Aug 28, 2013
03:20 PMArts & Entertainment
Arika Kane, the Voice of VH1's 'Hollywood Exes,' Brings Her R&B to Toad's Place in New Haven
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“You’re just a part of my soul. It’s something now I can’t control,” the rhythm and blues chanteuse Arika Kane sings in “Just a Plus.”
Masters of the mainstream in the music world, take notice: This softer-voiced Mariah with substance, Connecticut native and marquee artist of the Stratford-based independent label BSE Recordings is part of the soul of a burgeoning fan base and she’s seizing the spotlight made attainable by the playing-field-leveling effect of the digital age and shows like NBC’s “The Voice.”
Her voice is pure, her lyrics play like a soundtrack for the young and beautiful longing for love—“Make It” from her self-titled album, “Arika Kane,” is the theme song for the reality show “Hollywood Exes” on VH1—and she’s ready to shine on bigger and bigger stages.
On Thursday night the stage she’ll grace will be at the legendary Toad’s Place in New Haven, in a concert the Arika Kane “nation” is setting social media on fire talking about—a concert that’s a sort of homecoming for the native of rural Killingly in northeastern Connecticut who now lives in Bridgeport and plays venues like B.B. King Blues Club & Grill in New York City.
Connecticut Magazine online caught up with Kane on the phone this week in advance of the Toad’s Place show. In that conversation and in the videos on her website, it’s obvious that the singer who counts Aaliyah, Michael Jackson, Dru Hill, Aerosmith, Shania Twain and Tamia among her influences is fully, soulfully her own woman, not some machine-made, mass-produced riff on what’s sold before or what the seers think is going to sell next.
When she sings, whatever the lyrics, it’s also a declaration that women don’t need to fit any mold to find love, or success, and rise above the slipstream of misguided societal expectations.
“The Toad’s Place show is exciting for me because it’s my first big show in my home state where I grew up,” said Kane, who has two albums out—the latest is “Substance”—and is working on a third, which is set for release in the fall of 2014.
She’s on an upward arc, though purposely doing it her own way with the crew at BSE, and she called the recent show at B.B. King’s “a great place to start my live experience” after being what her website calls “the Voice behind MTV & VH1′s various TV, reality shows and also theme songs.”
“We were very blessed because we had the creative teams on VH1 actually contact me and say they loved the music and wanted to place it in their reality show,” Kane said in explaining how her the “Hollywood Exes” connection came about.