Scoring A New Documentary “Undeniable – The Story of The Independent Soul Music Movement”


I’m honored to have been selected to score a new documentary that is currently in production entitled Undeniable – The Story of The Independent Soul Music Movement. The film’s director and producer, John Jointer contacted me a few months ago to ask me about being a part of the project, to which I was completely down to do. He said that he would be at our Indianapolis show (back in October) to sit down with Carmen Rodgers and I for interviews and to get some show footage. He then asked me if I would be interested in scoring the film as well. Hell YEAH I’d be interested! So there you have it… Between the Vegas Documentary, doing the music for the second season of Black Dynamite – The Animated Series and now this project, I’m really happy with the expansion to television and film. The new year has gotten off to a pretty wonderful start…

Watch the Undeniable Film TRAILER

Support the film HERE

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The Foreign Exchange Presents +FE Music: The Reworks


I have been hinting at the fact that I have something on the upcoming +FE Remix project, well… the official announcement has been made. There’s a helluva line-up of music here as you read through the tracklisting AND the lead single “So What If It Is” is available for free download. This double-disc is available for pre-order NOW and will be released on February 26, 2013.

Aaaaand 2013 is OFFICIALLY underway…

Taken from The Foreign Exchange’s Site:

Selections from The Foreign Exchange’s +FE Music catalog as remixed by Nicolay, Zo!, 4hero, The Randy Watson Experience (?uestlove & James Poyser), Focus…, Tall Black Guy, Pirahnahead, and more. Includes three new studio tracks. In stores February 26 on +FE Music.


Disc 01:

01. The Foreign Exchange- So What If It Is
02. The Foreign Exchange- The Last Fall (Focus… +FE Experience Remix)
03. Zo! feat. Phonte- Flight of the Blackbyrd (4hero Remix)
04. The Foreign Exchange- Fight For Love (Nicky Mendes and Brasil ’66 Remix)
05. Deborah Bond- Say It (Nicolay Remix)
06. The Foreign Exchange feat. Paris & Amber Strother of KING- All The Kisses (Ahmed Sirour Remix)
07. The Foreign Exchange feat. YahZarah- If She Breaks Your Heart (The Randy Watson Experience Remix)
08. The Foreign Exchange feat. Darien Brockington & Median- Maybe She’ll Dream of Me (Pure P’s Sky Hygh Remix)
09. The Foreign Exchange feat. YahZarah- If This Is Love (Nicky Buckingham’s Fleetwood Remix)
10. Vikter Duplaix- Electric Love (Nicolay Remix)
11. Zo! feat. Chantae Cann- All Is Well With Love (Pirahnahead Remix)

Disc 02:

01. Phonte feat. Focus… & Sy Smith- Love Songs
02. The Foreign Exchange feat. Darien Brockington- All or Nothing/Coming Home To You (Pure P’s Midsommarkransen Night’s Dream Remix)
03. RJD2 feat. Kenna- Games You Can Win (Nicolay Remix)
04. Phonte feat. Carlitta Durand- Gonna Be A Beautiful Night (Zo’s Legendary Story of a Star Remix)
05. Jeanne Jolly- Sweet Love (Nicolay Remix)
06. The Foreign Exchange- Don’t Let It Be So
07. Zo! feat. Eric Roberson, Darien Brockington & Phonte- This Could Be The Night (Tall Black Guy Remix)
08. Sy Smith- The Art Of You (Nicolay Remix)
09. Phonte- Ball and Chain (Sheldon Williams Remix)
10. The Hot At Nights- ACSlater (Nicolay Remix)

SoulBounce Names Zo! Their 2010 Producer Of the Year!

Source: SoulBounce · By Ivory

While here at the SB headquarters we don’t always see eye-to-eye in terms of music, one thing we do agree on is that 2010 was, indeed, the year of Lorenzo Ferguson better known to all as Zo!. Many of the Detroit-bred, D.C.-based multi-instrumentalist and producer’s melodies provided the soundtrack to our 2010. Let’s face it, he seemed to be everywhere this year. Zo! managed to hit us off with stellar production work nearly every season this year, making him easily the SoulBounce Honors 2010 Producer of the Year.

