Kathy DiamondView in iTunes
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Kathy Diamond's elegant, faithful updatings of 1970s funk, disco, and soulful diva house are informed by a lifelong love for the music, beginning with a childhood of dancing around the house to her mother's Donna Summer and Isaac Hayes records. Hailing from Sheffield, England, Diamond grew up as a creative writer and natural performer, but not initially as a musician; in 1993 she started writing songs and engaging in a series of collaborations, but it would take a decade before her career as a performer began in earnest. Her 2003 debut single, "Miracles Just Might," was a collaboration with the house duo Swag that was originally intended for inclusion on their No Such Thing album; when that didn't pan out, she decided to release the track herself as a white label. Through a mutual friend, singer Nesreen Shah, it caught the attention of independent left-field house producer Maurice Fulton, who contributed production and instrumental work to Diamond's next single, "Sunshine," issued later that year on the Idjut Boys' Cottage label. The pair continued their collaboration, eventually resulting in the full-length Miss Diamond to You, which came out in 2007 to considerable critical acclaim, accompanied by the singles "All Woman" and "Over." Although Fulton, who produced and performed (under his Finnish jazz-funk alias Syclops) the entirety of the music, got much of the credit for the album's laid-back organic disco-funk vibe, Diamond's sultry vocals (which garnered comparisons to Chaka Khan and Kylie Minogue) and stylistically well-suited lyrics were integral to the album's success. The following year saw a flurry of activity, with Diamond contributing vocals (and lyrics) to house and neo-disco tracks by Toby Tobias, Aeroplane, Maxi Skiba, Codebreaker, Lo-Motion Disco, and Soft Rocks, and beginning work on her second album with Keeling Lee and Soul Mekaniks. ~ K. Ross Hoffman