Joi, arguably one of the most innovative if not subtly influential voices in soul music has returned with the first single, "Stare At Me," from her much-anticipated upcoming project, S.I.R. Rebekkah Holylove.

The song breathes with energy, as Joi's electric vocals slide over the track, bringing it to life in a way that only she uniquely can. Basically, it jams.

Ever since she emerged on the scene with her 1994 album, The Pendulum Vibe, Joi's talent has been duly noted by folks in love with soul music that skates into funk, jazz and rock. From her subsequent releases including Star Kitty's Revenge which spawned the cult classics, "Lick" and "Missing You," to 2008's study on love, life and self-evolution, Tennessee Slim Is the Bomb, Joi has always remained a standout talent. She continues to explore her perspective on her latest offering.

“Change requires action. Either you sit idly by and let the world stay the same as it passes you by, or you get up and make your mark," Joi said in a statement about her new work (via Okayplayer).

She says that after working with everyone from OutKast and the Dungeon Family (she's featured prominently on Organized Noize's latest effort, and has been recording with the Atlanta crew since the very beginning) to Raphael Saadiq (she had a brief stint in Lucy's Pearl and was signed to his label Pookie Entertainment at one point), to Big KRIT and more, music is still her love.

“I get excited to pull the machete out and clear my own path,” Joi says of the music she recorded in her studio dubbed "the funky music box." “After all of these years, music is still a lifeline to sanity, memory, and inspiration for me. It’s the most powerful medium, for better or worse. I hope you feel what I’m doing.”

Take a listen to Joi's "Stare At Me" below via Soundcloud. Pre-order S.I.R. Rebekkah Holylove here.

 

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