Soul singers are ten a penny. All over the country, all over the world there are girls who want to sound like Alicia Keys or Rihanna, like Aretha Franklin or Fontella Bass, like Diana Ross, even like Amy Winehouse or Duffy. Very few of them have the bravery – or the voice – to sound like no one but themselves.
While the title of Andreya Triana’s debut album suggests that she doesn’t know where she’s going or where she’s come from, few things could be further from the truth. Whether working with Flying Lotus, Theo Parrish, Mr Scruff or Bonobo, Triana has been herself and only herself. Her refusal to conform has meant that her path to this release hasn’t been as smooth as she might have liked, taking in shifts as a sushi waitress, stuffing envelopes and working in a hearing aid shop. But she has continued on her musical journey, a journey which “Lost Where I Belong” came to chronicle. Of the title of the record she says “it’s about still feeling lost even though you know what path you should be taking in life. It’s also a song about keeping the faith despite it all!” Triana’s faith was rewarded when she met Simon Green aka Bonobo, who not only featured her on his “Black Sands” album but asked if he could produce her own record.
The two of them fashioned the sound of her songs together in Simon’s studio in East London, working with live musicians, both playing and using samples of found sounds to stitch together a soul music both timelessly classic and utterly contemporary. From the marimba-led longing of “Draw The Stars” (where you can almost feel the constellations turning above your head), through the epic build of the title track, the odd fairground wooziness of “Daydreamers,” the relaxed funk of “Up In Fire” or the stillness of torch song ‘X,” “Lost Where I Belong” showcases a great voice, fantastic songwriting and superb production. It’s a seemingly effortless combination which is actually the result of hard work, faith, self-belief and focus. It’s a testament to Triana’s skill and talent that we can listen to the tales of these tribulations and find in them only beauty, emotion and most of all, soul.