Zo! kicked things off in the spring, when his fellow Foreign Exchange Music labelmate YahZarah released her highly-anticipated album, The Ballad of Purple Saint James. He lent his production talents to her single “Cry Over You” featuring Phonte. The funky, upbeat track provided the perfect backdrop for YahZarah’s sassy rebound tale.

By the time the summer release of his own full-length FE Music debut, SunStorm, we were practically foaming at the mouth with anticipation of the musical delicacies our ears were about to feast on. And boy, did he not disappoint. Drawing comparisions to Stevie Wonder‘s Songs in the Key of Life, SunStorm served up a delicious composition of musicianship and artistry. As previously stated in our review of the album, “While some producers may stumble when their musical ambitions find them dabbling in different genres, Zo! expertly navigates vast musical terrain.” Nearly six months later, this album continues to amaze with his wide-range of talents, sprinkling in a dash of jazz here, a spoonful of broken beat there and a whole lotta fun, spirited soul and hip-hop ingredients in between.

In with the cool weather of the fall, came the equally-cool third group project, Authenticity, from The Foreign Exchange. While most production was still held-down by FE co-founder Nicolay, Zo!’s fingerprints still remained all over this album. Picking up where the group’s previous project, Leave It All Behind, left all, this album was melancholy and slightly-experimental, where LIAB was hopeful and soulful. Zo! even took a turn on the mic–albeit a talkbox mic–on “Don’t Wait.” Whether he was leading us through the highs of love or guiding us through the dreary days of heartbreak, Zo! consistently used his musical prowess to help bring the vivid emotions to life. Through his fingertips, we were able to feel sentiment just as clearly as we could hear it.

And to think, Zo! managed to deliver a crop of good music all while holding down a full-time gig as a music teacher in Washington, D.C. By showcasing us such a versatile range of musical portraits in 2010, we can only imagine what Zo! has in store for us in 2011. If next year is anything like this past one has been, then you better make room on your iPods for more phenemonal music.

Studio Campfire Stories: The "SunStorm" Edition "SunStorm" and "If I Could Tell You No"

7. SunStorm (feat. YahZarah)
I started teaching back in the summer of 2006 and the first summer that I took off wasn’t until 2008. I was so damn excited about having an entire summer to myself that as soon as I got home from the school on the last day, I went to work in the studio. The FIRST joint that I put together wound up being the music for the title track of this album… “SunStorm.” Once again, the drums were done first and they resulted from me being in such a happy ass mood, I can’t really describe it any other way. The drum pattern made this music what it wound up becoming. The feeling that I got from it was one of ‘freedom’ and ‘fun’. With that being said, I distinctively remember figuring out a synth bassline that was very busy while keeping the fun and free elements in that music. And just like 95% of the music that I make, I played that synth bassline part all the way through the entire song. I think that when you actually play all the way through your piece, you are able to capture MUCH more of a feeling than that of a looped track. I don’t think that the bassline should hit the same way in the first 8 bars of the song as it does coming out of the first hook, for example. The second half is what put it over the top… I made sure to send it to Phonte as soon as I was finished. He hit me with a text back, “I’ma MURK this joint!!” He was originally going to keep this one for himself… but ended up sitting on it after writing about 50 different things to it and not feeling satisfied with anything – I understand that pain FULLY (wait ’til you read the “This Could Be the Night” story).

Enter YahZarah… Now, I’m gonna tell y’all this right now. This is as straight up as it gets. When it comes to vocalists… Not female vocalists… When it comes to VOCALISTS. YahZarah is the best vocalist that I know, personally. She’s just absolutely unfair. Plus, the fact that she’s sitting a lotta people DOWN live makes her a threat to a lotta folks …..and I love her to death! Phonte and I talked about having her cut the song because…hell, it seemed like a perfect fit. She ended up gettin up with Phonte and recording her vocals and I’ll just say this… When Phonte sent it to me, we knew we had something – not just with the song, but with the entire album. This was the song that made us kinda look at each other like, “This is gonna be something crazy.” It was STRONG and perfect as the title track. And let me just say that my favorite part of this song comes during the second hook at about 3:55 when Yahz hits the, “WHOOOOO!!!!!” I get goosebumps EVERY TIME I hear that.. Why?! Because that is raw emotion displayed in a recording and to have captured that is priceless to me. Also, when someone busts out with ‘WHOOO!!’ that means something was so good that NO other adjectives worked in that space… It’s just a great moment that was captured and I’m glad it happened on my album. …Oh and for the record, YahZarah recorded her vocals sitting down. That’s a bad woman….

