Having recently wowed us with her immersive live show at The Shacklewell Arms, and having received acclaim from the likes of John Kennedy and Amy Lame, we’re excited to hear that Norwich based vocalist and producer Maria Uzor (also half of faves Sink Ya Teeth) has now announced the release of her upcoming new EP in December. Ahead of the EP release, she has now shared captivating new single ‘Solitaire’. Flowing with a luscious, swirling groove and gnarly beats, it builds with a shimmering, pulsating majesty to a gritty slice of euphoric electro-pop. Oozing her distinctive, spellbinding sweeping vocals, it’s a gloriously uplifting synth-soaked soundscape.
We think one of the best ways to get to know an artist is by asking what music inspires them. So, to celebrate the upcoming release of Songs For Luminous Living, we caught up with Maria to ask about the music that has inspired her the most. See below for their choices of their five favourite albums, and be sure to watch the trippy new video for ‘Solitaire’ at the end of this feature.
Tricky – Pre Millenium Tension
I’ve always really admired Tricky as an artist. I’m really drawn to the landscapes he paints with sounds and vocals, and how he doesn’t confine himself to genres. You can hear influences from all over the place. There’s an other-worldly quality to his music too, which I think comes from not putting restrictions on himself. He’s an explorer; I love that. This album also features the superb vocals of Martine Topley Bird. The interplay between their two voices is something magic.
Minnie Ripperton – Come To My Garden
This was Minnie Ripperton’s debut solo album after leaving Rotary Connection, and what an album! That voice is just from another realm – it makes me cry! And such beautiful production too. It’s the kind of album I can play on a summer’s day or late at night and it will just put me in a mood of beauty and possibility. This album has an other-worldly feel to it too; it’s haunting in its beauty.
Sylvester – Stars
I absolutely adore Sylvester. He had such a beautiful voice and presence, and he chose to spend his time on this planet being unapologetically himself, and I really love that. Stars is only a four track EP but every song is special. The title track makes me want to dance whenever I hear it, it’s just life affirming. The EP also features a collaboration with Patrick Cowley on ‘I Need Somebody To Love Tonight’ (Cowley produced it). It definitely grooves hard, but there’s a pensive element there too which gives it a different edge.
David Bowie – Low
Whenever I speak to people who were around when Ziggy Stardust first landed, they always say the same thing; that it was like he came from another planet. So naturally, I love him – haha! When I was a teenager I used to just play all the usual early ’70s classics like ‘Life On Mars’ and ‘Starman’, but then I started loving all eras of Bowie as I got older. I didn’t realise how much I’d missed out on. I’m really into how wise he became in his older years too. There’s some stellar nuggets of wisdom from him in YouTube videos! It was hard to pick just one Bowie album but I settled on Low for the beautiful songwriting and production. I admire Bowie for the same reason that I admire Tricky; they’re both explorers, boldly dancing beyond boundaries in every sense. ‘Sound And Vision’ just reminds me of countless good times I’ve had with friends, late at night in small kitchens!
Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On?
To me, no other piece of music comes closer to perfection than this album. I first discovered it at art school and used to play it every day for about two years. The production, the sentiment, the vocals; it’s like it’s a precise moment of expression beamed out to the universe. Or beamed in from the universe. Or both! Flawless and breathtaking in its beauty.
Massive thanks to Maria Uzor for sharing her Five Favourites with us! Watch the captivatingly trippy new video for her single ‘Solitaire‘ now:
Songs For Luminous Living, the upcoming EP from Maria Uzor, is set for release on 9th December via Hey Buffalo Records.
Photo Credit: Andi Sapey