RENEDA: Never Give Up (Airsongs Detroit)


ReNeda is a new soul singer from Detroit. She spent eight years as a teacher before Aaron Branford – a noted Motor City music biz entrepreneur – coaxed her into the studio to record a secular album; she’d previously worked the gospel circuit, most notably with Darlene Bell, and the gospel influence is evident both in the voice and the in the messages carried in some of the songs – particularly the title cut. ‘Never Give Up’ tells us that if we believe in ourselves we can achieve our goals. Unbelievers may mock but ReNeda’s delivery is so convincing that those doubters may just think again! Musically it’s a tight mid-tempo groove and vocally there are flavours of Sade and Toni Braxton about it. Indeed, ReNeda readily acknowledges the influence that Sade in particular has had on her – and on a number of cuts here that’s quite obvious. ‘Rest Of My Life’, ‘I Know What You’re Going Through’ and ‘Give Me Your Love’ are very Sade-esque. Elsewhere ReNeda dips into the 80s for the insistent electro-soul groove that is ‘Vicious Rumours’… very SOS Band/ Alex O’Neal/Cherrelle. ‘Can’t Stand’ is another insistent tune – not a lot happens in it but it has real appeal and is offered in a chillier remix later in the sequencing. The LP’s sweetest ballad is ‘I Just Want To Be With You’, while the cut with most immediate appeal is the opener ‘Be Free’. This one’s a lovely gentle mid-tempo shuffle with a pleasing melody and some sparkling piano input from, I think, Dwayne Smith. ReNeda is currently being promoted as the “new sound of Detroit”. Sure, she may be a “new” artist but there’s nothing “new” about her sound – it’s the welcome sound of good old-fashioned soul music and as we all know quality never goes out of fashion. The album’s currently available on CD Baby and there’s more info on

(BB) 4/5