Studio Session w/ Donna Lewis @ Sounds Music Group 2/12/2014

The DMV is finally establishing itself as a promise land for new age artists to forge a path in the evolving sound of music this year.

To retrace the track record of Mid-Atlantic Rap, we begin with Wale and his debut album, Attention Deficit, his freshman feature on “No Hands,” and signing onto the Teflon Don’s Maybach Music Group after the 2011 release of Self-Made Vol. 1. Thereafter was Fat Trel taking the DC area by storm by embracing a sound rooted in Mid-West grittiness that would put post-Kanye Chicago back on the map again. And finally, Logic celebrated his lucky pick win when XXL revealed the 2013 cover of their Freshman Class issue in March. You can also expect to see many of Sounds Music Group members to be making a lot noise on this year’s indie wire.

In the booth.
In the booth.

Tonight, I hiked in the blizzarding snow from LIC to visit the studios of Sounds Music Group in Elmont, NY. Walking upstairs and entering into the in-home studio, DC artist Donna Lewis was seen warming up before exploring her track’s organic flow. Working on a track using Logic’s “Dear God”, spooky vocals trap curious ears in a window of pain, where Donna lays down one very serious track that speaks on the events relating to the recent passing of her father, all in the form of a cloudy conversation with God in the middle of a dark winter. I automatically fell into a cosmic world nostalgic of sounds from the golden era of The Fugees and Lauryn Hill’s release of “Lost One’s”, leaving me to wonder whether hip-hop would be the same if they were still authorities in the game.

“Why is it that we can’t choose the color of our skin?” Donna begs her listeners to reconsider the worth of ourselves based on what we are – human and better than the value that we can only measure with our eyes.

Solomon serving Donna. Critique is everything.
Solomon serving up Donna. Critique is everything.

At this stage of development, we are witnessing a young artist grow into a brilliant creative by listening to the ways they reveal lived experiences of struggle and pain, transcended into ill beats, following a method that has brought countless success to our history’s musical greats. Young Sinatra‘s instrumentals added a nice touch to the track with its hyper-sensory vibrations in bass, kick, snare, and sounds exaggerated in a rooted fury. Similar to Logic’s hardships, this Sinatra beat also allowed Donna to crystalize her track’s bigger message in an honest conversation with God using her optimistic and calm flow to support heavy discussions about cancer, death, humanity, nature, peace, and freedom. I personally believe once this track is all mastered, it will become a great addition to the breadth of sound in 21st century Hip-Hop.

Overall impression: real, raw and as honest as truth.
Be on the look out for more behind-the-studio sessions with Donna, Sounds Music Group artist Flamm, and North West Champion Luck-One Conscious.

Here are the photos from tonight’s session bellow in the gallery.

Closed Studio Session with Donna Lewis

Sounds Music Group Studios

February 12th, 2014

Elmont, NY

For more information on this week’s upcoming releases, please contact me at blackcongolese@gmail.com

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