Soul and R&B singer Noel Gourdin (Gor-Deen) did not have a traditional childhood. He was born in Brockton, MA but spent his summers with family Pachuta, Mississippi. The result is a man who is city to the heart but southern to the soul. He honed his skills in Brockton, MA, and by the age of 24 scored a deal with Sony and had his first album in stores. His first exposure to the vocal arts came in church and he was introduced to the larger canon of soul music by his father (who introduced him to the classics, such as Otis Redding) and his brother (who turned him on to the sounds of new jack swing). Noel is influenced by classic soul as well as the contemporary sounds of R&B and hip-hop. Therefore his music is a seamless blend of each genre. "Listening to so much music from so many different eras really helped me put my style together," explains the gifted singer-songwriter.
As a high-school student in the Boston-neighboring Brockton, Gourdin performed in talent shows and did work (and shows) for the Boys and Girls Club. Noel signed a management deal with Stalin Entertainment in 2002, signed a production deal with Trakaddix, and shortly thereafter was linked to producer Kay Gee. Gourdin contributed the song 'Family Reunion' to the soundtrack of "The Cookout". A meeting with Sony Urban in 2005 led to a summer showcase and in 2008 Noel released his debut offering, "After My Time". His first album is a refreshing mix of timeless R&B with a modern, youthful feel. Armed with commanding, rich vocals and a solid collection of intimate, soulful songs, this budding new talent is positioned to make an indelible mark on music's landscape by bringing together listeners across all generations and genres.
In 2010 Noel joined forces with Mass Appeal Entertainment. His sophomore album is underway and when asked about the forthcoming project Noel said, "This time around the implementation of live instruments such as strings, horns, bass, guitar, and grand piano offer a more genuine feel for my style of music. The refreshing blend of live instrumentation, organic production, and lyrical content is reminiscent of classic old soul yet relatable to current music and lyrics, and will hopefully have my fans as excited as I am about this album. Being signed to Columbia/Epic was an experience in itself, but since becoming a part of the Mass Appeal family, I have discovered what it means to be happy and enthusiastic about music again. Being at a label where you are free to express yourself creatively makes the project and experience that much more meaningful. This process has rejuvenated me as an artist in this industry and it is evident in the music."
Ethiopian-born singer/songwriter, Wayna has earned both critical and commercial success. Her single ³Moonlight Rendezvous² from the sophomore LP, Higher Ground charted the Billboards for seven consecutive weeks, peaking at #3 on the Hot R&B Singles chart and #12 on Billboard's Hot 100.
The follow-up single, ³My Love² an impassioned plea to the loved ones ofabused women, spent six consecutive weeks on Billboard, peaking at #2 on the Hot R&B Singles chart and #12 on the Hot 100. Under her own imprint, Keradion Music Group, Wayna closed out 2009 by garnering a coveted Grammy nomination in the Best Urban/Alternative Performance Category for her remake, ³Lovin You (Music) featuring Kokayi.² The song, which she also co produced, is a fitting representation of her dynamic vocal style, a blendof Minnie Riperton, Lauryn Hill, and Billie Holiday.
"Wayna and the Expats" is the third and latest LP from this innovative artist, who Stevie Wonder calls "incredible." The ablum features a Toronto based backing band and production team named "the Expats," for their varied musical and cultural upbringings. Hailing from various parts of the world, Ethiopia to Japan, Isreal to India, Germany to Jamaica, Wayna and the Expats drew from diverse musical influences to create a unique blend of African and Reggae-inspired soul fused with classic and alternative rock -- Sade and the Police meets Lauryn Hill and Radiohead.
The album's sound, both progressive and retro, appeals to world, rock, reggae, and soul enthusiasts. Mixed predominately by multi-Grammy award winning engineer Russell Elevado, "Wayna and the Expats" celebrates individuality. "I've always been a bit of an Expat," says Wayna "feeling different culturally from the people around me. For years, I tried to minimize those differences, but after becoming a mother and over the course of this album, I realized that my cultural contraditions are not only beautiful, they are my musical identity. I want this album to be about exploring and expressing all the ways in which I and everyone of us areunique, culturally or otherwise, and to celebrate those differences unapologetically."
At the age of 23, John Michael has established himself as one of the premier singer/songwriters of the upcoming generation. Born in northeast Washington, D.C. and raised in Virginia, John Michael began writing at 16 years old. He has penned material for several distinguished producers who have worked with top artists such as Wale, Rick Ross, Lloyd, and Jay Sean. Although he is a force to be reckoned with behind the scenes, John Michael is ready to step into the spotlight and showcase his own music.