Golden Globe nominations are officially in. The Color Purple’s Fantasia has earned a nod in the Best Female Actor in a Musical/Comedy category for her portrayal of Celie. Although the entire picture wasn’t nominated, fans are rooting for the singer to win as her Oscar buzz grows louder. 

The list of Las Vegas residencies continues to grow. Legendary group Jodeci has announced Mandalay Bay Resort at the House of Blues as the home for their The Show, The Afterparty, The Vegas Residency, which is set to kick off in March. Ledisi is also hitting the road this spring for her 27-date Good Life Tour with special guests Raheem DeVaughn and BJ The Chicago Kid. Leela James’ Thought U Knew Tour begins next month and includes an appearance on Maxwell’s Urban Suite Cruise and Capital Jazz Super Cruise. The last tour announcement to drop this week came from Keyshia Cole. The singer’s The Love Hard Tour will launch in February with featured acts K. Michelle, Trey Songz, and Jaheim.

So, what new music dropped? This Fresh Finds Fridays column features releases from the cast of The Color Purple, Loony, Tems, Elmiene, Kyle Dion, and Byron Juane. Check out this week’s roundup below. Don’t forget to let us know who you’re listening to in the comment section below.

Various Artists – The Color Purple (Music From and Inspired By)

Although The Color Purple doesn’t hit theaters until Christmas Day, the dynamic music inspired by the picture is out for the public to enjoy now. The lead single, “Lifeline” by Alicia Keys, kicked off the anticipation a few weeks ago. Usher and H.E.R. followed up with their joint record, “Risk It All.” But now, The Color Purple (Music From and Inspired By) soundtrack is out for lovers of the movie to soak up. 

gamma’s co-founder and CEO, Larry Jackson, released a statement about the musical release which they produced alongside Warner Bros. Pictures and Watertown Music.

‘The Color Purple’, in its many iterations, is unquestionably hallowed ground in black culture. Just as film director Blitz Bazawule has done a spectacular job in taking the film to another level artistically, we, too, wanted to bring an equally adventurous, creative take to this expanded soundtrack,” said Jackson.

He continued,And deeply influenced by the great, iconic R&B/pop soundtracks of the 1990s, I’ve always wanted to make an ‘Inspired By’ soundtrack that had cultural legends and new artists of a genre come together for a piece of art that defines a moment in time. I feel great pride in what the team at gamma. has creatively achieved, and I hope everyone else enjoys what I feel is the BEST R&B soundtrack since some of the most iconic ones of the ‘90s!

The Color Purple (Music From and Inspired By) features contributions from Tamela Mann, Mary Mary, Keyshia Cole, Jorja Smith, and the entire cast. However, the standout is, without a doubt, Fantasia. Based on her powerful reimagination of “I’m Here,” her portrayal of the fictional character Celie on the big screen will there filmgoers in tears as they leave the theaters. 

Loony – Nothing Else Feels The Same 

In the growing trend of breadcrumbing projects, Loony has treated fans to yet another EP. On Nothing Else Feels The Same, the Scarborough, Canada native adds one additional track to the previously released songs on projects, A Good Night and Counting Thunder.

On this go around, the only new work is the title track, “Nothing Else Feels The Same.” Loony sticks to the emotionally healed concept laid down in the past two bodies of work as she sings, “I can give you something to believe in / No, you won’t just fall right outta me / Weaponize all they thought made me weak / Into something that’ll hurt too much to leave / Intensity can terrify / Anyone who has never seen paradise / And you have been too deep inside / Anything else in the way is a sacrifice.”

Anticipation for Loony’s next full-length project grows with each condensed project she drops.

Tems – “Not An Angel” 

Tems’ walk in faith was the center of her highly anticipated return single, but something else caught her attention on “Not An Angel.” The Sarz-produced track details the unbalanced love of her past lover. Despite the grace she provided her ex-partner, they refused to match her effort. 

