Reviewed by Aaron Cloutier & Staff
The W.A M. Awards celebrate the year’s most outstanding independent artists from around the world in multiple genres and categories. "Best Song" and "Best Album" nominations were based on Artistry, Musicianship, Originality, Professionalism, Diversity, and Excellence. W.A.M. stands for "We Are he Music Makers.' Natalie Jeans' song, "I Am" was the 2020 W.A.M. Award Winner for Best Social Justice song.
Singer/songwriter Natalie Jean delivers a clear and powerful message in the commandingly compelling “I AM”. A somber yet unwavering declaration of self-sovereignty depicted from the perspective of a black woman in a world of racism. One of many songs that is sadly still relevant today but much needed for the world to hear.
“I Am" is to me, an anthem of sorts. One that both calls for unity and rejects the collective ignorance perpetrated by those who would try to oppress. Themes of unyielding resolve permeate throughout the song with lyrics such “I won’t give into your fears, nor will I give you any of my tears.” Natalies voice is graceful and expresses a depth of emotion that is equally gripping and disarming. The combination of both voice and subject matter makes for an undeniable experience.
Even though “I AM” is vocally driven, the support Natalie receives from the instrumentation is worth noting. Warm acoustic guitar lines being plucked in 6/8 time bring a very driving type feeling to the song. (I call it the pirate beat because its got a swaying “ship out to sea” kind of feeling.). It works extremely well to create what feels like an epic mood. As if marching. Strings and slide guitar soon join to add texture and by the second chorus, the hook is solidified with stomps, claps and stacks of backing vocals proclaiming simply “I AM”.
In short, Natalie brings us a powerful and expertly crafted folk/pop ballad that is all too relevant in today's times. I challenge you not to feel something while listening to this.
About Natalie Jean NatalieJean is an award winning, multi-nominated singer/songwriter performer. She is also a Voting Member in the Recording Academy (GRAMMYS). NatalieJean is a versatile performer and singer. She sings and writes for many genres , such as Jazz, Pop, R&B, Blues, World, Rock, Country, Americana, Inspirational, Adult Contemporary, Alternative, and, Dance. She can also sing in French, Spanish, English, and Haitian Creole. NatalieJean is mostly influenced by artists such as Lena Horne, Celine Dion, Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, and Ella Fitzgerald.
She has performed at many venues in the MD/DC. She also has performed in LA, New York ,Nashville, and North Carolina. She also appeared on WPFW, a Jazz station in Washington DC, and many other stations around the world. She has been nominated over 100 times for her music and has won many awards. She has released six albums, Obsession, NatalieJean, Lecons D'Amour, Unafraid, Haiti Mwen Renmenw, and Where Do We Go From Here?. She has also released several singles.