of Reggae and Hawaiian styles.
Their music continually finds airplay on radio stations all over the world.
Their collaborations have established a global fan base with strongholds in Jamaica, America, Europe, Japan and the Latin Reggaeton nations. After forming his Crucial Youth Productions Company, the pair moved to the S.F. Bay Area where their influence has helped shape the careers of many dominant artists locally and globally.
Scroo’s production and compositional techniques have helped the careers of an amazing A-list of artists and performers including Black Uhuru, Mikey Dread, Frankie Paul, Sister Carol, Foundation, Lutan Fyah, Too Short, Keak da Sneak, Rappin 4Tay, Yukmouth, Messy Marv, Tyquan and E-40.
Now known as the Godfather of Urban Reggae, Rankin Scroo continues his trend setting agenda. He has branched into the film industry having written and performed both as an actor and musician. He has composed Soundtracks for several films including Cop and a Badman, Men At Work (starring Emilio Estevez and Charlie Sheen)and Be Cool (starring John Travolta).
His latest releases feature former Commodores lead singer, Skyler Jett, (a Grammy recognized artist for his vocals with Celine Dion on the Titanic soundtrack). The track Love Zone continues to receive worldwide airplay, two years after its initial release. The film documentary Mothers With Murder has a theme song, Education, which is also a Rankin’ Scroo/Skyler Jett collaboration. Rankin’ Scroo’s massive discography can be found at the following link: Discography Or www.rankinscroo.com
Born in Shreveport, Louisiana, on 4th January 1941 and raised in Oakland, California from the age of seven, Carrie Cleveland’s upbringing was, as she notes, “typical for a household full of kids”. Raised as part of a close-knit family from the south and surrounded by nine brothers and sisters, her home was an environment of constant happenings and noise. Yet, as she recalled to me in January 2018, music was not in fact her main focus or ambition during her childhood or adolescent periods. Carrie’s musical aspirations only truly developed later after meeting her future husband Bill Cleveland in 1961. As she notes, “I always enjoyed music, but I didn’t really start until I met my husband Bill”. It is this tale of a musical partnership between a visionary husband and a talented wife with an extraordinary voice that it is our honour to divulge below.
Carrie and Bill met in 1961 by chance at a Christmas party hosted by a cousin of Carrie’s. It had been intended that he meet one of Carrie’s sisters, however, this was not to be. As Carrie recollects, her sister was ill and therefore her cousin “directed him towards me and we fell in love. It was love at first sight. We had a lot in common – he played music and I loved music and we worked from there”.
As well as being a probation officer during the day, Bill was a multi-disciplined musician, performing mostly on keyboard but also able to play the drums and arranging all of his compositions. He had started a local band, The Creative Set, before meeting Carrie, and she joined as the singer, which allowed them to use it as an avenue through which to showcase both of their musical talents. As she fondly remembers, Bill “always wanted to have a band and he liked the way that I sang so we started the group”. Sometimes it was just the two of them, and at other times they would invite other musicians such as Victor Green or local drummers or bass players to join them on stage. They toured the Oakland Bay and San Fransisco areas, “playing at all the local clubs” and small venues in the vicinity, such as Bancroft Street Lounge, Ruthie’s Inn and Pasand Lounge in Berkeley, and The Claremont Hotel in Beverley Hills. Carrie recalls that at the time they would mostly perform cover songs by contemporary soul and R&B artists such as Carla Thomas, BB King and Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland. A setlist that Carrie has been able to locate shows how in 1981 they were performing both their original compositions such as ‘Love Will Set You Free’ and ‘Take A Moment’ with other popular songs such as Earth, Wind & Fire’s ‘Let’s Groove’, Stephanie Mills’ ‘Never Knew Love Like This Before’ and Luther Vandross’ ‘Never Too Much’. However, performing in front of an audience did not come naturally to Carrie at first. Indeed, she recalls that “during my first show I was so nervous my knees were knocking as I was singing and I heard someone in the audience say she can sing but look at her legs shake”. This anxiety continued throughout her musical career, and as she candidly notes, “I never got over from being nervous. I just got used to it.” Nevertheless, the group was received positively, so much so that at one point they had even intended to tour internationally to Japan, but “at the time I had my son Heston and I didn’t want to leave him in the care of someone else”. Instead, they “decided to stay in the States and… ended up making the album”.
Carrie and Bill recorded ‘Looking Up’ in their backyard garage studio in the first half of 1978, with Bill writing, arranging and playing the instruments whilst Carrie provided the lead vocals. She recalls that she was influenced by various soul and disco heavyweights such as Dianne Warwick, Diana Ross and The Stylistics, however her music’s homegrown private-press nature truly stands it out from the rest. Indeed, the album’s left-of-centre offering, with Bill’s performance on the keyboard and his unusual arrangements working with Carrie’s distinctive voice marks it out as a truly great disco-soul masterpiece.
The singles were Bill’s idea to help promote Carrie as an artist and were used as a promotional drive for the local area. The most well-known and sought-after of her singles is the promotional release of ‘Make Love To Me’, also recorded in 1978, which lacks the organ that appears on the later issue copy and which also differs from the LP version. Carrie cannot recall why the alteration was made, only that “it was what Bill wanted to do [as]… he handled all the musical arrangements”. However, she can remember that in total five hundred copies of the singles were pressed, as well as one thousand copies of the album. Carrie cannot remember if the single ‘Take A Moment’, backed with ‘I’ve Got A Feeling’, was ever actually released, but if it was, it seems to have been lost into total obscurity. Although the former song also appeared on ‘Getting Up’, here the single version is almost a minute longer. In addition, the latter track is a fantastic sweet soul single which was for an unknown reason never featured on the album.
