Alina Engibaryan Surrounds Her Award Winning Voice With An All-Star Band On GroundUP Music Debut We Are, Out February 16th
Produced By Michael League, The Album Features Band Including League, Taylor Eigsti, Maria Im, Zach Brock, Nathan Schram, Sam Quiggins, Larnell Lewis, Chris McQueen and Chris Potter
Listen To Title Track Here
January 26, 2018 - Alina Engibaryan – the Russian-born, NYC-based singer and songwriter who won the 2015 Shure Montreux Jazz Voice Competition – will release her GroundUP Music debut We Are on February 16th. A showcase for Engibaryan’s gorgeous vocals and inspired songwriting, the album sets itself apart by allowing members of the all-star band accompany Engibaryan on the record – producer Michael League, Taylor Eigsti, Maria Im, Zach Brock, Nathan Schram, Sam Quiggins, Larnell Lewis, Chris McQueen and Chris Potter – to stretch out during instrumental passages.
We Are marks a huge step forward for Engibaryan, the granddaughter of jazz drumming great Nikolay Goncharov and a budding singer since the age of two. “I kind of changed everything for this record,” she says. “The band is different and the music is stylistically different from the first album. I only had one original song on that record. This time, all except one song is mine.”
Helping Engibaryan find her way: Michael League, the label head of GroundUP Music and co-founder of the Grammy-winning collective Snarky Puppy, who arranged and produced We Are. League discovered the singer while touring the Netherlands, when Engibaryan was studying jazz vocals at the Prince Claus Conservatory.
“A bunch of students and I were talking to Michael after the show, sharing our musical visions and views on life, and he told me to send him what I was working on,” says Engibaryan. “I never thought we’d end up working together; I’ve always been a huge fan of his work.” The two eventually performed at a music festival together and, soon after the singer moved to New York, started working on a new record for GroundUP.
The new label served her well: Along with League, Engibaryan worked closely with Snarky Puppy’s Mike “Maz” Maher, who helped write the lyrics on We Are. “Maz and I would talk about the vibe of song and the state of mind I was in when I was writing it, and then exchange ideas,” says the singer. “Talking with him honestly about my life, he would get the message of what I was saying and be really sensitive about it.”
Inspired by the likes of music legends Kurt Elling, Stevie Wonder and Gregory Porter, as well as mentors such as J.D. Walter (a co-writer on the album track “Love Song”) and Al Jarreau (who oversaw the 2015 Shure Montreux Jazz Voice Competition that Engibaryan won), We Are is a beautifully diverse mix of traditional and contemporary jazz, and one that deftly touches on empowerment (“Little Girl”) and worldly trepidation (“Doesn’t Seem So Real”).
Going forward, Engibaryan will be a part of the GroundUP Music Festival in Miami Beach, FL February 9-11, and continue to perform on her own in New York and throughout Europe. Later this year, she’ll head out on tour with Russian trumpeter Alex Sipiagin.
As far as her own music, Engibaryan simply hopes to spark a connection with the listener.
“I feel like when people hear this, they’ll understand the vibe I was going for,” she says. “It’s not a ‘happy’ or ‘sad’ album. I think people will relate to the music in their own way. It’s just a very honest record.”
For more information on Alina Engibaryan or GroundUP Music, please contact Rob Krauser at REK Room Media, firstname.lastname@example.org or 917.703.8361.