Kandace Springs' refined mix of R&B, jazz, and pop has been showcased with Soul Eyes (2016), Indigo (2018), and The Women Who Raised Me (2020), albums the singer, songwriter, and keyboardist has released on Blue Note. While all three recordings are tied together by an aesthetic throughline, each one is a distinct synthesis of classic and contemporary inspirations. The first two projects both landed at number two on Billboard's contemporary jazz chart.
The Nashville native's path to the revered Blue Note label begins with her father, session vocalist Scat Springs, who introduced her to the piano and classic recordings by artists including Nina Simone and Luther Vandross. At the age of 15, the younger Springs recorded a demo with her father, who delivered the result to veteran producers Evan Rogers and Carl Sturken (Stephanie Mills, Christina Aguilera, Rihanna). Through the duo's support, Springs secured an audition for Blue Note president Don Was and landed a deal. The artist debuted in September 2014 -- two months after admirer Prince flew her to Minneapolis to perform at Paisley Park -- with a self-titled EP created with the likes of Rogers, Sturken, and Pop & Oak. After she made featured appearances on tracks by Ghostface Killah, Aqualung, and Black Violin, Springs completed her first full-length, Soul Eyes. Released in June 2016 with production from Larry Klein, the album mixed originals and covers and favored lean instrumentation.
For her comparatively layered follow-up, Indigo, Springs worked extensively with Karriem Riggins and maintained her connection with Rogers and Sturken as two of her primary co-writers. Issued in September 2018, the album likewise featured interpretations of classic and contemporary songs, from Thom Bell and Linda Creed's "People Make the World Go Round" (popularized by the Stylistics) to Gabriel Garzón-Montano's "6 8." The Women Who Raised Me followed in March 2020. Springs reunited with Klein for the sessions and went in a traditional jazz direction while honoring artists such as Carmen McRae, Roberta Flack, Sade, and Lauryn Hill.
© Andy Kellman /TiVo