Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Kanisha K - Bet on Me

Kanisha K - Bet on Me 

The sultry, bluesy timber of Kanisha K’s voice is an ideal fit for her newest single “Bet on Me”. Originally conceived as a love song, Kanisha’s own interpretation of the track’s lyrics evolved to a place where she also heard the track as a statement of self-affirmation, a reminder to herself and any would-be naysayers that she has all the necessary ingredients to realize her dreams. She’s clearly in the process of realizing her music dreams thanks to a string of successful, award-winning single release and her national exposure is increasingly exponentially with each new outing. Joe Vulpis co-wrote the song with Kanisha, but his hand is virtually invisible and this feels one hundred percent like something torn from Kanisha’s heart alone. The mood is, in turns, indefatigable and rousing. “Bet on Me” is entertaining, but it’s also a deeply emotional experience unafraid to communicate with its audience. 

Kanisha is the center of its communicative power. She hurls herself into every passage of this song without any fear, especially on the chorus, and that commitment to getting this song over is one of its finest qualities. It isn’t all exertion and bloodied passion however. Her phrasing skills and the instinct for when NOT to sing is equally important; she’s able to step back and allow the band to help her without ceding any of the spotlight and it makes her contributions all the more impactful. When the song’s pinnacles arrive, she’s there with every word and makes the most of the song’s relatively terse lyrical content. Lyrics are a vehicle for self-expression, but they have to be carefully orchestrated in such a way that they dovetail into the musical content rather than overshadowing it and she strikes that balance here with great skill.  

“Bet on Me” benefits greatly from its musical backing. The guitar playing has a warm, gritty bite connected quite tightly to same qualities in her vocal while the piano playing gives the song’s movement a stately mood while creating tender, deeply felt melodies. There’s not one musical moment when the players opt for overwrought expression. Instead, everything is carefully modulated and never errs too far from one side to another. The balance, without ever risking any undue clutter, is quite remarkable and something one doesn’t often hear in this musical genre. “Bet on Me” maintains a firm pop sensibility while still making substantive musical, lyrical, and vocal statements. You can bet on Kanisha K because, with this caliber of talent, she’s not going anywhere but upward and onward. It’s a fantastic performance from start to finish with top shelf material and supremely skilled backing that makes its mark on the infant year as one of 2017’s best cuts thus far. This is a musical artist who will be around for many years to come not just based on talent alone, but her will and drive to succeed.  

Michael Saulman

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