North Carolina native R&B singer Una Angel is this week’s Verge Campus Boston University’s Breakthrough Artist spotlight, and well deserving of the title.
A sultry-yet-soothing voice, Una Angel serenades any individual listening to her tracks. Taking heavy influences from Jazz music growing up in Durham, Una’s voice is like a mix between Kehlani and Bryson Tiller with something of her own so special you can’t even point out.
Una is what you need in 2017: a reform — a strong, versatile female lead who knows how to put her own spin on things. She manages to make cover songs sound like originals (i.e. her rendition of Chance the Rapper’s Juke Jam), and her originals are on par with those of artists who’ve been in the game for decades. She knows what she wants to get across and she knows how to do it.
Her most recent EP Put Me On gives us a taste of what this artist has to offer, and we’re loving it.
Una’s personality and character truly reflect through her music. You feel a sense of proximity to what you care about the most, upon listening to her music. She evokes a sense of nostalgia, one of the few artists today who can successfully make you feel something. A kind soul who sings with such passion, you get to know Una a little better after every track, but get to know her here first with this Verge Campus exclusive: introducing Una Angel.
Tamara Soueidan [TS]: So tell me about you! Where did you grow up?
Una [U]: I grew up in Durham, NC, we like to call it the bull city. I will always rep my city.
[TS]: Who are your earliest musical inspirations? How’d you get into music from the start?
[U]: One of my earliest memories is sitting in the living room as a little girl listening to Ella Fitzgerald. I feel like all of the jazz music – Stan Getz, Oscar Peterson, Diana Krall – I listened to when I was young inspired the soul, mood, and depth of my music. My parents would always play records, from classical to rock to jazz, and I guess I just soaked it all in. I started singing about as soon as I could talk, and then started piano when I was 6.
[TS]: What’s the music scene like back home versus living in Boston?
[U]: Back home the music scene is thriving, growing. I love spots like Beyú Caffe that offer live jazz music. Also, festivals like Art of Cool are helping to build the music scene by bringing together a variety of well known and upcoming artists in jazz, hip hop, and R&B. In Boston, the audiences for shows are made up primarily of college students, so that part is different.
[TS]: What have been some of your favorite moments of your music career so far?
[U]: It’s hard to choose – I enjoy the small moments. When I’m be collaborating on a song and we get that perfect chord or when I’m at the keys writing and a vocal line locks with the lyrics. And any time I get to perform live. I live for those moments when the venue falls silent and people put their drinks down to listen.
[TS]: What is your dream collaboration?
[U]: I want to do a duet with Miguel. We could co-write the track. It would be so sexy – the lyrics, our voices together.
[TS]: What inspired your EP “Put Me On”?
[U]: Each track tells a different story, and the EP was inspired by experience, moments in life.
[TS]: What was the process of putting it all together like?
[U]: While I wrote, the songs really fit together. It happened naturally, honestly. It’s so satisfying when it all comes together, I love that feeling.
[TS]: Tell me what you’ve got in the works! Any exciting projects coming out soon?
[U]: I can’t wait to release a new cover song soon. Keep a lookout for a few singles in February and March. I spent the last few months writing, so I’ve been recording as much as I can.
[TS]: If you had to only listen to one artist for the rest of your life, who would it be?
[U]: Prince, definitely. Maybe just Purple Rain or Raspberry Beret on repeat.
[TS]: What’s a long term goal that you have as a musician?
[U]: I want to break into the Hot 100, and then into the top 40. Make music that people feel. Songs that people can vibe with, make memories to, make love to – songs that hit on a soul level.
[TS]: What does it mean to you to be a Boston Breakthrough artist?
[U]: I am so grateful to everyone at Verge for supporting me, it’s incredible to have the support as an upcoming artist. Boston, would you put me on? 😉
Una Angel Is #OnTheVerge of Blowing Up.