ALBUM REVIEW: Bianca Rose – ‘No Fear Here’

bianca rose

Ten years on from releasing her debut EP, British/Jamaican/Nigerian singer-songwriter Bianca Rose is about to bless the world with her empowering debut album No Fear Here.

Bianca has been involved in the music industry for the past decade, writing and composing for others, including co-writing X Factor contestant Annastasia Baker’s debut album. She has also been performing live, accompanying herself on guitar and ukulele. Previous sets include slots at Sofar Sounds, Tigmus, London Jazz and the CrimeJazz Festival in the Netherlands.

However, 2017 sees Bianca focusing on her solo material again, with the release of her debut album No Fear Here giving her previously written songs a chance to shine. The album was produced by critically acclaimed jazz musician and producer Femi Temowo, (George Benson, Andrea Bocelli, Amy Winehouse, The Roots, ESKA & Soweto Kinch).

Part-funded by the PRS for Music Foundation , No Fear Here is a fusion of folk, gospel and jazz, with a hopeful and inspiring message throughout.

Of the album, Bianca said: “These songs are snippets of the lessons I’ve learned and am still learning. Some people believe that fear is something we should live with, or that we should use it as motivation to achieve our goals. From my experience, I believe it’s something to be conquered and routed out of every area of our lives. I try to live on a daily mission to seek and destroy all traces of fear and oppression in my life.  It’s the only way that’s worked for me.”

bianca rose

The EP kicks off with ‘No Fear Here Part One’, which provides a gentle introduction to Bianca’s voice and the rest of her tracks. The first full length track, ‘Hidden’, sees Bianca truly unleash her dulcet tones. The lyrics of the chorus, “there’s more hidden inside”, rings true as we start to get a feel for what the beautiful singer has to offer her audience. The jazzy vibe is soothing, and her vocal glides effortlessly over the track.

‘Eagles’ is a chirpy offering, showing a more upbeat side to Bianca’s music. The uplifting tune speaks of facing your fears and taking a chance, even if you’re terrified, because you could experience the best things in life if you just say yes. The chorus, “Yes I’m still scared but now I’m learning to fly”, inspires us to take a chance on ourselves.

For the fourth track, ‘Wall Paper Painting’, Bianca has brought back those subtle jazz vibes. The instrumental is just so pleasant, and makes for really easy listening. This track has such a classic feel to it, which is refreshing in today’s industry.

‘No Fear Here – Carina’s Story’ is a break in the music. We get to hear a personal story from a lady called Carina, spoken over a quiet melody. Carina’s story is utterly inspiring – she recalls that her fear is that she would never be enough, and that she had to be the best at everything. She then goes on to list some of her achievements that nobody knows about. Hearing her say ‘I am enough’ and that she makes a difference to the lives of people she comes into contact with just brings a huge smile to your face. It’s evident that Carina doesn’t need to fear anything anymore.

‘When It’s Gone’ reintroduces us to Bianca’s gorgeous voice gently. The use of strings and percussion throughout adds an extra sparkle to a simple yet stunning song. ‘When It’s Gone’ encourages us to appreciate what we have before it’s gone, so that we can look back at memories fondly.

Next up is ‘Because Of Love’, a collaboration with Ayanna Witter Johnson which marks Bianca’s second release from the EP. This duet is one of the highlights of the EP, due to its stripped back nature. Both girls sound incredible, and even more magic is created when their vocals collide at times.

Of the track, Bianca explains: “Ayanna and I collaborated on every part of the creation of this song, from writing to recording, so it only made sense that the video was an extension of this partnership, whilst debunking the stereotype of competition between women. We believe there is a place for us all in this business so we actively make room for one another.

The EP takes another surprising turn at this point, with ‘No Fear Here – Breis’ Story’. We hear a man called Breis talking about how his perfectionism has stopped him from sharing or completing his work. He is currently trying to overcome his fear of not being perfect, by understanding that whilst his work might not ever be perfect, it will always be good enough to share. The spoken stories add a different perspective to the EP, and reiterate the themes of being good enough, battling fear and taking a chance on yourself, which run throughout.

‘The Promise’ is another beautiful offering from Bianca. The gentle tone fits perfectly with the message of hope that flows through the song. When you’re in a bad place, this song will act as an uplifting message and remind you that bad times do not last forever.

In a recent interview, Bianca spoke about the song, stating: “It’s entitled ‘The Promise’ because when I was battling fear I would hear a voice of hope on the inside of me, encouraging me to not give up and that this season would pass.  And as most things do, that season did pass, and when I reflected on that time during the creation of this song I realised that hope has a consistent message: hope! The consistency of that message is a promise we can choose to accept, which can consequently help to bring us through and out of difficulty.”

‘I Know Who Holds Tomorrow’ has a folk vibe to it, with light percussion running throughout. The song is very hopeful and acknowledges Bianca’s faith. We must also note that her vocals are particularly stunning on this song.

The penultimate track, ‘You’re Beautiful’, is another standout. The song is an empowering reminder for us to be ourselves – “don’t hide, don’t hide who you really are inside”. There are sections of the song which are rich in percussion, which gives the track a roaring effect similar to jungle drums. Those moments are so effective, as it gives the gentle song a different dimension, turning it into a powerful, strong offering. We love the sentiment behind the song, and it’s a track that everyone should have on their playlist as a pick me up.

Bianca rounds off the EP with ‘No Fear Part Two’, which is a complete contrast to the strength of her sound in part one. The minute-long outro brings us around full circle, resembling the personal and musical journey that Bianca has been on.

Bianca Rose is a beautiful talent, whose message is inspiring and empowering. We hope that through her music, we too can eradicate fear from our lives. Throughout the EP, we are reminded that there is no need to fear not being good enough; we are powerful, we are beautiful, we are brave, and most importantly of all, we ARE enough.

No Fear Here is available to preorder on iTunes now, and will be released on January 30.

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Written by Katrina Rees

I'm Katrina, or Kat to pretty much everyone. I'm a writer, charity shop manager, boyband lover and all round music fanatic.
Twitter: @lifeofkatrina
Email: katrinanaomirees@gmail.com