As all fans of dance music and R&B know, the remix hasn’t gone anywhere. High-quality remixes of popular songs are still spun at clubs all over the world. But the Golden Age of the remix – the pinnacle of the form – happened in the early 1990s. That was the era of Mary J. Blige, SWV, Brandy, Jodeci, and Mariah Carey. It was a time of great innovation and freedom in pop and soul, and Los Angeles R&B singer-songwriter Sy Smith is taking us back to that period with her latest project. Sometimes A Rose Will Get A Remix is a full-length album of reinterpretations of songs from her breakthrough 2018 set Sometimes A Rose Will Grow In Concrete. The set does what all classic remix projects do: it concentrates the artist’s strengths while extending irresistible grooves.
On Sometimes A Rose Will Grow In Concrete, Sy Smith demonstrated her studio mastery: not only did she write and sing every song on the set, she produced all of the tracks, too. More than anything else, it’s that fearless independence that’s prompted fans and critics alike to dub her “the Queen of Underground Soul”. Song after song, Smith takes chances, and her boldness pays artistic dividends. Sometimes A Rose Will Get A Remix turns these progressive soul tracks over to a stable of gifted, imaginative R&B and dance musicians – Applejac, JSoul, B. Slade, and Modern Grove Assembly – and each one finds new dimensions and textures in songs that are already brimming with compositional ideas.
In the hands of the remixers, the sultry “Perspective” becomes a shimmering dance-floor burner. Sy Smith guides the listener through the seductive verses, and B. Slade blesses the track with his signature saucy vocals but then surprises us with a gently swaggering rap; fans of old Bad Boy Records and Brandy remixes will feel absolutely at home, here.
And B. Slade isn’t only the guest artist – he’s also one of the directors of the “Perspective” clip. He’s teamed up with Dance-Off director Alex DiMarco to present Sy Smith as an untamed spirit of the Los Angeles streets with a stunning fashion sense all her own (check out the dazzling Africa earrings she’s wearing) . As the setting California sun shines on her, she leads the camera through an alley, gyrating to the beat, beckoning the viewer to follow her. Where is she heading? The dance studio, of course.