R&B rising star Summer Payton recently gifted us her spellbinding debut album 'Golden Hour', leading the way with her feisty single "No Sleep". Taking the world by storm with a stream of endlessly dynamic tracks, Summer is carving out a place for herself as one of the most thrilling emerging artists.
We caught up with Summer earlier this week to find out her five favourite tracks ever...
Tweet - “Always Will”
No matter when this song comes on, or where I am. It gets my full attention. I’m very emotionally tied to it. That guitar, bass line and stings get me every single time. Tweet...there’s so much to say about her. Her vocal presence is very distinct and the way she approaches her harmonies and layering is unique. I don’t know any voice as soothing as hers. She’s one of my favourite artists and I’m very inspired by her music. The concept of this particular song I’ve always resonated with more than others. It mirrors my own love life and love story. So that makes it even more special for me because it’s tied to a special someone.
Brandy - "I Thought”
Brandy’s Full Moon album is arguably the most influential in my artistic development. Brandy Norwood, Rodney Jerkins, LaShawn Daniels and the rest of the crew were a dream team. Such a perfect body of work, a no skip. “I Thought” specifically is one that just makes me happy. It has a bop like no other. It’s so hard hitting, so energetic, the production and sonics are crazy. Brandy’s vocals are crazy. The vocal stacks are crazy. There’s no one whose vocal arrangements touch hers. Call and answers, harmonies, adlibs...There’s so much to dissect and learn from a song like this and it was way ahead of its time. Brandy’s ad libs the whole second half of the song are really something to talk about. She’s the artist that taught me what it means to lead and carry a song all the way out. She is vocal excellence.
Janet Jackson - “ I Get Lonely”
Janet Jackson is my all time favourite artist. It was hard picking just one from her out of such an extensive catalogue. But when I think about which song I play the most, it’s this one. Something about that opening synth run and the following chords have always grabbed my attention. Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis are also in my top producers of all time and production is a big factor for me in what songs I’m drawn to more than others. They just killed this. And Janet? How she slid on it. And then the video? The choreography to this song is iconic! I see her dancing it in my head every time the song plays. And many since her have tried to recreate a moment like this, clearly influenced with similar style and choreography. That’s impact.
The Clark Sisters - “You Brought the Sunshine”
Gospel music is a large part of my musical upbringing and The Clark Sisters are pioneers. They are the definition of vocal blend. Detroit knows it raised some sangers. Not just singers. Twinkie Clark is one of the best musicians to ever touch an organ. As a young girl falling in love with playing keys seeing her do it was very influential. “You Brought the Sunshine” is a staple. It’s so infectious, it’s impossible not to sing along. The musicianship is excellent. It makes you want to move, dance, praise, everything. There’s not enough I can say, it’s hard to put into words. Their voices together are perfection. It’s a perfect song.
The Temptations - “I Wish it Would Rain”
I’m a sucker for songs led by piano. That’s one thing that’s consistent about me. The piano in this song tugs at my heartstrings from the moment it starts. As well as the bass line, also very important on the Summer Payton barometer for music. Musically it just speaks to me. This song taught me what it means to be a songwriter. I wish it would rain so I can go outside and cry in peace??? A concept! I grew up on a lot of Temptations and Motown, in general and I am heavily influenced by that period, but this has always been my favorite among many great records. David, Eddie, Paul, Blue, and Otis...were special.
You can check out Summer Payton's most recent release here...
And her music video for "No Sleep" here...