Feb 22nd, 2019
When you’ve recorded a duet with Curtis Mayfield, been included in President Obama‘s re-election playlist on spotify, have music released on Universal, Warner, Sony BMG, Warp Records, Ubiquity, Light In The Attic and many more, there’s not much left to prove. Yet following a career spanning over three decades, singer, songwriter and producer Nicole Willis continues to challenge herself. From the concept to the band line-up, from writing the music and lyrics to recording, editing and mixing, Nicole Willis was involved in all aspects at play in the making of her new album “My Soul Sensation”, a luscious collection of disco-tinged soul, jazz-funk, boogie & electro with new backing band Banda Palomita.
First single “I Call Your Name” is an infectious slice of electro-funk that received support from Skeme Richards (Rock Steady Crew), Toshio Matsuura on Worldwide fm, Eavesdrop Radio (WKDU) and more. Second single “Reparate” lays out more spaced-out disco grooves with tasty slap bass, seductive synths and chant-like vocals.
Though fans of Miss Willis‘ work with The Soul Investigators may be surprised by the direction My Soul Sensation takes in terms of sonic landscapes, those who are familiar with Nicole‘s collaborations with Jimi Tenor, Bosq or Mr. Comicstore will see this album as a natural extension. From the reggae-flavored midtempo vibes of opener “Save It”, the cosmic disco-jazz rhythms of “Free”, or the afro-boogie sultriness of the titletrack with Jimi Tenor on sax, “My Soul Sensation” sees Banda Palomita spin a tight groove over which Nicole Willis flexes her vocal muscles with ease, clearly comfortable with the creative control and freedom her current position affords her.
Banda Palomita was formed by Nicole Willis in 2017 to create the sound she imagined for her new music, both in a live setting and in the studio. The group is comprised of Ndioba Gueye (electric bass), Julius Heikkilä (guitars), Antti Kujanpää (keyboards, synths, sequencer), Ilari Larjosto (drums, engineer, producer) and Luiz Orlando Sá Do Carmo (percussion). With Nicole and Ilari collaborating as the production team, this new line-up of skilled musicians came together with the express intent of playing disco-flavored soul and funk for the contemporary dance-floor.