Featured Artist: J-Zohar
“Well I hear the music, close my eyes, feel the rhythm – wrap around, take a hold of my heart.”
From:“What a Feeling” Irene Cara
Remember the classic movie Flashdance and its hit theme song, “What a Feeling?” Released in 1983, the romantic film followed the fictional vision quest of Alexandra Owens. Her character chased entrance into a prestigious dance academy with hard work, endurance and dedication. Fast-forward twenty-seven years and you’ll find a real-life version of Flashdance. In the lead role is J-Zohar, a former dancer turned recording artist. Her story is an action-packed creative quest toward the very apex of the world of music.
J-Zohar is an artist who uses her energy and talent just as Alexandra did in Flashdance. And as the quote from the hit states, J-Zohar creates songs that wrap around you and hold of your heart. Her artistic goal is simple. She explains, “I want every person to find their personal story in my songs.” However, within all of her songs are pieces of her own life-story; a musical journey toward self-actualization. Just as in Flashdance, through hard work, training and dedication, J-Zohar “takes her passion, and makes it happen.”
As a child, J-Zohar was a devoted athlete. She was a swimmer and dancer obsessed with performing at the highest levels. However, by her early teens, her love of music and movies was calling her to chase new dreams. Influenced by many artists in a wide-variety of genres, J-Zohar was suddenly nurturing aspirations to become a singer. At the age of fifteen she put aside her dance shoes to pursue the callings of her muses. She explains her epiphany, “I realized I wanted to connect my life to the stage, and make entertainment my life.”
J-Zohar had success in her very first audition for lead singer of a band. She was still in her teens. This early success ignited her desire to perfect her skills. She did this through vocal lessons and studying music in college. During her studies, she learned how to be a choral conductor, how to arrange music, and hone her production skills. The athlete inside of her pushed her as a musician as she knew the importance of practice, dedication and the pursuit of perfection.
Similar to the character Alexandra in Flashdance, J-Zohar’s training and preparation led to competition. She was invited to performance competitions and to take part in music-based TV reality shows. These experiences helped her to develop her vocal skills and stage presence. It would be a victory in one of these competitions that would present her with a chance to work with professional musicians such as singer and songwriter, Alyshen.
Utilizing her own recording studio, J-Zohar set out to record her debut album in 2010. She worked alongside Alyshen and a team of musicians. “We chose Premonition as an album title because it reflected the songs. They are based on a premonition of something good, exciting and unusual,” says J-Zohar. She elaborates. “This was more than just mood music. We added compositions that inspire and motivate.” Indeed, Premonition was packed with emotional power all enhanced by J-Zohar’s vocal abilities and her production and mastering knowledge.
Premonition featured an eclectic mix of addictive melodies. Overall, an electro-pop style pervaded over an urban beat. The twelve tracks were all based in soul and r&b and used unique instruments and storylines. A blend of up-tempo tracks such as “Like I Do” and “I Don’t Want To” were perfectly countered by sultry ballads such as “Stranger” and “Touch My Soul Again.” This allowed J-Zohar’s vocal prowess to shine through with its control and perfect pitch. Throughout Premonition, she used her voice as if an instrument, tuning it to the specific style of the song.
As 2011 approaches, J-Zohar’s vision quest continues with a new album. The creative team that produced Premonition has returned to create fresh material for her next release entitled New Born. New Born will feature a rock and trance base. It will reveal the darker side of her muses. With artistic aggressiveness, she will examine the two sides of the human emotion. J-Zohar gives us a sneak peak, “I was born in the year of the mouse, which symbolizes both a tenacious, yet sensitive side.” New Born will be a rebirth of J-Zohar’s refreshing and invigorating style and the continuation of her creative quest.
J-Zohar is now a long way from the lengthy days of dance practice and swimming competitions that filled her youth. However, she still uses the traits those endeavors taught daily. With hard work, practice and dedication this former dancer continues her creative quest. Instead of dancing to the music, she is now making the music dance. J-Zohar is a real-life Flashdance … what a feeling!
November 29th, 2012