Latanya Alberto - The Royal Escape
Released: May 2021 Label: Independent
Latanya Alberto’s pen moves effortlessly. Before writing music, the Amsterdam-based singer wrote poetry to convey her thoughts. She drew inspiration from Toni Morrison, whose work tackled the complexities of being a Black woman in an unforgiving world. Alberto later found solace in the emotional and free-flowing lyrical style of India Arie.
Her lyrical approach centres on her self-awareness. As a Black woman of Caribbean descent in the Netherlands, her artistry is rooted in a social consciousness that looks to bring awareness to forgotten communities and peoples. No matter the topic, she is never out of her comfort zone and brings an authenticity that makes you feel every word.
Alberto’s rise began with 2 EP’s - 'Ruminate' and 'Cede'. Both cleverly blend the sensuality of Neo-Soul with the tranquility of Jazz. The smoothness of her voice is hard not to like. She recognises the strength of her voice and uses it to serve melodic and rhythmic functions. Her instrumental-heavy beats revolve around her and only amplify her relaxed vibe displaying a level of control and direction that is rare for a relative newcomer.
Alberto’s latest EP ‘The Royal Escape’ is her smoothest project yet. On 'Get It Right' her layering of vocals is similar to Amel Larrieux and Goapele and her cohesiveness oozes through with each note and melody having a specific purpose.
Lyrically, she continues to establish herself as a gifted songwriter. On the EP’s second track, she places her listeners at a crossroads. 'Red Flags' is about being captivated by her partner's presence, only to be distracted by their irredeemable flaws. Alberto speaks of how love can be an emotional rollercoaster that often ends in uncertainty. She whimsically writes about love but grounds it in heartbreak and broken promises.
'The Royal Escape' delights because of its simplicity, it focuses on the bigger picture with tracks that don't overstep but have meaning. She thrives in small pockets of space knowing just when to harmonise or draw out a note for dramatic effect. While many R&B artists today are experimental and look to combine genres, Alberto thrives by bringing a familiar sound. She relies on her songwriting to bring a level of direction and planning that is increasingly absent today. She has placed her focus on the message and brings one of the most refreshing projects of the year in the process.