The second half of the song where Phonte comes in was actually supposed to have a few kats on it. It was gonna be Phonte, Jesse Boykins III, Darien Brockington, and another favorite vocalist of mine Ab. But sometimes, you listen to a song that if it is changed, no matter what the change is it probably will not work like that original take. That was the case here. The original take felt so good and came off so correctly that it was not changed. Darien did however complete the final two lines AND you can hear Jesse’s adlibs over top of “You can lay me down…”

8. If I Could Tell You No (feat. Jesse Boykins III)
This was actually the only joint on the album that Phonte and I worked on together from scratch. Back in November 2008 when The Foreign Exchange first started touring Leave It All Behind, we did a date in D.C. Anytime kats are in town, we normally take advantage of that time and get in the studio to do SOMETHING… It doesn’t matte if it’s a full song, a demo, a couple of ideas… Something is getting done. This time around, he told me he had an idea to do a jazzy joint, which I was all for because I hadn’t done anything like that yet. So, I loaded up a new Pro Tools session, set the mic up for Phonte, sat down at the keys, programmed some ‘dummy drums’ just for tempo and arrangement’s sake and we got to work. The demo version is actually rather entertaining. There’s a part where I went to a change before he was expecting me to do so and right in the middle of singing the melody he says, “Awwww man, you fucked me up!” LMAO!!! Classic material right there. The chords from the demo are basically the same as the finished product, the arrangement is different, but you could tell what direction the song was headed into. We actually held off moving on the joint for awhile… No reason in particular, we just didn’t get to it.

Finally, Phonte was hittin me up saying that he had gotten in contact with Jesse Boykins III and needed me to record a music reference so that he could reference the vocals for Jesse to sing… So I sent him the song with the same dummy drum track from the original demo, but I relaid the piano and bass parts for a more ‘official’ reference (the piano part I recorded for that particular reference actually lived long enough to see the final cut). When he sent me the vocals back, I was like, “WOW.” It was kinda of the same feeling I got when he first sent me vocals back for our “Africa” remake for the 80’s album because again before my very eyes, I saw Phonte expand as an artist. I mean, dude was doing jazz riffs! The hell? It sounded great… And we ALMOST kept Phonte on the joint. But the feel that we wanted for the song was a smoother sounding voice and delivery. So we passed the song on to Jesse and he hurt that joint! It was EXACTLY what was needed… His tone and voice fit the music perfectly – and for his version I finally re-recorded some live drums, which remained on the final cut. With Jesse’s singing and the addition of trumpet player Stan Graham, the feel of the music placed me in a classy jazz club circa the 1940s, where folks thought it looked cool to smoke cigarettes and once this song came on, people began to “make eyes at one another ‘cross the room.” It was a well designed curveball for the album and something that I haven’t seen done on a project of mine. Overall, it was great to have everything come together as beautifully as it did…

Zo! – SunStorm (2010) FULL Album Credits



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01. Greater Than The Sun featuring Phonte
Produced by Zo! for Chapter 3hree, Verse 5ive Music (BMI)
Written by Phonte Coleman for Daddy’s New Bowtie (ASCAP)
Vocals recorded and mixed by Khrysis
All Instruments by Zo!
Mixed by Zo!
Recorded at East Wing Studios, Silver Spring, MD and the Chopp Shopp, Durham, NC

02. Greatest Weapon Of All Time featuring Sy Smith
Produced by Zo! for Chapter 3hree, Verse 5ive Music (BMI)
Written by Sy Smith for Sybersong Publishing (ASCAP)
Vocals Arranged and Produced by Sy Smith
Vocals Recorded and Mixed by Grant Nochols
All Instruments by Zo!
Mixed by Zo!
Recorded at East Wing Studios, Silver Spring, MD and Rumbo Studios, Winnetka, CA

03. Say How You Feel featuring Phonte & Carlitta Durand
Produced by Zo! for Chapter 3hree, Verse 5ive Music (BMI)
Written by Phonte Coleman for Daddy’s New Bowtie (ASCAP) and Carlitta Durand for Durand Music Group (ASCAP)
Vocals by Phonte & Carlitta Durand
All Instruments by Zo!
Recorded and Mixed by Zo! at East Wing Studios, Silver Spring, MD

