By: Staff –
Emerging singer-songwriter Chynna Lewis has curated an new exclusive Spotify playlist to celebrate the release of her debut single “Mind and Soul”.
“Mind and Soul” captures her creative process with a combination of modern, beat-centric production and the warm sounds of old Soul recordings.
Born in Taiwan, Lewis moved to Canada at the age of ten. Growing up in a musical family, her mother sang, her father taught her guitar, and she and her brothers played music and harmonized together. As a teenager, Chynna discovered her love for singing through Soul and R&B music. She began writing her own songs on the piano and guitar at the age of fifteen, and this creative instinct eventually led her to her career in music.
- Emily King – “Remind Me”
I fell madly in love with Emily King’s music about two years ago. She has been the single most influential artist for me in the past while. I find listening to her is like listening to what I strive to be as an artist. She sets the bar so high with everything; I’m constantly blown away by her songwriting, thought-provoking lyrics, production, unique instrumentation, and live performance. Last year, I released a cover of this song and Emily reposted it on her Instagram, so it holds a very special place in my heart!
- Stevie Wonder – Do I Do
I got into Stevie when I was a teenager. To me, he is the master of telling stories through melody and harmony. “Do I Do” was one of my favourite songs to cover because I found it very challenging and fun to sing. His music crosses over so many genres and his musical palette is so vast, the depth of his compositions have opened up my ears to new possibilities and influenced my writing style in a very permanent way.
- Ray Charles – “Hard Times”
The first time I heard this song, I remember I was waiting for the subway. As the train zipped by the platform I found myself lost in Ray’s voice. How someone could express such emotion through singing, really rocked me. It changed how I listened to voices; I discovered that oftentimes a flawed emotional vocal is far more effective at connecting with the listener than a perfectly delivered one with no feeling.
- Anderson .Paak – “Make it Better”
I’ve been a longtime fan of Anderson .Paak. He is probably my favourite artist out there right now. To me, his album Malibu is a masterpiece and when I first heard it I had it on repeat everywhere I went in 2016/2017. “Make it Better” from his album Ventura is about the challenges of being in a long-term relationship, and it’s so on point in every way; relatable, funky, succinct, and just beautifully recorded.
- Bonnie Raitt – “I Can’t Make You Love Me”
I think Bonnie Raitt is the epitome of bad-ass. The way she plays and sings just emits raw soul and feel. Though she didn’t write this song, this tune left a huge impression on me after I had my heart broken for the first time. It still leaves me in pieces when I listen to it. It’s one of those songs I wish I wrote.
- Daniel Caesar – “We Find Love”
There are a few reasons why I love this song. One being that it is produced by a good friend of mine and extremely talented Canadian producer, Matthew Burnett. Another being that it is an incredibly well crafted song; it is hopeful and uplifting, the production is air tight, and the many melodies woven throughout the entire song just takes my breath away every single time. I will never get sick of this song.
- JP Saxe – “The Few Things”
This is my most favourite love song in recent years. It’s extremely difficult to write love songs that don’t sound cliche because it’s all been done a billion times over. But once in a long while, you get treated to one so beautifully and thoughtfully written and it just becomes your soundtrack for weeks. JP’s writing style is very unique and conversational, and it just hits you in the feels. I’m a big fan.
- Bahamas – “Way With Words”
Talk about a feel-good summer time song! This whole record, Earthtones is a masterpiece. I have this distinct happy memory of listening to this song while driving with the windows rolled all the way down in the summer of 2018. I was headed to a friend’s house for dinner, the sun was shining, the wind blowing in my hair, and this was blasting in my car and I just thought, “this is one of those ‘it doesn’t get better than this’ moments in life. Let me take a snapshot and log it in my memory for another day”.
- John Mayer – Stop This Train
This song revealed to me what I cared a lot about as a songwriter; connecting with people and what makes us feel most human. One of those universal feelings is the dread of getting older and losing your parents someday. It sobers and grounds you in a very beautifully human way. Also perfectly suiting the name of this song, it has a train beat that feels like you’re chugging along this journey, and it doesn’t stop or break for anything. This song and this whole record, Continuum is like an old friend to me.
- Lianne La Havas – “Green & Gold”
Artsy, swinging, catchy, rich, and beautiful. This song has it all. As songwriters, you don’t always end up sounding like the artists and music you listen to, but when I listened to Lianne La Havas, it was like looking into a mirror into the hopeful future. I connected with her style and voice immediately and referenced her often as I developed my compositional voice.
- Thirdstory – Still in Love
This song has a lot of the things I love: a big chorus, rich vocal harmonies, blues and Jazz inspired chords, soulful voices, a sexy tempo, and it’s succinct and catchy. It’s easy to listen to but has depth, which I find is a hard line to straddle. Thirdstory’s album Cold Heart was also one that I had on repeat when I first discovered it. Their songs and sound as a trio is so beautiful it just squeezes your heart in the best way possible.