By Jack Barnes
The co-creator of The Sound of Philadelphia, Kenneth Gamble, announces the first Downstairs Music, LLC artist slated for release on February 8th. Gamble’s daughter, Idia, with the single “Kisses” in time for Valentine’s Day. Enjoy this audio stream below after the jump and please share this with friends.
Idia is an all-around artist as she is an accomplished painter, studied Bench Jewelry at the Gemological Institute of America, studied Music Business at New York University’s Clive Davis Institute, and cut her teeth daily in the business of music by serving as Office Manager at Downstairs Music.
Born into musical royalty and having inhaled the melodious vapors floating in the air of her home, Idia has, like her father, developed into a songwriter of politically motivated music and love songs. Her vocals have a warmth reminiscent of Sade and Billie Holiday intermingled with the danceability of Thelma Houston. The fusion of sounds is a genre Downstairs Music calls House-Soul. Idia’s gift has been honed sitting at the piano with her father writing songs and gaining experience living life.
Idia is a name that is new to many in music, but Idia was born of music royalty. Music is her home address, nestled in the grooves of The Sound of Philadelphia (TSOP)–and yet, not in the way many artists rooted in Philly say they’ve been raised by it. IDIA is the daughter of legendary producer and songwriter Kenny Gamble and veteran artist developer Dyana Williams, her loving parents, who also stand as pillars in Black music as co-creators of “The Sound of Philadelphia” and founder of the International Association of African American Music (IAAAM) respectively. While shouldering this legacy might be daunting for some, IDIA is proud to carry it forward on her terms and for her generation.
Recorded with producers Ben Ford, Kenny Gamble and fellow songwriters Gloria Burrell and Phillip Coward, Idia’s self-titled debut is forged from finding herself as her own woman. The album contains collaborations with her father, Kenny Gamble, but is driven by her vision as a songwriter. Like the Phoenix, her songs rise from the depths of pain and loss, reborn from the lessons of love and rich with the courage it takes to make hard choices. The album explores the many sides of womanhood, casting off perfection in favor of self-love. Idia’s lead single “Kisses” is a brazen ode to seduction; “Bring Back The Love,” recounts a relationship losing its spark; “Inspire Me” pays homage to women’s resilience, including her own, singing, “I reinvented the dance/now you move how I move.”
Like a true Aquarian, Idia flows like water, singing atop the rhythms of soul, house and smooth jazz, all while honoring “The Sound of Philadelphia” mantra of bringing a message with the music. “I am someone who takes old school ideas and makes them fresh,” she explains. “this album is my tribute to the Philly Sound.”
Idia’s time has come.
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