Fusicology on March 3, 2018with 0 comments
Crashing waves and soft moonlight set the stage for a magical musical evening at the Little Beach House, The SoHo House private members’ property, in Malibu, California.
Deva Mahal wove beautifully textured layers of notes and harmonies, nuances and feel into her original modern soulful blues tunes, weaving a rich textural fabric of sound, embellished perfectly with pauses and moments of acoustic silence, completing an indelible auditory image.
Deva’s presence in the room was a palatable sensation from the minute she stepped in – smiling and greeting many of her friends and future fans. Before she ever stepped in front if the microphone, the warmth of her sincere spirit radiated throughout the room.
We were early, and lucky, enough to catch a glimpse of her magic during sound check and were instantly taken aback and more than a little excited when we realized that that was only the sound check. We realized from the first note that we were in for an awakening and a return to soul, a nod to the past and a path to future. Deva is meticulous and direct, mastering her sound and crafting an acoustic setting that ensured the perfect environment for the dynamics of her voice.
While it is probably often (and rationally) noted that Deva Mahal is heiress to a long and rich legacy of music, directly in line from her father, Taj Mahal, who reigns in the realm of musical kings. She stands tall and proud on the shoulders of soul musicians that have come before her, yet has crafted a sound that is unique and would make them all proud.
The antipodes have become an epicenter for dope, modern, soulful music and the time that Deva Mahal spends in New Zealand developing and incubating her craft is felt in every gesticulation. She is no joke. Elements of R&B, Soul, Jazz, Blues, Gospel and even Bluegrass resonate within the her music, Deva’s genre-bending sound is a rudimentary element for future soul music. Lyrically relatable, she gives voice to emotional build-up and wipes the dust away with graceful expression.
In her music, rich melodic structures come together to tell you your own story, drawing deeper towards the center of shared experience and in turn a higher plane of self-awareness. The songs are so authentic and heartfelt that even in the sparse trio accompaniment of a lone bassist and single guitarist, the dynamics of her voice made this intimate showcase the perfect setting for this soul stirring songbird.
In the midst of the showcase, a quick glance around the room revealed a crowd completely transfixed and marveling at what was later described as real soul, real singing, real music. It was clearly a universal sentiment and we let out a collective sigh of relief as music rebirthed itself yet again. The rapt audience gave her a standing ovation and many stayed on long after the show, offering genuine appreciation and thanking Deva for the awe we’d all experienced. The five song showcase will remain a musical touchstone and measure of musical alignment for me and mine.
If you want to experience the live vibe (with full band and show repertoire) Deva opens for Melissa Etheridge at world famous The Hollywood Bowl on 01.AUG.2018.
IF you can’t make that one, be sure to grab Deva’s new album, Run Deep.
Photo & Words By The Nonsemble