“I was a loner when I was with you / I would’ve given myself for you / Now I’m changin’ over, I’m movin’ on now / No turnin’ back, I can’t be with you / I don’t need you lookin’ for me / All you did was give me nothin’,” sings Tems. 

Although she isn’t claiming to be perfect, as that is only obtainable by a divine being, Tems knows that her love, effort, and actions were pure.  

“Not An Angel” is Tems’ follow-up to “Me & U.”

Elmiene – “Lover, You Should’ve Come Over”

Elmiene’s year has been filled with several remarkable career highlights. From his television debut and international tour to the release of his latest EP, Marking My Time. To close out strong, he gave flowers to the memory of an artist who inspired him. 

On “Lover, You Shold’ve Come Over,” Elmiene delivers a sweeping cover of the late Jeff Buckley’s 1994 song by the same name.  Elmiene honors the production of the original, only modifying his vocal delivery just slightly as he sings, “Looking out the door I see the rain / Fall upon the funeral mourners / Parading in a wake of sad relations / As their shoes fill up with water / Maybe I’m too young / To keep good love from going wrong / But tonight you’re on my mind / So… you’ll never know.” 

Elmiene uploaded clips of himself performing the ballad as far back as July 2023. He also curated a playlist for Ebony that included that track back in August.

When asked why he selected that record, he said, “I chose Jeff Buckley because ‘Lover, You Should’ve Come Over’ feels like the perfect gateway into the kind of music and emotions I want to express in my next project. This cover is the first chapter of next year’s book.”

Kyle Dion – “All You Wanted”

Next month, Kyle Dion is gearing up to release his next project, If My Jeans Could Talk. Before he does that, Kyle has to get fans warmed up with the vibe slated to be unleashed on the EP. The first thing on the agenda is his track, “All You Wanted.”

The record, produced by Boi-1da, was part of the Music Liberates Music program’s The Concept A.I.BUM backed by BACARDÍ. “All You Wanted” might’ve been creatively conceived using A.I. but the human emotion injected into the lyrics can’t be glossed over. 

“You was my homie, you were my best friend / You was my n***a, now we ain’t talking / If I was you, I’d hate me too / I look dumb reaching out to you / We were forever, my little baby / No body better than my baby / It’s so hard to see you with him / I never wanted this to end,” sings Kyle.

If only Kyle could build a time machine, he could travel back to undo his wrongs to reboot the relationship he mourns on the track.

“All You Wanted” by Kyle Dion is featured on BACARDÍ’s The Concept A.I.BUM featuring additional appearances by Bellah, Blackway, Floyd Fuji, and Savannah Ré.  

 Byron Juane – “Take It Personal”

Byron Juane’s new single directly contradicts Bob Marley’s famous quote, “One thing about music is when it hits, you feel no pain.” The Jeremy Dupree-co-produced track is a compelling recount of Byron’s past rocky relationship. “Take It Personal” was written from a place of hurt and manages to transfer that same pain onto the listener.

“You made your choice / And I’ll be damned if I have my heart destroyed / It’s either you or me / I made the choice / I would say that it ain’t, but it is personal / It’s personal,” sings Byron.

The crooner puts his ego aside, pulling directly from his private life as inspiration behind his heartbreaking bops. In a statement shared on Instagram, he prefaced that record’s release with some encouragement for fans. “I’ve never been so excited to have a song come out. I can’t wait to see how this record heals and impacts anyone who listens to it. If you are healing and choosing yourself this is for you! It’s about time we get the love we deserve,” wrote the singer.

He continued, “Luvers, tonight is the night we finally let them go. Tonight is the night our feelings will be validated, and tonight is the night we finally get closure. Tonight is personal. If you have ever gotten heartbroken, disappointed, confused, and destroyed by love, tonight is for you.”

“Take It Personal” is Byron Juane’s follow-up to singles “Needs & Wants,” “Bands On You,” and “Obsessed.”


*Cover Photo Credit: Salvatore Ian DeMaio

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