This was one of the most amazing highly blessed nights of my LIFE!! GIVE THANKS to my Buffalo community for bringin’ it and showing up for the celebration. It was frickin’ amazing to say the least!!! Wow!!!!!!
I’m so honored and humbled to have co-created and shared this night with some of the most incredibly talented people I know in Western New York.
Some of my supporters have provided their reflections on this event, and I’m thrilled to share these perspectives with you. Even if you weren’t there, you can get a glimpse of the energy and all the possibilities yet to come in my flourishing creative journey!!
‘Buffalo native, world traveler, twin and skyrocket Laura Haykel blasted off with her debut ‘I Am’ at her recent CD Release Party! Laura’s spiritually-minded music bears witness to her personal growth and invites fellow travelers to tread along on the path of self-evocation, exploration, and expression.
The songs performed from the stage matched the songs on her debut CD. Both start with the evocation ‘Get Up’, a song of summoning that implicitly recognizes the internal diversity and complexity of the person. The internal diversity and complexity are not evils to be banished but potencies to be harmonized and released. Don’t deny, repress, and doubt yourself. Rather than fall into patterns where you get in your own way, interrupt sadness, anxiety, guilt, and shame with empathy, affection, exploration, and action. All these complicated emotions rest in us. The negative emotions tend to be strongest when we nurture a voice that speaks them in our own ears. The strongest response is to get out of our own way and engage community. The positive emotions tend to pull us out of our individual shells into the sunlight of supportive community.
‘I Feel Like Singin’ testifies to internal joy and models release.
‘Complete Me’ fits into this philosophy of self-realization through engagement and it also functions as an homage to Motown. It makes me think of how consciously Laura engages our rich American heritage of African musics, especially if one includes Central and South America in one’s conception of American. The love of roots reggae is evident in most of Laura’s music, but we should not forget that reggae developed from Jamaican musicians who loved African American Rhythm n Blues and Soul music.
We Stand Strong frames a pressing question about the situation of the descendants of oppressed people and brings forth a solution consistent with the overall spirituality of ‘I Am’. Laura calls for solidarity and movement, standing tall and marching forward. The resources for our solution are in our healthy socialization and acculturation–in a pragmatic spirituality.
The song ‘I Am’ has an East Indian tonality and lyrics that envision the self as the macrocosm. All of the universe can be found within. Self-affirmation need not alienate us from the world as we are world and the world is in us.
Some high points for me were when Laura sang to her daughter Kaya and when Baba Ramone danced with grandmama Haykel. Laura’s debut was a wonderful affirmation of individuality, family, community, progressive politics, but above all progressive spirituality.
Laura has been rising steadily for years now. Time will tell if this moment will be a plateau or part of an even steeper assent. What music will follow this promising debut?’
~ Heron Simmonds-Price, philosopher, music lover, and democratic dreamer
‘I found Laura Aiisha’s voice to be like pure, rich and golden liquid honey and her spirit to be sheer sunshine, exuding amazing rays of healing energy and light to all who participated in the CD release party… LAH exuded exceptional life-changing, transformative power and with laser-sharp focus, She and the band created the type of synergy and tightness of the highest caliber that I’ve heard in WNY. I’m an avid performer and musician and have heard tons of bands locally and nationally, and I must say that Laura Aiisha’s release party and band killed it…redefined and adjusted the bar way up!
Although I do attend many local concerts, I must say that I do NOT typically enjoy listening to original artists/compositions that much…HOWEVER, I find myself listening to Laura Aiisha’s debut CD ‘I Am’ every time I get into the car… LAH’s voice is rich, warm and earthy with hints of almost Middle Eastern inflections, as is her music.
“Get Up” is highly catchy and I find myself singing it each time I wake up and throughout the day for inspiration and to cut through obstacles…the only other song that can come close to such inspiration but isn’t nearly as melodious and soulful is “Whip It” by Devo!
Bravo & Brava on an INCREDIBLE show and debut recording!!’
~ Andrea Todaro, Opera Singer, Owner and President of Innovative Placements
Want to pick up YOUR copy of ‘I AM’ and see what all the excitement is about?
Give thanks y’all!! Sooo much love! And more to come… xox