A soulful voice, lyrical depth, infectious music, everything you want in an artist Joanna Ramirez has. The Dallas native Austin-based neo-soul, jazz, and R&B artist has been making music for some time now. Starting in the 1990’s, Joanna launched her career with her funk/blues band called Soul Providers. When she moved to Austin in 1998, she joined the blues/R&B band Shake ‘Em On Down formed by guitarist J.P. Lilliston.
It was only inevitable that Joanna would go into a career in music seeing as it’s in her blood. Her grandfather was a singer and guitarist of traditional Mexican music and recorded for the Bluebird and Victor labels in the 1930s. Her father was an R&B guitarist and harmonica player, and, along with his two brothers, Charles and Chick, played in various combos during the 1960s.
“It is not easy to bare your soul through music, but I believe it is the only way to truly impact others and possibly inspire, comfort, heal, or just get people to dance,” she says. In her latest album, On My Way, she does just that, exposes her truest self. The album has 11 upbeat R&B, jazz, and neo-soul songs, each giving a glimpse into Joanna’s eyes and heart.
The title song, “On My Way” is a neo-soul song that chronicles her musical career, a narrative of overcoming and showing the world that she is not to be underestimated. “I think a lot of people can relate to the song’s narrative of wanting to give up on something, but knowing that they can’t ignore a voice inside telling them to keep going,” she says. “Happy” explores self love and a jazzy and bluesy sound lead by the keyboard. “This one was a bit scary to write, because I knew I had to get personal and tell my story through this song, starting with childhood, remembering the feeling of not measuring up to my parents expectations, the fearful environment of our home, then to my failed romantic relationships and now, still feeling that I’m not being fully myself as a musician and creator,” she says. “Seems it’s the universal experience of being human – always striving to just be happy.” “Whaddui” is a soul and R&B song with a hook and melody that truly makes you sing out loud. It’s an anthem-like song seemingly about the craziness that was 2020, with a global pandemic and the political drama that was unfolding. She sings “whaddui whaddui whaddui have to do to prove to you/that there’s no need for all your crying/oh I just want to help you/get through/this crazy dream.”
It can’t go without mentioning Joanna’s voice. There is no other singer out there who encompasses her strength, power, and self-confidence that Joanna does. You can hear every emotion and all her passion in her singing. It’s one of the most stunning things about her music, particularly On My Way.
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