Karina Iglesias

Locally born and bred songstress Karina Iglesias has more soul than a sock with a hole — one listen to her music gives that away. Songs from the singer-songwriter's repertoire traverse R&B, funk, and beyond while remaining smooth but down-to-earth. Her sultry, throaty vocal style easily navigates the crisp, funk-infused guitar work, playfully bobbing bass lines, and bright horns of original songs such as "The Way," off her recent eponymous debut album. "Whatever You Want," meanwhile, displays her chops in a completely different arena, with a foray into pop-house.

But silky neo-soul is where Iglesias truly shines. Down-tempo and mournful ballads such as "Good for Me," "Make a Little Room," and "It's Not Easy" are reminiscent of Alicia Keys, while the mid-tempo funk and R&B fusion of "Stand in the Light" and "Change" are redolent with traces of India.Arie and Erykah Badu. Though Iglesias's vocal work in the studio shimmers, it really dazzles live — a good thing, since lately she has been gigging nonstop on the local circuit.


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