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Candice Anitra hates how social constructs put people in boxes, including rigidly corrugated musical categories. Embodying the subtle rapture of Joan Armatrading, the robust confidence of Meshell Ndegeocello, and the thespian gender inquisition of Cheryl Dunye, the left-of-soul singer-songwriter bucks convention rather than live as a square peg in a round hole. Hailing from Philadelphia, the Brooklyn-based songstress was reared in a musical family whose voices were limited to home and church. After high school, Candice set sail for NYU’s heralded Tisch School of the Arts. There, she discovered her vocal prowess upon receiving accolades for her performance in dramatic roles that called for her to sing. By 2006, a post-collegiate Candice had written a stage play, instructed a youth theater workshop, and assumed lead vocal duties for a local NYC band. Though the band dissolved, former classmates Ion & Sanford, who as Force Theory Productions gave Candice some music to write to, her entry into songwriting, and jumped to produce Candice’s maiden solo musical voyage, the 2008 EP Easier. During the tracking of Easier at his Studio G, Joel Hamilton (Soulive, Matisyahu, Blakroc, Talib Kweli, Nina Simone) swooned over Candice’s single, “Objectify,” and he readily signed on to helm Candice’s 2010 full-length debut, Bark Then Bite, a critically acclaimed odyssey of dynamic sound and talent. The album included a royal remix of “Objectify” from producer Scotty Hard, a track that flips the script on Candice’s feeling degraded by men’s lewd behavior towards her on city streets. Most recently, Candice has headed back to Studio G with Hamilton to record her remarkable sophomore effort, Big Tree. The tracks on Big Tree are a mellifluous yet audacious blend of the delicious oft overlooked spaces between the genres. Candice shows her mastery of sewing a common thread through issues by simply looking within.
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