The DMV is a strong conglomerate of varying backgrounds, sounds, looks, and tastes, but the fact is still true. We have our own culture. Its heavily entrenched in our slurred vernacular, the Chinese fast food, thriving arts districts, and moreover our staple sound. Go-Go is undoubtedly Chocolate City’s own, and with the unfortunate recent passing of The Godfather, Chuck Brown, the question remains, who will carry the torch? He alone has been responsible for some of the national and international collaborations that have made go-go a necessity to the hottest albums everywhere, many are searching for that DC flair.
Imagine with me. Riding down Suitland Parkway to the suburbs of PG County with the window rolled down, on a Friday night and 93.9 WKYS is playing all of the old school sounds of top 40 go-go remixes. Its rocking but I can’t help the feeling that it feels old and even more empty now that the Godfather is gone. There are so many Backyard & Junkyard Band-styled newcomers of the go-go band scene but nobody is taking it further. I closed my eyes and thought who and what was next? Who can take this to the next level and make it more? Who will continue to infuse it into mainstream music and maybe even make a genre of their own?
Yes, there was Jill Scott (who has already recognized the young talent), Amerie, EU and Kid & Play; today we even have Wale, Tabi Bonney and a few other locals pushing the envelope, but what it needs is a female’s touch. ENTER REESA RENEE. As I open my eyes I see it. A girl, she’s funky in style, spunky in character, and unique in voice. She is the product of band of brothers who are all musicians and a team of the best movers and shakers in the city for entertainment. She has won the Apollo, been on FOX5 NEWS, multiply covered by The Washington Post, and opened for Roy Ayers, Raheem Devaughn and The Godfather. She has a few of pre-released tracks and videos and yesterday released her new album REELEASE. From her first few videos and releases we can see that she has a strong foundation in go-go and heavy percussion pushed tracks but you can also see there’s more behind that smile. She is hungry, pretty, loveable and direct. Her name again is REESA RENEE and she is not just go-go.
Reesa Renee is not new to the DMV, and has been putting her stamp on almost all the area’s performance venues and touring national artists that come through our area. A self proclaimed poet, who kind of fell into singing, Reesa Renee is definitely filling the niche of artists who are commercializing go-go and infusing it with its urban cousins of R&B, jazz, pop, and more relevantly SOUL, and most importantly making new audio experience altogether. Though her sound is heavily based in the live sound of The Godfather, this new album pushes beyond what any of us recognize as our local sound. It transcends the locale, genre, and name of go-go. Reesa released her debut album today, and shows promise as a new comer on the independent scene. She has been putting in hard hours developing a sound that doesn’t ride on the coattails of our local tradition but elevates and manipulates it to greater levels.
With one listen to the leading single track “Got Me Loose”, you can see how she is skillfully weaving the various forms that reign supreme in DC, soul and go-go music, with clear jazz and R&B influences. Her recent video from her pre-releases “Wonderland Cool” and “Inspire Me To Write” show her versatility in what initially can be seen as a confining infusion genre. But she’s got exactly what we need to take it to the next level; she has charisma, great writing, and a unique voice that you will surely fall in love with.
So with this new album, I encourage you to think of other greats that have come from the DMV like Marvin Gaye, Raheem DeVaughn and Stacy Lattisaw, who all bought unique gems to the mainstream world. Take a listen to the leading single and check out her last two videos. Reesa is bringing a different part of the DC music scene that is fresh and revitalizing, not repetitive and mundane. When you fall in love with what this young lady is trying to do, definitely support the movement and follow her on twitter, facebook and her own website (@REESARENEE).
Reesa Renee is coming from a highly anticipated album release show at the new Fillmore Theater in Silver Spring on Saturday, where she performed along side DC rap greats RAtheMC and Tabi Bonney, and yesterday at The Up and Up Open Microphone at LiV Nightclub. You can catch her again at IBIZA for the Labor Day Rooftop Cookout Concert on Monday, September 3rd , alongside Black Alley. Definitely check her out and get your copy of her latest project, REELEASE, as soon as possible.