Fresh Music Friday: Yona Marie - My Soulful Baby
"My Soulful Baby" is the latest in a series of R&B song releases produced, written and performed by singer Yona Marie AKA Rachel Marie from the Washington D.C. area.
27-year-old Rachel Marie Moore has been singing and writing almost all her life. She was born and raised in Maryland and parts of Washington DC. Rachel started out singing with her family often at church and in performing arts grade schools.
In 2010, Rachel gained some mainstream popularity by releasing 'The Luv Exposure' featuring artists, producers, and singers from around the country (and beyond) that united to make great music. The lead single was featured on a Majormix release which included Chris Brown, Ace Hood, and Tyga. In the summer of 2013, she released a track called "High" that went viral in the independent music world, garnering over 100,000 listeners and 20,000 downloads. The 90s-styled instrumental is credited to the late J Dilla. In 2014, she released a full album called "Reminiscent that appeared in many outlets including Pandora and Boohoo clothing magazine advertisements. In 2016, she collaborated with EDM producer Eli to create the viral track "Just Wanna Love You" which hit over half a million plays between Spotify, Youtube, and Soundcloud.
Rachel graduated in 2012 from Jacksonville University with a degree in Music Business. She currently spends her time engulfed creating and marketing new music.
MUSIKID: From lyrics to production tell us the inspiration behind "My Soulful Baby?"
YONA MARIE: While coming up with random song ideas, I was inspired by the thought of two songs I had recently played in my Spotify and iTunes collection: Beyonce's classic track "Speechless" from her debut album, and Kyle Dion's recent song release called "Brown." I wanted to take a stab at the neo-soul style since I'd never recorded anything like it before.
MIDTV: You've been singing all of your life, starting in church and at your performing arts grade school. Do you remember as a child, what drew you to music?
YM: My entire family sings or has a musical skill, so they taught me all they knew in the process of raising me. Our family even has a singing group of our own in the church called "The Moore Specials." I was always surrounded by music when growing up so I can't remember at what point in particular that my life became surrounded by it; it seemed that way from the start.
MIDTV: What has your musical journey been like for you so far?
YM: My musical journey has been great! Although I haven't been releasing songs as consistently as I should have, I'm blessed to have always been a part of the music process in my daily and weekly life. I do weekly classical music gigs in the community, come up with random song ideas in my free time, indulge in underground music releases, work in music marketing, and surround myself with people who love music just as much as I do!
MIDTV: You wear many hats as an artist: You’re a singer, songwriter, and producer. What’s the pros and cons of doing it all on your own?
YM: The best part of my many hats is that I don't have to rely on others if I really want to get a song out! I have my studio set up in my apartment; if I want to create a song from scratch to completion, all I need is the time and energy. The cons of this process include the fact that it's difficult for me to engage in co-writing situations since I'm so used to writing music on my own. It also takes away from my willingness to go to local recording studios, which could be a pro and a con. Studios cost money that I get to save on, but networking opportunities can come from them!
MIDTV: What advice would you give a budding singer/songwriter/ producer about the music industry?
YM: My advice would be to not box yourself into one genre or style. You'd be surprised of the opportunities and joy you could find by thinking outside of the box and creating/performing music outside of your own genre! I think many unsigned artists releasing songs these days stick to one particular sound (even in the same overall genre), causing their collection of work to become too repetitive.
MIDTV: What do you hope listeners will take away from your music?
YM: I hope listeners will be able to find something that they can jam out to for years to come! Music is timeless in my opinion; I have songs from underground artists like myself that go back 10+ years that still take me to a happy place and make me appreciate the magic of a simple song. Music from talented singers and producers does wonders for my day-to-day process, and I hope that it can affect people going through life's up and down journey in the same way.
MIDTV: Where can people find updates on upcoming tours, new music, appearances, etc.?
YM: You can find updates on my website YonaMarie.com as well as my Twitter @YonaMarieMusic. --- If you'd like your latest single to be featured, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Title the subject line "Fresh Music Friday" along with the title of your track.