Released in 1980, the album has since gained a cult following by record collectors and soul aficionados alike. Yet, at the time of release, it failed to make the headway that it arguably deserved to receive. Its private distribution channels paired with its more-esoteric offering inhibited its success, and it was soon forgotten into obscurity. Although Carrie’s music did receive some airtime such as on local Vallejo-based radio station KDIA, Carrie recalls that “unfortunately we didn’t get very far with it at the time. Only a few people heard and enjoyed it and we ended up putting it away”.
Sadly Bill soon after suffered from health complications and unexpectedly passed away on 25th March 1994. Yet, as they still had many dates left on the calendar Carrie decided to continue performing as The Creative Set and with other local musicians. However, after two more years of Carrie leading the band herself she eventually decided to wind down her performances and put an end to her musical ambitions. As she notes, ‘I became tired, and a lot of men didn’t respect a female band leader’. Thus, the end of Carrie’s musical career had sadly arrived.
Instead, Carrie chose to focus more of her time on her occupation as a housekeeper at Oakland’s local children’s hospital, where she later became an x-ray assistant, and settled down in the city, where she still resides today.
It has been a pleasure to work with Carrie and Heston in celebrating such a great piece of musical history, and an honour to offer here the definitive discography of Carrie and Bill Cleveland.
Carrie, Heston and Chris, 2018.
All tracks written, arranged and produced by Bill Cleveland
We are delighted to bring to you another storming release from Kalita – the first ever reissue of the complete recordings of West coast soul vocalist Carrie Cleveland with an expanded version of her ultra-rare privately pressed 1978 album ‘Looking Up’, featuring the fully released and promotional versions of the single ‘Make Love To Me’ and the previously unknown single ‘I’ve Got A Feeling’.
Recorded, arranged and produced by Carrie and her husband Bill Cleveland as a labour of love in their backyard studio in 1978, ‘Looking Up’ is one of the most sought-after of all soul/disco LPs, in particular for the track ‘Love Will Set You Free’ and the promotional version of ‘Make Love To Me’, one of the best and rarest sweet soul records to emerge out of the ’70s West coast scene. The single ‘I’ve Got A Feeling’ is virtually unknown to the most seasoned of soul collectors; even Carrie herself is unsure whether it was ever released.
With the album originally pressed as a limited run of just 1000 with 500 copies of each single, original copies of Carrie’s records now fetch eye-watering sums on the second-hand market. Kalita now satisfy the thirst with the first ever international reissue of her full discography.
Formally known as SlimKira, I go by “Kira” amongst my peers in the music scene. I originally started off as a producer back in 2016 until I linked up with local artists around my hometown the following year and joined their group, this led me to becoming an artist myself. In the beginning of 2018 we dropped a video for a track which is what gave my name a little bit of recognition around my area and soon after that we started to perform at local venues in the city. As for now I’m out of that group and no longer associate with them. Im currently in a collective created by @multiplexes called “Black Craft” and I’m also in a local group in El Paso Texas called “Everland” which is where I now make my music and plan to spread my name. I currently have 2 tracks out right now “sorry” and “You” and I plan on releasing two more tracks and a video for one of them by the end of summer.
Kira is always working! Follow him to stay updated with upcoming releases and more.
Introducing Fue Fetti, an underground musician from Detroit, MI who takes influence from Punk and Hard Rock.
Go ahead and introduce yourself: I’m Fue Fetti in the sun, Fue Filth in the night, but ALWAYS the true prince of darkness
Q1: Where did you get your start making music? Are there any life events or anything that really drove you? A1: I think I started making music super young playing guitar and shit , but I bullshitted teaching myself n gave up for a while so I just started rapping to stay in the music world
Q2: Do you grab inspiration from any other artists? If so who inspires you and why. A2: I really adore punk n hard rock, Sex Pistols, Marilyn Manson, The Damned, fucking Darby Crash of the Germs is a real example of how I like shows they all kinda fuel me up n push me to keep doing whatever the fuck I want however the fuck I want.
Q3: What is you biggest accomplishment music wise? How did it drive you to keep going on. A2: the biggest shit I’ve had happen was get two big ass deal offers, but i fucked myself and lost both of them! Made me focus n look at the bigger picture , bullshitting is all music is if its a passion , so why the fuck couldn’t I bullshit n make sounds that control crowds?
Q4: If you had to choose a genre (or make one up) where would you categorize your music? A3: Internal Punk Devil Music ( the kind your parents n revered are against )
Q5: I was listening to your music on Soundcloud (https://soundcloud.com/313fue) and it seems like it seems high quality do you do everything at home or do you go to a studio? A5: I’ve always went to studios , i recorded my first mix tape at some shack in Southfield, MI. Then moved on to greenfield plaza, now I’m finally with my permanent engineer Phil , we’re working on my album VOMIT right now , he made me break my ceiling with is sick , I’m finally pushing more punk n rock elements into my sound.