Thursday, April 23, 2015

Flight to the Skies Are De Limit: Mia Z.

A True Songbird: Mia Z. (Mia Zanotti) 

One of the standout talents of Season 8 of NBC's singing competition The Voice DEFINITELY points to Mia Z. As an aspiring blues singer, something extremely interesting given her age, Mia Z. already strives to offer something different in the field of music. And being at 15 when she auditioned, her talent can be likened to a vocal prodigy. As we soon discovered, Mia Z. is MORE than just a blues singer. She is an innovator who has the creative mindset and tools to launch the rather old-fashioned genre of blues into a "pop-dominated" mainstream scene. 

See, Mia Z. is NO ordinary talent. She's not your typical blues singer either. And she has her pipes and vocal range to thank for that. Mia Z. is one of those rare singers who are blessed with an UNIQUE voice. From solid blues crooning to wispy breathy notes to subtle melismas to smooth jazz runs, to soulful belts, to sultry ad-libs, Mia Z. has the capacity to do it all. However, Mia Z. has a distinction in that she is TRULY capable of sounding like a "songbird". Mia Z. has the ability to perform "whistle tones" in her whistle register which usually flies above the C6 note on the piano scale and is above falsetto notes with the access of the super head voice. Like famous whistle singers (there aren't that many who have this ability) such as Yma Sumac, Minnie Riperton, and Mariah Carey, Mia Z. is able to navigate through her whistle register with ease. She shows that she has remarkable control over these whistle tones, and she performs them flawlessly. Check it out. 

Here's her audition for the Voice with the legendary B.B. King's The Thrill is Gone


This should EASILY be a four-chair turn, In her debut performance, Mia Z. already demonstrates a versatile voice full of inventive vocals and her bright whistle tones. To no one's surprise, she managed to charm Blake Shelton (who is quite fascinated with high notes) and Pharrell Williams who eventually became her coach. (The right choice by the way). I was actually surprised that Christina Aguilera didn't turn considering that she HERSELF has this ability to do whistle notes. But.... eh. 


In her cover of Hold On I'm Comin', Mia Z truly catapulted herself as a contender with her unique take on the blues genre. Her performance was exciting and new as she seamlessly sewed her sky-high whistle tones into the song as if the original album had whistle tones to begin with. It was a remarkable feat that showed America the direction of music she was driving towards and her signature style. 


In her cover of Ain't no Sunshine for her playoffs, Mia Z tapped into her more soulful side as she belted out powerful notes of blistering degrees. She also chose to explore the stronger parts of the voice, taking the risky initiative to abandon her whistle tones for this performance. Therefore, she proved to EVERYONE that she wasn't afraid of stepping out of her comfort zone and that she was not a one-trick pony. 


For her next performance, Mia Z decided to channel some fun and upbeat energy with the iconic Rolling Stone's Miss You. I thought it was a stellar performance to be honest. Her whistle runs were rapid and perfectly in sync with the "Woo-hoo" parts of the song. It's like her voice changed into an instrument to accompany the melody. Inexplicably, though her performances keep trending on itunes and Twitter, Mia Z. somehow ended up in the Bottom 3 in danger of going home the next night.


Mia Z. gave one last performance in her cover of Stormy Monday in attempt to vie for the Instant-Save spot. And honestly, seeing how Mia's Twitter votes halted completely halfway, I suspect that foul play was involved on the show's part. Also, I heard from many reliable fans of the show that they ALLEGEDLY set Mia up to fail by disabling her Twitter votes so that a CERTAIN "coach" whose rotten name will not be mentioned in this article would be spared the embarrassment of losing TWO team members in one night. Remember, this is an ALLEGED SUPPOSITION so keep it calm people. Anyway, one thing that is for sure is that Mia Z. was DEFINITELY robbed before her time on the show. IF they are doing a "wild-card" option this season, I'll be happy to see Mia Z. go for a second shot at the title. 


But perhaps the biggest reason why so many people (including me) fell in love with Mia Z. is because of her charming, modest, and caring personality. Mia Z. is a real person with a real heart. Even on her parting interview, she gave praise and her best wishes to the remaining contestants, saying that she was glad in a sense that they still have a shot to continue their journeys on the show and that she was rooting for them. Mia Z. apparently became close to her fellow team members and they were very supportive of each other. It was hard for her to see her teammates go home, and it definitely made us sad to see her exit. 



