The Phoenix is a powerful symbol of renewal. The legendary mythical bird from Greek mythology lives a long life, burns to ashes, but reemerges more beautiful, powerful and refined than ever.
Veteran R&B singer, songwriter, producer Chanté Moore is the musical embodiment of the ancient myth. She’s beautiful and has achieved a multi-decade long career with continued growth as a talent, producer and songwriter. And right now, she’s on fire. The Rise of the Phoenix is a befitting title for her seventh album.
“I see myself becoming clearer and stronger and I’m back with a new vengeance,” Moore explains about her new collection of songs, her first since 2013’s Moore Is More.
With more than 20 charting singles to her credit and collaborations with the likes of Prince, The Isley Brothers, R. Kelly and Babyface, Moore is confident in her performance and creative exploration of new ideas on The Rise of the Phoenix. The music captures Moore’s impressive vocal dexterity, songwriting skills and production ingenuity over various soundscapes from 808 bass to Spanish guitar riffs to heartfelt ballads helmed by an impressive mixture of talented Grammy Award-winning producers and songwriters. It’s just the kind of album that will thrill her legion of avid fans who have been begging her for new music.
As a start, Moore offers club DJs the infectious dance track, “Depends How I’m Feeling.” She asserts that men shouldn’t make broken promises on the buzzing “Don’t Let Me Know” that is complemented with organs and percolating drums. She reveals her vulnerable side on the beautiful and seductive “Higher,” singing about “falling too fast” for a love.
The Rise of the Phoenix is rich with emotion and personal revelations about Chanté’s life and feelings. With violins and doo wop elements, “Falling In Love” began as a text message Chanté sent to her beau when he was out of town. She displays her Spanish influences on the sensual “Pleasure Is Mine.” On “Offa U,” she unabashedly declares her attraction to her man, singing, “Can’t keep my eyes offa u / Can’t keep my lips offa u / Can’t keep my hands offa u.” Chanté’s performance of the reflective ballad “Saving Grace” will give listeners goosebumps as it acknowledges how painful love lessons helped prepare her for the true happiness that she is living now; her closing a capella run is other worldly. Moore’s impressive vocal range -- likened to other powerhouses Mariah Carey, Minnie Riperton and Deniece Williams -- gives the songs added passion, depth and empathy. Time, experience and hard work have Chanté singing even better than at any other time in her illustrious career.
Moore’s anthemic power ballad “Put It on Faith,” written by Siedah Garrett and Louis Biancaniello, explains her key to such perseverance. “It’s about being feeling caged and uninspired when I wanted to quit,” she says. “The song spoke to my heart. The lyric declares laying it all on the line when things get too heavy.” It is a powerful emotional balm for people who need to heal and to know they are not alone.
In the last five years, Moore starred in three seasons of the popular TV One reality series R&B Divas LA and wrote the book Will I Marry Me? “It was so empowering taking control of my past, present and future relationships and really looking at my entire life,” she says about Will I Marry Me? “I thought it necessary to look at my own life and encourage other people to look at theirs as well. This could really mean something if it helps other people learn from my successes and failures.” Next year, Moore will debut Will I Marry Me? as a dynamic one woman stage play.
The Rise of the Phoenix finds Moore in a great place. “I want the album to reflect where I am now in my life,” she says. “I am perfecting myself. I’m learning to burn away the old mindset, the negativity that weighed me down so I can become the best me.”
Moore also credits this breakthrough to her dedication and hard work on the album. Over the last two-in-a-half years, she’s hardly taken a weekend off, enjoying working on the album while performing with R&B and jazz concert dates across the country. “My stamina is up,” she says. “I have mastered new vocal techniques that I never tried before. I have let go of the pretenses of what someone else thinks I should look like or sound like. I’ve learned to be true to myself to be free.”
Even with her amazing evolution, Chanté is still growing. “I haven’t arrived to where I want to be yet,” she says. “There’s always more, but right now I feel confident about my music. This is my best album yet.”
Discovered by the late MCA Records executive Louis Silas, Chanté released her Gold debut album, Precious, in 1992. Four of her albums reached the Top 10 on the Billboard R&B charts. Five of her songs, “Love’s Taken Over,” “It’s Alright,” “Old School Lovin,” “Chanté’s Got A Man” and “Straight Up,” broke into the Top 40 on the R&B charts and four charted on the Pop charts. “Chanté’s Got A Man” peaked at Number 2 on the R&B charts and was Top 10 on the Billboard Hot Top 100 pop charts.
The award-winning artist earned Grammy nominations for her collaborations on the Waiting to Exhale soundtrack and The Isley Brothers’ “Contagious” single also featuring R. Kelly. The Waiting to Exhale soundtrack received an NAACP Image Award and American Music Award. “Contagious” received a 2002 Soul Train Music Award.
Moore has also appeared on soundtracks for Beverly Hills Cop III, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Romeo Must Die and Big Momma’s House.
The Rise of the Phoenix is proof that Chanté Moore’s career is reignited.