Apollo Music Café, February 10, 2012. Hailing from Philadelphia, the Brooklyn-based songstress Candice Anitra hates how social constructs put people in boxes, including rigidly corrugated musical categories. Embodying the subtle rapture of Joan Armatrading, the robust confidence of Meshell Ndegeocello, and the thespian gender inquisition of Cheryl Dunye, the left-of-soul singer/songwriter bucks convention rather than live as a square peg in a round hole.
A graduate of New York University’s heralded Tisch School of the Arts, Candice has written a stage play, instructed a youth theater workshop, and assumed lead vocal duties for a local NYC band. Her maiden solo musical voyage, the 2008 EP Easier, produced by Force Theory Productions; and during the recording, at his Studio G, Joel Hamilton (Soulive, Matisyahu, Blakroc, Talib Kweli, Elvis Costello, Nina Simone) swooned over Candice’s single, “Objectify.” Hamilton readily signed on to track Candice’s 2010 full-length debut, Bark Then Bite, a critically acclaimed odyssey of dynamic sound and talent.
Most recently, Candice has headed back to Studio G with Hamilton to record her sophomore effort, Big Tree, mastered by “Big Bass” Brian Gardner. Collectively and individually, the tracks on Big Tree are a mellifluous, yet audacious blend of the delicious oft overlooked spaces between the genres. Taking the emotional bumps in the road, and sewing a thread of commonality through them using euphonic bits of this and that, is a sacred pastiche art that Candice Anitra has mastered simply by looking within.