04. For Leslie
Produced by Zo! for Chapter 3hree, Verse 5ive Music (BMI)
All Instruments by Zo!
Flute by Claudia Hayden
Recorded and Mixed by Zo! at East Wing Studios, Silver Spring, MD

05. Be Your Man featuring Darien Brockington
Produced by Zo! for Chapter 3hree, Verse 5ive Music (BMI)
Written by Darien Brockington for Neidar Music Group (ASCAP) and Phonte Coleman for Daddy’s New Bowtie (ASCAP)
Vocals by Darien Brockington
Background Vocals by Phonte
All Instruments by Zo!
Guitar Solo by Chris Boerner
Mixed by Zo!
Recorded at East Wing Studios, Silver Spring, MD and The Peanut Gallery, Raleigh, NC

06. Free Your Mind featuring Lady Alma
Produced by Zo! for Chapter 3hree, Verse 5ive Music (BMI)
Written by A-Drenaline for Sopo Publishing (ASCAP)
Vocals by Lady Alma
Background Vocals by The Lady Alma Choral Ensemble (Lady Alma & Preston Branch)
Vocals Recorded by Roscoe “Plug-In”Murphy
All Instruments by Zo!
Mixed by Focus…
Recorded at East Wing Studios, Silver Spring, MD and WHODUNIT Studios, Philadelphia, PA

07. SunStorm featuring YahZarah
Produced by Zo! for Chapter 3hree, Verse 5ive Music (BMI)
Written by Phonte Coleman for Daddy’s New Bowtie (ASCAP) and YahZarah for She’s A Ladybug (ASCAP)
Vocals by YahZarah
Additional Vocals by Phonte, Darien Brockington & Jesse Boykins III
Vocals Recorded and Mixed by Phonte
All Instruments by Zo!
Mixed by Zo!
Recorded at East Wing Studios, Silver Spring, MD and The Peanut Gallery, Raleigh, NC

08. If I Could Tell You No featuring Jesse Boykins III
Produced by Zo! and Phonte for Chapter 3hree, Verse 5ive Music/+FE Music LLC
Written by Phonte Coleman for Daddy’s New Bowtie (ASCAP)
Vocals by Jesse Boykins III
All Instruments by Zo!
Trumpet by Stan Graham
Mixed by Zo!
Recorded at East Wing Studios, Silver Spring, MD and The Peanut Gallery, Raleigh, NC

09. This Could Be The Night featuring Eric Roberson, Darien Brockington & Rapper Big Pooh
Produced by Zo! for Chapter 3hree, Verse 5ive Music (BMI)
Written by Eric Roberson for Blue Erro Soul/EMI Music Publishing (ASCAP), Darien Brockington for Neidar Music Group (ASCAP), Thomas Jones for Big Pooh Music (ASCAP) & Phonte Coleman for Daddy’s New Bowtie (ASCAP)
Vocals by Eric Roberson, Darien Brockington & Rapper Big Pooh
Jive Talk by Scorpeze of Windimoto
Vocals Recorded and Mixed by Phonte
All Instruments by Zo!
Mixed by Zo!
Recorded at East Wing Studios, Silver Spring, MD and The Peanut Gallery, Raleigh, NC

10. Flight Of The Blackbyrd featuring Phonte
Produced by Zo! and Phonte for Chapter 3hree, Verse 5ive Music/+FE Music LLC
Written by Phonte Coleman for Daddy’s New Bowtie (ASCAP)
Vocals by Phonte
Vocals Recorded and Mixed by Phonte
All Instruments by Zo!
Trumpet by Stan Graham
Mixed by Zo!
Recorded at East Wing Studios, Silver Spring, MD and The Peanut Gallery, Raleigh, NC

11. All Is Well With Love featuring Chantae Cann
Produced by Zo! and Phonte for Chapter 3hree, Verse 5ive Music/+FE Music LLC
Written by Phonte Coleman for Daddy’s New Bowtie (ASCAP)
Vocals by Chantae Cann
Keys, Bass Guitar, and Cabasa by Zo!
Flugelhorn by Al Strong IV
Flute by Tim Smith
Trombone by Andrew Kleindienst
Congas and Wind Chimes by Brevan Hampden
Maracas and Additional Percussion by El Tigallo
Acoustic Guitar by Omar Hunter-El
Wood and Skins by “Biscuit” Bynum
Vocals Recorded and Mixed by Phonte
Mixed by Zo!
Recorded at East Wing Studios, Silver Spring, MD and The Peanut Gallery, Raleigh, NC

