Ocean Front Records Signs R&B/Soul Goddess Jessie Sparks

The Hamptons, NY– Hamptons Entertainment,Inc. CEO Ray Los is proud to announce the signing of Australia’s hottest R&B/Soul sensation JESSIE SPARKS! The 2008 Hollywood Music Awards winner for “Best Adult Contemporary Artist” has signed a deal with Hamptons Entertainment,Inc. the world’s largest independent talent agency, signing onto the True Sound Management and Ocean Front Records roster.

Along with gaining personal management to guide her career and a 1 album record deal, JESSIE SPARKS will also receive promotion, marketing, publicity and booking services through it’s sister label, Paradise Publicity. Jessie’s debut single “Walk A Mile” has been released to radio worldwide and will be followed by the her debut album, scheduled to be released later in Mid Summer on Ocean Front Records.

”That cool, rolling thunder you’re hearing from downunder isn’t Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman making a long-awaited homecoming, or the gods paying tribute to Heath Ledger–it’s Aussie Jessie Sparks reassuring this increasingly chaotic world that it’s okay, we can all Breathe Easy.”
– Jonathan Widran, US Music Journalist

The Melbourne based singer/songwriter’s career has been in serious overdrive since the release of her critically acclaimed indie debut Breathe Easy. The album John Carver of PBS Radio called “seductive, intelligent and engrossing”–and whose raw power has earned comparisons of Sparks to everyone from Janis Joplin to Norah Jones–received two nods at the 2008 HMA’s. Late that year Sparks traveled solo from “downunder” to attend the Hollywood Music Awards as a dual nominee for “Best Adult Contemporary Artist“ and “Best Female Vocalist”. The first annual event held at the famous Kodak Theatre was TV broadcasted live to more than 120 million homes across Europe and millions more globally online with Sparks taking out the “Best Adult Contemporary Artist” award.

Breathe Easy, a self-produced project, features key contributions from Sparks’ longtime guitarist Mark Donnelly, keys player Nathan Liow and bassist Ken Lim. Since its independent release, accompanied by countless print and online reviews and interviews, tracks have enjoyed significant radio airplay worldwide. With the help of graduating film students at Swinburne University Of Technology, music videos were also created for the poignant piano-vocal songs “Walk A Mile” and “History” that are posted online.

Following her partnership with Luck media, in the outset of 2009 Sparks entered into an alliance with Jennifer Lyneis of UE3 Promotions. Right away she received music placement in Rad Girls airing exclusively on Mav TV and Fuse TV, with MAC Cosmetics officially signing-on shortly after to sponsor Sparks who is a supporter of their products and community outreach programs.
Continuing to gain widespread recognition for her unique sound and awe-inspiring live performances, the multi-talented artist has played everywhere from well-known cafes, bars and nightclubs to major festivals, including shows at The Queenstown International Music Festival in New Zealand. In addition to a high profile showcase at the prestigious Blue Diamond (on the 15th floor of a high-rise in downtown Melbourne) and sharing the spotlight with Joe and Willie Chambers of 60’s sensation The Chambers Brothers at the legendary Canter’s Kibitz Room in Los Angeles, Sparks keeps a very active corporate gig schedule (in which she incorporates her sparkling original material with a set of soul, rhythm and blues classics) and has lent her time and talents to numerous and diverse local and international charity organizations.

Beyond benefits for national groups like the Bone Marrow Donor Institute, Youth Challenge Australia and gigs for the elderly and unwell at various Melbourne facilities, Sparks has performed sets to raise money and awareness for child slavery in Africa, poverty stricken communities in Guatemala and much closer to home, for those affected by the 2009 Victorian Bush Fires. She also had a show for Burma Band-Aid that is dedicated to relief for people in that country devastated by the cyclone in 2008. While writing and compiling the songs that would ultimately evolve into Breathe Easy, she also performed during the 2006 Commonwealth Games, the largest sporting event ever to be staged in Melbourne; over 70 countries participated and the Games were opened by Queen Elizabeth II.

Sparks’ aim on Breathe Easy was to present her material as honest and unadorned as possible, to maximize its message and emotional impact, as well as create something organic and timeless in which represents real live studio sessions that will still sound relevant in ten years time.
In her early-teens, Sparks lived in Illinois spending time in upstate New York and Iowa receiving accolades for her vocals even back then. Upon her return she was granted a Vocal Scholarship to the Victorian College Of The Arts as to complete her secondary studies meanwhile co-producing and hosting music specials on community based Channel 31 TV and 3MBS Radio. Start of 99 saw Sparks move to Los Angeles playing many open mic nights and venues such as the indie hotbed The Hotel Café in Hollywood. In 2000 she started towards a Bachelor of Dramatic Arts at Deakin University in Australia and released a debut EP that received commercial airplay on Fox Radio.

Relocating to Vancouver Sparks worked on more material at Barrell House Sound and Craft House Studio and throughout 2002 was keenly received by audiences all over British Columbia. Eventually returning home, Sparks recorded singles for various producers, including JC at Hi-End Productions, where she later recorded another EP. After collaborating on other recordings with Greg O’Shea, she also did a live EP with Strange Fruit Jazz Band and formed “The Jessie Sparks Duo, Trio and Band”. Opening a show for acclaimed band Frost in 2005, Sparks endorsed tracks to Antichocko Productions for two SBS TV series and entered into partnerships with some of Victoria’s leading entertainment agencies, festivals, live music venues and event management companies.

Breathe Easy is a colorful mix of new songs and revamped versions of others from these earlier days. The title track is a stunning anthem that is a reminder to herself and the rest of us that it is okay to enjoy the little things. “Walk A Mile” involves a strong independent woman misjudged because of her demeanor by others too quick to draw conclusions. “Bended Knee” is a catchy tune of caution warning people to steer clear of exhausting others with false promises. One of the most unforgettable tracks is the heartbreaking and inspirational “The You In Me”, a tribute to Sparks’ late mother in which the singer discovers how much her life reflects that of her mom. The theme of letting go and surviving loss continues on the haunting “Better For Us Both”.

One of the greatest inspirations and harshest critics in Sparks’ life is her now 84-year-old grandfather Tom. A maestro at piano and guitar, although his only teacher has been himself and only audience his family, Tom pushed Sparks to crush chords and branch away from standard progressions. Throughout and beyond her education and life experiences Sparks has committed to exploring numerous facets of voice, piano, musicianship and dramatic art, inspiring a current repertoire and delivery that cannot help but strike a chord with devoted listeners, or those who meet her music by chance.

“To share my sound with a wide and varied audience, hoping to warm, console, encourage or at least get someone’s hand tapping on the steering-wheel in a freeway jam is simply what it’s all about.”

Published in: on February 16, 2010 at 6:09 AM  Leave a Comment  

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