Fortunately, this is JUST the beginning for Mia Z. and her music career. Mia Z. also happens to be a songwriter, and has an avid interest in writing her own material. She plans to release her own blues songs when the Voice season comes to a close. We honestly cannot wait! :D 

Visit Mia Z's. Website Link: Mia Z Music

Follow her on Twitter Link: https://twitter.com/miazanotti

Also subscribe to her Youtube Channel for her projects: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCS9rXR-R3vGP8R6BqDFVKzQ




Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Remembering Selena Quintanilla-Perez


Tribute to Selena Quintanilla-Perez 

Yes... it's been twenty years since that tragic day, but we still remember Selena for all the wonderful contributions she gave and for the joyous brilliant person she was. The world remembers Selena for her magnificent unique voice, fiery vocals, bubbling enthusiasm, riveting passion, shining personality, her humble beginnings, her contributions to the genre of Tejano music, her charm, her class, her beauty, her friendliness, her positiveness, the fun she brought to everything she did, and her big stunning white smile that captivated all eyes across the Earth. Selena was the original one. She gave the Tejano genre a niche in mainstream. She was a pioneer of the Mexican-Americano music scene. All the while, she never acted like she was the big star that she really was, treating all her fans with respect and genuine love. Selena was a REAL Superstar. 

So while Selena blossoms and flourishes somewhere among the faraway Pantheon of Shining Stars, she rests assured knowing that she left a permanent flower within all of our hearts. Her legendary voice, captured forever in her endearing records, her image and personality, captured eternally in videos of her privileged performances will radiate for eons to come. 

Besides her spectacular talents, Selena was a story of perseverance and commitment. Selena built herself into the superstar she eventually became all the way, like a beautiful flower (Como La Flor) sprouting from a seed all the way to fruition. From her first days being in her homemade band Selena y Los Dinos in her parents' restaurant to being billed as the "Mexican Madonna", headlining the Houston Astrodome, and winning a GRAMMY AWARD for her self-titled album Selena Live!, Selena always gave it her all and never changed the warm caring person she truly was inside. 

So let us continue to cherish and honor her memory and work by sharing her musical treasures forever and ever! :) 



Selena's Dreaming of You, my favorite English song from her. This song showcased Selena's tremendous emotional dedication and was especially heartrending to many at the time of her death.


Selena's Bidi Bidi Bom Bom, my favorite Spanish song she sang. This song and the video captured Selena's upbeat positive spirit and her loose fun personality. I believe Selena was at her most natural self in this song. :)


Selena's Como La Flor. Just like the song says, Selena was truly a blooming flower. This song capitalized on Selena's image and allowed her vocals to truly shine. One of my all-time favorites.


Another one of my favorite Spanish songs. Amor Prohibido strikes powerfully because it has such a catchy rhythm to it and captured Selena's innocence in a Romeo & Juliet-esque story. 



Next to Dreaming of You, I Could Fall in Love is one of Selena's best romantic ballads. This song is particularly memorable to me because it was the first song I ever heard from Selena in the late nineties. 


 

No Me Queda Mas is my favorite Spanish romantic ballad hands down. Between its mariachi-inspired instrument runs, Selena's voice characterizes passion, desperation, yearn, and sadness when one loses their love. 


La Carcacha is another one of my all-time favorite Spanish songs. With its spitfire vocals, sassy flare, reggae-Tejano groove, and extremely catchy beat, this song is a HOT TEN! Loop it on repeat all day and I'd still be shootin' for ten! :D 

FUN FACT: Selena was born in Lake Jackson, Texas of the U.S.A. and English was her first language. Spanish was actually her SECOND language. She mastered it in 1994. :D

Though I never got to meet Selena in person, it would have absolutely been a pleasure. Selena has done more than made a fan out of me. She has been an inspiration of kindness, pursuit, talent, honesty, and charm to me. Selena is a treasure indeed. Here are some portraits of her: 







And who can forgot Selena's iconic photo from the 1993's Grammy Awards? :D


Rest in Peace beautiful flower. You'll never know exactly how much the world truly misses you every day. Bless you Selena! :D