With the sweet sound of soul, the power of gospel, and the influence of jazz, singer/songwriter Paula Ralph Birkett embarks on her debut project entitled Sweet Life. She is currently the featured vocalist in the group Tyrone Birkett|Emancipation. And though she shines her gift on Tyrone Birkett | Emancipation’s recording Postmodern Spirituals - The Promised Land, she now has a few words to say of her own.
Paula began her professional career in musical theater working in regional theaters throughout the New York Tri-State area. She developed her vocal production and songwriting ability performing both R&B and Dance/House music, including the dance single Ain't No Runnin' Away produced by Willy Washington. Paula sang as a featured vocalist in several international gospel ensembles touring in London, England and Verona, Italy. She has also performed and written dramatic presentations / spoken word in the New York Metro area and has played in music venues big and small, such the Schomburg Library for Black Culture, The Green Space at WNYC, the U.N., The Shrine in Harlem, and the Dwyer Cultural Center. As she grew musically, her studies with Kevin Fitzgerald Burke and Jay Clayton gave her vocal interpretation a jazz perspective.
Paula's musical and songwriting influences are many including Bill Withers, Dianne Reeves, Sarah Vaughan, Joni Mitchell, Rachelle Ferrell, Donny Hathaway, and Bobby McFerrin. Paula says, "What attracts me to vocalists and songwriters alike is their ability to tell a story. To draw the listener in. Like modern day griots their musicianship, interpretation, and lyrics have the potential to connect the listener to the story indelibly." Paula demonstrates that ability on several tracks of Postmodern Spirituals - The Promised Land. However, now she is telling her own story. "I love working with TB|Emancipation. Working with them continues to help me define my voice and my perspective" says Paula. "And I’m grateful to have the opportunity to develop my gift because for me it’s all about the melody and story of the song. And there have been stories I've wanted to tell for a while. Only now have I found the courage and joy to say it."
Paula continues to grow as a storyteller. She wrote all the songs on Sweet Life including the first single Fearless, and she says, "I'm really excited about Sweet Life because I hope to illuminate the possibilities of life despite it's sour patches." Paula delivers this project with sweet soul, powerful truth, and pure joy.
For more information please go to her website www.singpaula.com