Lisa Maffia releases her debut album, First Lady, through Independiente records on the 11th August.
She's been known as The First Lady of So Solid, the
Jewel in the Crown and the 24-Carat Princess. She's perfectly blended sweetness and streetness on the melodic choruses that have taken her group to the top. She's become an icon of high-rolling glamour and a model of determination for young mums everywhere - and managed all this as one piece of a 30-strong Battersea garage troupe.
Now, with a hit single under her belt and a superb debut album about to drop, she's taken centre stage. And looking back on it now, she's been waiting for this for a mighty long time.
Even though first single 'All Over' is a stomping girls' night out party tune dedicated to Dior, Cristal and garage rave glamour, the rest of the album we see Lisa veering away from the garage tradition and moving into the glossy world of R&B, From the gothic chants and keyboard burps of dark, midtempo monster 'Down', the electric funk of sisterhood anthem 'Women Of The World' or the bossa nova swing and Spanish guitar intro to second single 'In Love', it's everything you didn't expect - and Lisa pulls it off with flying colours.
Lisa is fast becoming a bona fide style icon: photographers have always zoomed in on her assured, glacial glamour in group photos, and Lisa remains the group's most requested interviewee.
With her inspired solo debut though, she proves she's so much more than just the First Lady of So Solid. The So Solid studio squad and Lisa's distinctive vocal style have combined to forge a musical identity that goes beyond the standard UK scene.
There's enough melodic punch and dancefloor swagger to beat American R&B's powerhouse producers on their own terms, and more than enough spirit and personality to prove that Lisa is, and will remain, very much her own woman. The 24-Carat Princess has proved her mettle; the music is Solid gold.- - 2. Life - - - 3. City Life - - - 4. Down - - - 5. Women Of The World
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