Our first One To Watch of the year is the talented harpist Brandee Younger.
If you think about the famous harpists the world has known, you mind will probably go to Alice Coltrane and Dorothy Ashby. Unless you know about harp music, you’ll be stuck on finding anymore. It’s an obscure instrument but it’s absolutely breathtaking to hear in the right hands. Cue Brandee Younger, a classically trained harpist from Long Island, home of legends De La Soul, Public Enemy, Rakim and the supervillain DOOM. Blurring the lines between traditional and non-traditional harp music, she has worked with some of the best names in jazz royalty as well as Grammy Award-winning hip hop producers and artists. We’re talking about people like Ravi Coltrane (son of Alice), Jack DeJohnette, Common, Ryan Leslie and Drake. Maybe that means she’s not “one to watch” but in fact she has “made it” already, but that’s not necessarily how it works. Having worked with Ravi and with several years of playing as a sideman under her wing, Younger released her debut EP, Prelude, in 2011. It was lauded within the indie scene, so much so that Mercedes Benz featured her track So Alive on one of their mixtapes.
Well, I’ve said enough for one day. Stream/download So Alive below.