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barbara markay | sophisticated high

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Annie Lennox Lisa Stansfield

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United States - California - LA

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Pop: 80's Pop Urban/R&B: R&B Pop Crossover Moods: Solo Female Artist
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sophisticated high

by barbara markay

Great 80's funky r & b dance pop, mostly uptempo, mixed with some soka grooves. A cross between Annie Lennox and Lisa Stansfield. Meaningful lyrics, great vocals, arrangements and messages.
Genre: Pop: 80's Pop
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Make Me Feel It
5:01 $1.29
2. Baby I Still Want You
5:12 $1.29
3. Sophisticated High
3:54 $1.29
4. Don't Shut Your Love Down
4:00 $1.29
5. You Only Say You Love Me in My Dreams
5:00 $1.29
6. Say It to My Face
4:01 $1.29
7. You Can Find 'em but You Can't Fix 'em
5:11 $1.29
8. It Happens to the Best of Fools
3:40 $1.29
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes

Barbara was born and raised on Long Island, New York, in Rockville Center. She began taking piano lessons when she was four. When she was ten, she auditioned and was awarded a scholarship to attend the Juilliard School of Music’s Preparatory Division. The following year she also began attending the Manhattan School of Music to study violin. For three summers as a teenager she won scholarships to the Chatauqua Institute for the Arts in upstate New York.
At 17, Barbara spent the summer touring southern Italy as a violinist with the American Festival Orchestra and playing piano with their chamber music group.

Markay went on to attend the College Division of Juilliard where she graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree in composition. She entered college as a piano major, but realized she was more enamored with writing music. As part of her college studies, she was writing dissonant, atonal music. Eventually, after so many years of concentrating on classical repertoire, she began listening to pop music (The Eagles, Sting, Prince, Annie Lennox, Phil Collins) and started composing in the pop genre.

After graduation Barbara formed The Girl Scouts, a group of women singers featuring five-part harmony and singing Markay’s songs. At a performance at Rykers Island Women’s Prison, tunes like “Vibrator Blues” and “Women in Jail” incited inmates to rush the stage and guards to draw weapons, although a full scale riot was narrowly avoided. Markay continued to write humorously-risqué material for her next group, Little Lulu and The Humpers. Their show, a rock musical revue, was sold out for two shows each night for two months in Miami Beach, Florida. The revue relocated to New York City and played at the famous Half Note Club.

Markay began recording original pop music with salsa-dance influences. Performing under her own name with her own band, she toured Europe extensively which led to a record deal with WEA International. The label released the single “It’s Alright” which went to #17 on Billboard magazine’s European pop charts (the song also was released in Asia and South America). The next year she had another hit in France on the Musicdisc label with “I Don’t Want To Be A Zombie” which went to #2 on the dance charts in that country.

“After I returned to New York City, I met my first meditation teacher in 1985 and it completely changed the personal and musical path I was on.” Barbara recorded her first album, CHANGE TO COME. The music was pop-oriented, but the lyrics, on songs such as “Woman of Light” and “Wake Up and Live,” were beginning to show the spiritual evolution she was going through. She also started listening to Ravi Shankar and gospel groups such as Reverend Milt Brunson and the Mississippi Mass Choir. In addition, Barbara worked as an assistant to Leon Pendarvis (a well-known arranger for acts such as Eric Clapton, Whitney Houston and George Duke) which included programming synthesizers and other studio work. Pendarvis wrote additional music at the beginning and end of the Michael Jackson video for “Bad,” produced by Quincy Jones and directed by Martin Scorcese, and Markay did synth programming on the project as well as on Carly Simon’s COMING AROUND AGAIN album.

Markay moved to Los Angeles where she performed with Bruce Willis, singing backup with his blues group The Accelerators. She also wrote, recorded and released her second album, the world-pop-Latin-jazz HEART LIKE A SONG. “I was listening to a lot of Buena Vista Social Club, Los Van Van and Sidestepper at the time.” The album continued to explore spiritual themes with songs such as “All Is One.” In addition, Barbara co-wrote, co-produced and performed on the recording CANCIONES ROMANTICAS by Joseph Lecuona, part of a legendary Cuban musical family (his mother Margarita Lecuona, whom Joseph performed with, was a famous singer-songwriter who wrote the Desi Arnaz tune “Babalu;” and his great uncle Ernesto Lecuona composed the classic “Malaguena”). For two years Markay was invited to sing “The Great Invocation” at a gathering at Mount Shasta celebrating the Tibetan Wesak Festival after she put this new age prayer to music (and may have been the first person to ever do so) and recorded it as a single.

In the past few years Barbara has been influenced more and more by world music artists including Jai Uttal, Sheila Chandra, Chebi Sabbah, Buena Vista Social Club, Coyote Oldman, Caetano Veloso, Natacha Atlas, Angelique Kidjo, and Irakere.

Markay’s albums are available at the leading online retail stores such as www.amazon.com and www.cdbaby.com.

My Thing Music: 310-575-9829



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