Bah Samba's core members are Julian Bendall - Keyboards/ co-writer /co-producer, Lucy Jules on Vocals/, Mark Ralph on Guitar co- producer and Timmy Walker on Bass guitar, who along with their own flawless musicianship skills have culled together a collective of talented musicians of whom they regularly work with, be it in the studio or their notorious epic live shows all over the world featuring 11 people on stage! The Bah Samba story begins with founding member Julian Bendall who stared producing soul, funk and Jazz at an early age, gathering some serious momentum in 1994 when he worked with Graeme Park on Inner CityÃ???Ã??Ã?Â¹s Share My Life followed swiftly by a similar venture with the Brand New Heavies Back to Love . He has since gone on to write and produce with the likes of Phil Asher, Electric Soul, A Man Called Adam, Modaji, Ultra Nate, Blaze, and Bobby & Steve and of course along with Alice and the crew, steered the good ship Bah Samba on its successful course. Bah SambaÃ???Ã??Ã?Â¹s debut single carnival released on Loaded in 1995. Later followed the now classic, Reach Inside on Estereo which was AliceÃ???Ã??Ã?Â¹s Bah Samba debut and the beginning of a long working relationship with Julian as this former choir girl's ability to deliver amazing soulful vocals went on to define Bah Samba's beguiling sophisticated sound. Followed by numerous singles on Estereo, Bah Samba unleashed their self titled debut album on Estereo in 2001 to great acclaim, followed by the Latin Lounge Session featuring exclusive mixes of Bah Samba tracks and their mixed album titled Eclectica volume 1 both in 2004. 2005 saw the release of their Bah Samba 4 album thatÃ???Ã??Ã?Â¹s still be talked about now to great acclaim, along with the smash single Portuguese Love with remixes from Phil Asher & Seamus Haji. Bah Samba have also remixed the likes of Muro, A Man Called Adam and Turntable Orchestra feat Hippie Torales among others. Their sound has been championed by many all over the world including Tony Humphries, Dimitri From Paris, Timmy Regisford, Danny Krivit and Louie Vega to name but a few.
BahSonik was born in December 2005 when Julian Bendall went to New York to visit long time friend Ben Johnson at Shelter. Whilst working on tracks with Johnson young Puerto Rican producer FilSonik came up with some beats for a Siji remix that Bendall was working on for Ben's label Syam Sounds, home to 'Poor People' - Monique Bingham and Quentin Harris, 'Luvholic' - FilSonik, and various other tracks from Scott Wozniak and Laid. FilSonik and Julian later finished this mix and BahSonik was born with the Siji mix being played in Shelter the following night! BahSonik went on to remix Nadariah Shakoor's 'Love Song' for Osunlade's label Yoruba Soul and are currently working on a Ballet version of Kerri Chandlers 'Bar-a-Tym' withy Monique Bingham. A BahSonik album will hopefully follow later, laterÃ??Ã?Â¢?Ã??Ã?Â¦ BahSonik have now produced two brilliant re rub's for US Soul Legend Alexander O'Neal and UK songstress Maxine Braham
It seems as though Maxine has been singing all her life, through her life and through her various experiences. "IfÃ??Ã?Â¢?Ã??Ã?Â¦" mirrors those experiences and the various paths that she has chosen in her life. Whether right or wrong, these have defined her life and the songs contained within this album. She regrets nothing.
Shall we start at the beginning? Well Maxine taught herself to sing by listening to jazz and funk records, at the same time as being heavily influenced by her father, who was a promoter at the time, putting on shows in and around the Luton area, and her elder brothers who used to dance in clubs and the like. Music therefore, in one format or another, would constantly blare from one room to another, the house where she grew up, never being quiet.
With regard to her varying musical influences, these range from Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye (see a later tribute), Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Jean Carn, Diane Reeves and Steve Arrington (for the funk!) to name but a tiny few. Songwriters have played a deeply significant role in her own personal development as a songwriter, her favourites being, Roberta Flack, Carly Simon and Brenda Russell for whom " In The Thick Of It " still plays a very emotive role. If ever a songwriter got Maxine thinking about her life as a whole, it was and still is this track that indeed set the wheels in motion, from childhood and very much into the present day.
Maxine began her singing career doing sessions and featuring on a variety of projects across a range of musical genre. She has also worked a various projects for major Japanese labels. Maxine also had various tracks out of her own including the original version of "If", as well as "Seasons" a duet with Ray Simpson which also featured the Watchman. Her last single was a remake of the Thelma Houston classic, "You Used to Hold Me", produced by Martin Lascelles. The latter was generously received in Japan and she was in fact "State of the Artist" in Muzik Magazine.
The biggest kick for Maxine, however, is performing live and she is no doubt relishing the prospect of sharing her experiences with an audience. She has had the pleasure of opening shows for the Sounds of Blackness on no less than three occasions, as well as performing with Lo Key. She has also had the honour of performing on the same stage as Jean Carn and Willi Hutch to name but a few. She has also performed in honour of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.
Maxine is now reunited with long time collaborator, Martin Lascelles, to make this album. Her life has taken a variety of twists and turns and until almost a year ago, she was not contemplating making an album. She was on a different path but indeed, her life has gone full circle. She is strong, educated, fiercely independent, complex, determined, stubborn and sensual and her songs reflect these issues. Most of the songs were written about certain incidences and people who have touched her life. There are songs of happiness, love, anger, frustration, sorrow, death, determination and hope.
"If" was conceived in circumstances that were not easy and what you hear on the album is most certainly what you get from Maxine, her emotions exposed on each and every one of the tracks. "I Miss You So" is a song dedicated to Marvin Gaye and written about the day she learned that he had died in such tragic circumstances. "Love Heals" was written about her fight and determination to struggle through adverse times, always believing that if one never gives up, there is always hope. "Wherever" was written on her daughter's (Christy) birthday as a gift, saying that they will always be together, if not in body, always in spirit. "No Need To Pretend" is dedicated both to her beloved father and a childhood friend who have since passed away.
This album illustrates Maxine's thoughts and her viewpoint on life and if you listen carefully to the songs, they reveal more than you think.