The Twitter world can inspire in different ways. Today my dear Twitter friend @BlackAmazon (an amazing follow) quoted a tweet composed of an image of the Strawberry Letter 23 single, and as it turns out the tweet was by none other than Remy Shand. Some of you all will remember him. Sadly, many won’t, but that’s just an opportunity to experience his genius for the first time.
Remy Shand’s album was labeled as R&B at the time, but in retrospect, it’s 100% NeoSoul. Take A Message is the song that most listeners will recall; the cool groove, the lilting falsetto, in-the-pocket delivery, and smooth vocals over punchy chords are classic. For some, that’s where the Remy Shand experience began and ended; however, the album, The Way I Feel was stacked with bangers.
Rocksteady was one of a couple of tracks that let you know this artist was reared on the sounds of Al Green, and I Met your Mercy informs the listener that Marvin Gaye and Prince were in constant rotation. Remy managed to harken to these artists without mimicry; instead, he folded their sounds into his gift and presented us the package to open, explore, and enjoy. Colour of the Day was my jam…hell, it still is, but this is one of those albums that does not have a miss. So, for those who had special “grown folks” moments when the album was released, put it on and reminisce or, better yet, create new moments as undoubtedly the first time listener will.
Shand’s effort produced four Grammy nominations, and then…he was gone. Vanished from the music scene. Personally, I’m a long-time fan of Fiona Apple and Sade, so I’m accustomed to extended breaks between albums; eighteen years later, and I’m still hopeful. Until the follow-up comes, we have this absolute gem as we ponder What Happened to Remy Shand.