March 27, 2012


You Need to Know: Kendra Morris

Every Tuesday, You Need to Know spotlights a rising artist that we know will blow up big. Listen now. Thank us later. This week: Soul singer Kendra Morris.  

Full disclosure: Late last year, I was asked to dress up as a Hasidic Jew for a new video by a soul singer named Kendra Morris. I didn't know her name, but I agreed to help out my friend who was directing the video.

I ended up listening to the song nonstop for the next week.

The New York-based singer released her last EP in 2010, but "Concrete Waves," the debut single from her upcoming album on Wax Poetics, is going to be everywhere soon. Morris is a jazz-loving chanteuse you imagine lying on a piano in a cocktail dress; a sultry vocalist cooing and teasing her way through a track; a tough street singer unafraid to hide a resolute New York attitude (check her "Concrete Waves" DJ Premier remix), like Adele or Amy Winehouse writing from a Bowery flophouse.  

The "Concrete Waves" video, directed by Nick Sasso, went viral late last year. It's easy to see why (Note: not because of my 0.1 second cameo to my chagrin). Besides the ominous music-meets-soulful vocals vibe, the video, featuring Morris as a stalker victim, is composed of hundreds of first-person shots. It's a unique twist on the first-person video, and one worthy of your five minutes.

Morris' full-length is set for release this summer, but get up on the singer now before hearing her name from everyone else.   

Kendra Morris - "Concrete Waves"