12. MakeLuv2Me featuring Monica Blaire
Produced by Zo! for Chapter 3hree, Verse 5ive Music (BMI)
Written by B. White for Vera’s Daughter (ASCAP)
Vocals by Monica Blaire
Vocals Recorded and Mixed by Shaphan “Maestro” Williams
All Instruments by Zo!
Mixed by Zo!
Recorded at East Wing Studios, Silver Spring, MD and Silent Riot Studios, Oak Park, MI

Mastered by Soiree Records

© 2010 Chapter 3hree, Verse 5ive, LLC/+FE Music, LLC

‘SunStorm’ OFFICIAL Cover Art, Tracklisting, and Details!! – 07.27.10

Well people…. Here are the OFFICIAL cover art, tracklisting and details about the album. I. AM. EXCITED…..!!!!!!!!

“SunStorm” is the latest album from Detroit-area born, DC-area based producer/multi-instrumentalist Zo!

Best known for his 2008 collaboration with Phonte on the cult classic “Zo and Tigallo Love the 80’s” as well as his work on The Foreign Exchange’s Grammy-nominated LP, “Leave It All Behind,” ‘SunStorm” is an extensive 12-track set that shows the ever-expanding range and depth of Zo! and the entire Foreign Exchange Music family.

Indie soul siren and American Idol vocalist Sy Smith serves up a slice of 70’s soul on the breezy “Greatest Weapon Of All Time,” and Lady Alma, a Philly veteran and stalwart of the UK house scene, takes it to the dance floor on the frenetic “Free Your Mind.” The album’s lead single, “This Could Be The Night,” features Darien Brockington, Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Eric Roberson, and Rapper Big Pooh of Little Brother over a thumping two-step groove specifically intended for the ‘steppers’ of Zo’s native Detroit. Another highlight is the Phonte-assisted “Flight Of The Blackbyrd,” Zo’s heartfelt homage to the 70’s jazz/funk fusion of The Mizell Bros. and George Duke.

01. Greater Than The Sun feat. Phonte

02. Greatest Weapon Of All Time feat. Sy Smith

03. Say How You Feel feat. Carlitta Durand & Phonte

04. For Leslie

05. Be Your Man feat. Darien Brockington

06. Free Your Mind feat. Lady Alma

07. SunStorm feat. YahZarah

08. If I Could Tell You No feat. Jesse Boykins III

09. This Could Be The Night feat. Eric Roberson, Darien Brockington & Rapper Big Pooh

10. Flight Of The Blackbyrd feat. Phonte

11. All Is Well With Love feat. Chantae Cann

12. Make Luv 2 Me feat. Monica Blaire

Studio Campfire Stories: YahZarah – "Shadow"

The story behind the song that ended up landing on YahZarah’s The Ballad of Purple Saint James as track number twelve almost never even happened…

Normally and quite naturally, when I learn that family is in town, it’s always time for me to carve out a time slot in the schedule in order to get up and make sure we connect. I don’t care if it is stopping through their performance and showing love, having them come through the house, or even giving kats a spot to crash for the night. In this case back in July of 2008, YahZarah told me that she would be back in D.C. and we needed to get up and record. Come to think of it, we were wanting to finish a song that she demoed about six months prior. In order to maximize our time, I had some newer music that I wanted her to check out in hopes of her recording it for my new album (SunStorm didn’t even have a working title at that time). So she came through, and of course I wanted to let her hear the new joint immediately…BUT, I couldn’t remember what I named the session (file). Yahz was over on the couch waiting patiently as I went through each of these unnamed and randomly named Pro Tools sessions to try and figure out which one contains the music that I want to put on display. This process seemed like it took forever as I was feeling like I was wasting valuable recording time. So I proceeded to have my ole ‘extra-hard-on-self’ talk, which probably went something like: “Why didn’t you just pull up the damn session in advance so she could hear it, see if she wants to write to the music and be done with it??! You’re wasting time right now, bruh… You’re wasting a lotta time!” During this whole “positive” self-talk… er…uhh.. tirade, I happened to come across a session that had not been touched in a few months, so automatically I thought, “Well maybe this could be the one.” I was disappointed when it opened to display just one stereo track of solo piano. I pressed ‘play’ on it so that I could hear what it was and at the very least remember the title of the session for the next time I go scanning through my files. Once it started playing, YahZarah popped her head up from her Blackberry…

YahZarah: What’s that?!

