As Zuri Allen Star unveils “Walk With Me,” the jubilant and jangling, instantly infectious first single from her highly anticipated debut album My Number One, the Hollywood based singer/songwriter invites listeners to visualize a cool and inviting cross...
As Zuri Allen Star unveils “Walk With Me,” the jubilant and jangling, instantly infectious first single from her highly anticipated debut album My Number One, the Hollywood based singer/songwriter invites listeners to visualize a cool and inviting cross generational scenario that perfectly captures her dynamic urban pop vibe that’s about to captivate the world. Imagine an upscale hotel bar where Blondie’s Debbie Harry engages in a lively discussion with Lady Gaga and Gwen Stefani about life and love, triumphs and heartbreak, the meaning of the blues and the joys of R&B while sipping on a round of Kir Royales.
After a few years of recording demo after demo while building a local fan base at the usual L.A. hotspots (Key Club, Cat Club, Derby, Knitting Factory and one of her favorites, Hermosa Beach’s Live at the Lounge), Zuri began taking bold steps in pursuit of her lifelong dream. Sacrificing luxury and comfort, and sleeping on more friend and acquaintances’ couches than she cares to remember, she put her resources where her talents were and began working with an incredible array of top pop talent. She has spent the past year working with her longtime friend, the multi-talented Mike K who co-wrote, performed, recorded and produced My Number One. Mike K’s extensive credits include Nelly Furtado, Natasha Bedingfield, Krystal Meyers, Hayden Panettiere and song collaborations with Guy Roche and Robbie Nevil; he is currently on tour as the guitarist for American Idol finalist David Archuleta.
Complementing their powerful collaboration—which resulted in Mike K developing the “pop singer” in Zuri, whose deepest vocal influences are blues and soul legends like Etta James—are contributions by an exciting array of musicians and performers: Dolena K. (who co-wrote “VIP” with them); Disney Radio sensation Ashley Garland; Excel; D.J. Trust; keyboardists Kevin “Toad” Saulnier (All American Rejects) and Dapo Torimiro (John Legend, David Archuleta); and drummer Randy Cooke, who has toured with Hillary Duff, Ringo Starr and Five For Fighting and recorded with Jesse McCartney and Kelly Clarkson.
Zuri’s passion for the writing and recording sessions that launched My Number One was initially sparked by her batch of several lyric filled journals, melody jammed recorders and a deep determination to break through to the mainstream as a strictly DIY artist. In addition to making the rounds as a solo performer in L.A., she brings to her moment in the mainstream spotlight a series of early professional experiences fronting a trio she formed when she was 17. She had been onstage for years in musical theatre productions and was dancing since the age of five, but for her there was no comparison to taking center stage and singing her own material.
“Those performances launched me into the next level of fulfillment,” says Zuri, who began writing and singing as an outlet for her sadness after one of her brothers passed away when she was a child. “Singing to me was always a vital necessity, like eating was for others. I can always tell when I haven’t been singing. I’m super moody, feisty and I end up feeling like I’m choking. It’s around this time that I usually write these powerful lyrics and then the voice comes out and I’m straight again. I had been writing about my pain in my songs for several years. But on the songs Mike and I did for My Number One, I really moved away from writing about the past and wrote more about my present life on this album. This is truly my ‘growth album,’ a hopeful look past the lows I was going through at the time. I really had a blast writing and recording it.”
Beyond Zuri’s initial invite to pop listeners to “Walk With Me,” the ten track collection’s colorful stylistic blend comes across perfectly on highlights like the lyrically pointed, passionate and seductive ballad “Incomplete” (about a relationship that once showed promise but left both lovers disappointed) and the explosive, high energy dance tune “Fire,” which began with Mike K’s intensely funky, Prince-like guitar riffs that drive the track.
“The most exciting part of what’s happening with my career right now,” says Zuri, who is gearing up for a summer tour in support of My Number One, “is having the opportunity to do what I love and inspire people with my music as I work on fulfilling my dreams. I would love to continue writing, performing and growing in this passion of mine. I’m making baby waves in comparison to where I’ll be at album number 10, but I’m very proud of how far I’ve come and so grateful that people are starting to listen and connect with what comes naturally from my heart.”
OurStage Accomplishments by Ourstage Walk With Me" Top 10
December 2008 RedGorilla Music Fest
Walk With Me" Channel Prize Winner
August 2008 JLSC NAMM 2009
Walk With Me" Top 10 Channel
July 2008 JLSC NAMM 2009
Walk With Me" Top 10- 8th place
May 2008 Battle for the Roo
Out of 4000 bands
Fire" Top 10 in Channel 6th place
May 2008 Pop
Walk With Me" Channel Prize Winner
May 2008 Contemporary/Soft Rock