Sun. Dec. 05, 2021

Blaze presents UDAUFL – Be Yourself (Remix)

First Listen: Blaze presents UDAUFL feat. Joi Cardwell – Be Yourself (Peppe Citarella Organ Mix) (King Street)

And the revampin’ process keeps on goin’. This time regarding a definitive monument. In other words, the opening cut from Blaze presents UDAUFL 2004 ‘Keep Hope Alive’ album. And what a timeless blast ‘Be Yourself’ happened to be on its original version with the sultry Joi Cardwell takin’ the lead. It is to say how givin’ it a new life was a big challenge in itself. And the result is simply incredible. As if Peppe Citarella kind of figured how the Blaze sound would be like nowadays.

Be yourself is just how the latter has been as a matter of fact. Building it over an Afro-influenced rhythm pattern. And spicin’ it up with an intoxicating organ part. Meanwhile givin’ it an atmospheric jazzy feel. We certainly didn’t want to miss this. How about you then?

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Blaze (Kevin Hedge and Josh Milan) delivered one of the most ambitious projects in terms of production back in 2003. This while putting together a plethora of luminaries under the UDAUFL banner. With the aim to raise funds against the AIDS… From Ultra Naté to Byron Stingily. Not to mention Kenny Bobien or Arnold Jarvis to name but a very few. Therefore givin’ birth to gems such as ‘We Are One’, ‘Wonderful Place’ and ‘Hiya Love’ among others. This in addition to ‘Most Precious Love’, ‘Keep Hope Alive’ and ‘Be Yourself’ which Peppe Citarella brilliantly remixed in early 2018.

– A New York City native, Joi Cardwell appeared for the very first time on stage at the early age of 5 at Carnegie Hall. And, after five years, she was pretty much accustomed to live performing. She graduated from New York University with degrees in English and Music in the mid-80’s. Eventually singin’ back-up for artists such as Melba Moore, LL Cool J and Jermaine Jackson. Then, with thanks to her connection with Kashif, she signed a record deal with Arista for her Pop/R&B girl-group The Promises. But that didn’t work back then, most likely because of saturation of the market.

She then came to collaborate with Lil’ Louis. This further to the publication of an ad on the Village Voice about an Epic recording artist looking for a background singer for a live tour. With both of them eventually recording four tracks on Louis’s 1992 ‘Journey With The Lonely’ album. And, by that, ‘Club Lonely’, ‘Do U Love Med’, ‘Dancing In My Sleep’ and ‘Saved My Life’. This before delivering backing vocals on Barbara Tucker‘s classic ‘I Get Lifted’ in 1994.

Soon after, Cardwell signed with Eightball Records, releasing her debut-album – ‘The World Is Full of Trouble’ – in 1995. She eventually contributed to the Brooklyn Funk Essentials‘s cover version of ‘The Creator Has A Masterplan’ Then to former Deee-Lite DJ Towa Tei‘s ‘Luv Connection’. With her second (epnymous) album seeing the light in 1997.

Joi Cardwell kept on working with a bunch of extra luminaries along with time. From Blaze with whom she sung ‘Keep Hope Alive’ and ‘Be Yourself’ as parts of their Underground Dance Artists United For Life‘s 2004 ‘Keep Hope Alive’ album. To Studio Apartment, Steal Vybe and Mike Dunn. This in addition to Groove Addix (‘Je T’Adore’), Groove Junkies (‘What’s Freedom’) and Kraak & Smaak to name but a few. Eventually reappearing with Brooklyn Funk Essential back in 2014 on ‘Dance Or Die’.

More recently, in March 2018, Cardwell delivered a new version of her single titled ‘Trouble 2018’. Then on On June 01, 2018, she released her eighth album – ‘Pride And Joi’ – featuring new remixes of her previous singles.

– Italian DJ/producer Peppe Citarella began to play his dad’s vinyl when he was a tennager. Listening to Soul, R&B and Disco back then, he quotes Barry White and Stevie Wonder among his favorite artists.

Exploring his instinct, he bought records by himself in the 90’s. Meanwhile jumping from Jazz to Garage and old school. He dreamed about playing drums, but… So he appraoched the art of mixing, looking for warm and natural sounds.
Peppe most likely sets himself in the soulful territories. He eventually embraced Latin vibes though. Having his grandma of Mexican origins.

After a couple of years abroad, he decided to bring what he’d experienced to his native Italy. He soon after met India during an exhibition in Aversa. This allowing him to support the singer on international stages. Soon after, Peppe and India released ‘Tacalacateo’ to critical acclaim. A track followed by the likes of ‘Mamafrica’ where he blended tribal rhythms and Soul.
This would get him to forge a strong relationship with Tony Humphries‘s Tony Records. Eventually partnering with label production manager and A&R DJ Jacko under the Two 4 Soulguise.

The first traces one can find of him bring us back to 2013. First with remixes he did for labels such as Poji Records, Purple Music and Bassline among others. This before delivering his first production – ‘Golden Lady’ along with Walter Ricci – on Tony Records. 2015 bringin’ him to higher recognition after the release of ‘The Flute’ on the same label. And even more, the one of ‘Yangui Ci Birr’ featuring Thieuf N’Diaye on DJ Spen‘s Unquantize label. The same year getting him to join NEUHM, a renowned House parties promoter in Naples. Meanwhile 2016 saw him delivering ‘Free’ along with Chynaah Doll and Paris Hairston on Quantize. The latter featuring in our 10 essential series for the label. But also collaborating with stables such as Soulstice and MoBlack. And, in the meantime, developing his unique sound signature.

A signature one can find on the brilliant rework his did on Blaze presents UDAUFL‘s seminal ‘Be Yourself’ featuring Joi Cardwell

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