Me: It’s some chords and progressions I was working on a while ago and just happened to hit record on it.

Y: What are you doing with it?

M: Nothing, I damn near forgot it was even on here…!

Y: Can you bounce that down for me so I can take it with me on CD?

M: You want this one??!

Y: Yeah

As I began to bounce this solo piano piece down , I realized that I had actually recorded myself playing a full song that I had composed one late night in my old apartment (the one I lived in when I first arrived to Maryland in February 2006). There were changes in the music and it was already fully formatted. I also discovered that it was not done to a metronome or a click-track. As the song played back during the bounce, I could hear Yahz humming a couple of melodies with each part. Hearing her maneuver these notes up and through the piano chords off the top of her head peaked my curiosity… Just what the hell is she gonna do with this free-form piano joint?! Apparently, I was not aware of who I was dealing with…!

A couple of weeks later, I get an early morning text message from YahZarah telling me to check my email because she had sent something through…. I opened the email and saw the attachment titled, “Shadow.” Hmmm, nice… But what music did she record to? (she took home a CD of about 3 new joints that day) I clicked the ‘play’ button and began to hear that there was some heartfelt saingin goin on in that recording session. The harmonies on the hook drew me in IMMEDIATELY as they continued to build upon themselves as the song progressed. Then, the opera-influenced harmonies at the end of the second verse?!!!!?!? I get goose bumps NOW listening to that part…so I’m sure you can imagine the very first time I listened to it. I had the “C’LAWD!!! SHE’S BLACKIN THE HELL OUT!!!” – face on. I had no idea she was going to transform my piano track into a borderline soundtrack piece to an epic movie… She had truly outdone herself.

When we talked about her recording process later on, she told me how easy it was to write to and that it was the first time in a very long time that she was able to “just SING” on a track. I took that as the ultimate compliment because as the producer/musician, the goal is to bring the absolute best out of the artists you work with. Just by her sharing that information with me informed me that I had accomplished my creative goal…

Talk about a “things happen for a reason” scenario… Wow.

The Ballad of Purple Saint James
is now available at iTunes and

YahZarah’s “The Ballad of Purple St. James” receives a 4.5 of 5 Stars from… “Shadow” is a “Track Pick!!”

Purchase The Ballad of Purple St. James here

As reviewed by Andy Kellman

Original Article

YahZarah’s fourth album could be heard as the third part of a trilogy that began with 
the Foreign Exchange‘s Leave It All Behind (2008) and continued with Nicolay’s City Lights, Vol. 2 (2009). Like those earlier albums, The Ballad of Purple St. James is driven by Nicolay and Phonte and involves input from members of the extended FE family, as well as Raphael Saadiq and Marsha Ambrosius. YahZarah had worked on and off with the duo for several years, but never in a concentrated burst like this. The album allows the singer and songwriter to flash her vocal and thematic flexibility in ways her previous albums did not. Most salient is “Why Dontcha Call Me No More,” a gracefully hurtling kiss-off. It could be covered by No Doubt and taken to the Top Ten, but it’s probable that the song would lose some of its bite. YahZarah, whose voice here resembles that of Gwen Stefani, albeit with none of the cutesiness, delivers one of the most commanding scorned-lover performances in recent memory. At the point where an ad-lib or something innocuous is expected, just as handclaps and “whoa-oh”s enter, she slips in an additional verse that begins with “I hope you have a little girl, and she’s the apple of your eye” — uh-oh — and ends with “I hope somebody makes her cry” and a vaguely brainsick laugh. There are other moments when the singer’s magnetic forthrightness is on display, as on the pulsing and intense “The Lie” (“If you gotta go through hell with somebody, why won’t you do it with me?”) and the prime Neptunes/Kelis-like “Change Your Mind” (“I can turn your world around in a heartbeat, and bring you to your knees again”). The more sensitive songs, including a gliding duet with Darien Brockington, a devotional ballad resembling a Teena Marie session in Memphis, and a gleaming Afrofuturist anthem, are just as affecting.