Brooklyn-based Big Crown Records opened its doors a year ago and was founded by producer and multi-instrumentalist Leon Michels (El Michels Affair, The Arcs, Chicano Batman) and DJ Danny Akalepse. In celebration of their first year, Big Crown kicked off a monthly vinyl release series, which will culminate in a compilation album to be issued later this year.
Lady Wray came to prominence while guesting on Missy Elliott’s platinum breakthrough release ‘Supa Dupa Fly (1997)’ where she sang backup on the track “Gettaway.” This led to Wray earning more singing gigs and a solo project. After that, however, she got screwed over, two solo albums got shelved, and Wray joined the one-off Blackroc then the singing duo Lady. She kept at her solo career, though, releasing digital singles and eventually her solo debut.
Lady Wray’s single, “Underneath My Feet” b/w “Guilty,” is the most recent of the Big Crown bunch taken from her 2016 release ‘Queen Alone.’ The album was her second studio offering, her first in nearly 20 years, and it was welcomed with rave reviews.
“Underneath My Feet” is a poppy throwback with the back beat of Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell (Jimi Hendrix Experience) and a swinging horn section. The groove of the track is a head bopper and Wray’s voice is full of sass and grit. A magical combination. On the flip side is “Guilty,” but you shouldn’t feel guilty about loving this track. The slow groove sets the tone and the background harmonies are reminiscent of 60s girl groups. Wray’s voice is impeccable, drawing you in with every word that falls from her lips, and that sudden rasp just adds to her charm.