With an affectionate strut driven by a contemporary, stylish bassline that is as dangerous as it is alluring, aspiring pop/R&B singer/songwriter Claudia Alende comes crashing through the night silence in her sophomore single “Spotlight” and boldly asserts herself as one of the premier new voices in music today. Alende is a fairly fresh face in pop, but she isn’t wasting any time making a name for herself in all the right circles. Her style is uniquely ahead of the curve, melding sensible melodies over sterling hip-hop beats, and although there are a lot of artists striving to create a similar sound, none have captured the essence of this approach as well as she has. And while she deserves a lot of credit for her intrepid, futuristic experimentalism, there’s something incredibly classic about her overall delivery that makes her sound familiar and inviting to even the most rigidly old school R&B fans among us.
Some pop singers, especially ones who are just starting out, are content to make tracks that exclusively accentuate their vocal range, often leaving the intricacies of their music and instrumentation to fall to the wayside. Claudia Alende isn’t one of those pop singers; in “Spotlight,” she presents us with a well-rounded single that doesn’t just showcase how splendidly talented she is with a microphone in her hand, but also how good she is at dancing around a harmony and creating a contrast between the timber of her voice and the depth of the instruments. It’s an exotic arrangement, but it isn’t intimidatingly complicated. The sway is sensuous and heavily propelled by her cautious, almost muted vibrato. I haven’t listened to anyone quite like Claudia Alende, and despite the fact that it would be nice to see other artists taking a cue from her down to earth persona, I like that she stands alone in her own category at the moment. “Spotlight” is quite an aptly titled song; it could end up being the track that brings her the mainstream fame and stardom she’s been so hotly pursuing.
R&B has never been known for being subdued in its narratives or elaborately arranged songcraft, but “Spotlight” shows us that rhythm and blues can be even more amplified and electric when it goes straight minimalist – as Claudia Alende has so exquisitely done with this track. It’s very early on in her career, but I genuinely think that Alende could be representative of a new wave of electro-soul that is coming to dominate the charts in the next decade. Her style is so remarkably haunting and demands a reaction out of anyone who comes into contact with it, for better or worse. I can’t speak for everyone out there, but as far as I’m concerned there isn’t any reason to believe that Claudia Alende won’t be a major player in the next era of pop music to come. If you haven’t already, check out “Spotlight” as soon as you have a chance and get a glimpse into what could easily be the future of music as we know it.