This Kid's Got Talent
December 17, 2002 7:17 PM   Subscribe

Look out Aretha, here comes Joanna Levesque --an eleven year old, R&B prodigy, who has been wowing 'em since age two. She has major recording labels knocking at her door but hasn't signed with anyone yet. I discovered Joanna's music by accident browsing on CD Baby. Her voice is amazingly mature and oh-so-soulful! LISTEN. Do you think she's the next and future Queen of Soul?
posted by VelvetHellvis (16 comments total)
posted by Ayn Marx at 7:44 PM on December 17, 2002

She can jam with Tony Royster Jr, supposed 18 year old drumming prodigy. This kid was mentored by Dennis Chambers, for godssakes.
posted by Stan Chin at 7:51 PM on December 17, 2002

posted by suprfli at 8:03 PM on December 17, 2002

Let me join the chorus. Nyet.
posted by thebigpoop at 8:04 PM on December 17, 2002

posted by mcsweetie at 8:09 PM on December 17, 2002

I have to agree with the "No" vote after posting this. I just have a weird fascination with child prodigies. My biggest talent as a kid was whistling through the gap in my two top front teeth.
posted by VelvetHellvis at 8:20 PM on December 17, 2002


I vote No - There's just nothing unique about her voice, although she sounds decent enough for an 11 year old....

On the other hand, Gwen Stefani, Sheryl Crow, Queen Spears, Pink, Christina Aguilera, and a butt-load of other mediocre gals made it to the top, so what do I know....
posted by bradth27 at 8:33 PM on December 17, 2002

I'm going to have to go with 'sad,' and 'I hope her parents enjoy the ride.'

God knows I'm glad my parents didn't make me do things like that when I was two.
posted by The God Complex at 8:49 PM on December 17, 2002

She's fine, but not anything special.
posted by LittleMissCranky at 8:53 PM on December 17, 2002

Nein, non, and no.
posted by mazola at 9:17 PM on December 17, 2002

I've watched my fair share of Behind the Musics, and seen any number of present-at-the-creation testimonials. Yeah, Shania Twain r00lz. Good talent show, but the talent involved is more imititation than empathy. She might be succesful, but Aretha never won no talent shows...

...or maybe she did. Link?
posted by bingbangbong at 10:01 PM on December 17, 2002

i call gimmick, and say no.

Great blues/jazz vocalists have a unique voice and bring their own, real emotions to their songs. If you want to pull off real emotion with youth, you need to have some billie holiday style cred:
Billie "Lady Day" Holiday was born in Baltimore in 1915. She endured a hard childhood -- her musician father left the family early, and her mother wasn't able to keep her consistently which resulted in Billie often being put in care or relatives who abused her. She was raped at age 11 and grew up in poverty. She sums it up best in the first line of her famous autobiography Lady Sings the Blues, "Mom and Pop were just a couple of kids when they got married. He was eighteen, she was sixteen, and I was three."

In 1929, she moved to New York, where she worked as a maid and then as a teenage prostitute. According to legend, in 1930 (at the age of 15), to keep her mother from being evicted, she sang Body and Soul and reduced the audience to tears.

Apocryphal or not, I'm willing to accept a billie holiday at 15 bringing an audience to tears, whereas this girls music reeks of obsessive parental manipulation and purely manufactured music -- combined with a creepy Jon Benet air to the whole thing.

I'm also going to go out on a limb and say a good voice has very little to do with good music (christina aguilara and kelly clarkson both have good voices, they don't make good music).

There's no soul in this soul.
posted by malphigian at 10:04 PM on December 17, 2002

Call me old-fashioned, but I think it's inappropriate for an 11-year-old girl to be singing "Chain of Fools" and if her parents are marketing her to an adult audience by putting songs in her repertoire that are about love, sex, adultery, etc., then I think their motives are even more dubious.
posted by essexjan at 4:56 AM on December 18, 2002

More kiddie music an gimmicks.

There are plenty of genuine candidates for Queen of soul out there, you know.
posted by jonmc at 6:21 AM on December 18, 2002

Malphigian, that reminds me --

In my formative years, I sang professionally to help get me through school. I went through a period of trying to sing some hard-core jazz. My godmother, who is (or used to be) a pretty famous singer with a whole lot of cred, came to see me sing at a club. When I took a break, she gave me a sidelong glance and said, "shit, honey, you ain't even on the horse. You want to sing jazz, you got to go to jail first."
posted by LittleMissCranky at 7:55 AM on December 18, 2002

Maybe when she gets old enough to actually understand what the song's about ... but not right now.
posted by pyramid termite at 1:13 PM on December 19, 2002

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