Kanisha K – Oh Damn Yeah (Nashville Mix)
Michigan native Kanisha K has already experienced a great deal of success since her first big year in 2014 and it’s songs like her new mix of “Oh Damn Yeah” that seem to be setting her up to take her career to an even higher level. The steady momentum she’s built over the last few years is, unquestionably, largely linked to her considerable talents as a performer, as well as an unquenchable passion for music in general, but her choice in collaborators, particularly producer Joe Vulpis, has proven equally fortunate as well. Vulpis penned “Oh Damn Yeah” and he aids Kanisha in realizing a sound and presentation for this track well in keeping with her strengths as a performer and connecting with her on a deeper, more personal level. She brings every bit of her blooming talents to bear on this performance and it elevates it several notches alone.
This mix emphasizes the country music elements of the song – scattered yet searing guitar fills, understated contributions from steel guitar, and the heel stomping chorus you would expect the song to have in this incarnation. Kanisha K throws herself into the performance with a sort of scorched earth intensity and even the comparatively muted verses bubble over with biting emotion just barely held back. She has incredibly pipes, but one of the other key strengths that she brings to the table is outstanding emotion that comes from both her talents as a singer and life experiences. This song has a completely modern sound and certainly commercial appeal, but it’s never over-exaggerated and there isn’t a second when it seems like Kanisha is pandering for a certain kind of audience. Instead, “Oh Damn Yeah” sounds utterly unleashed and, despite her not writing the song, ripped from the pages of her life.
The musical backing she receives is quite superb. There’s enough power generated here that the song comes perilously close to manifesting more of a rock vibe than anything reminiscent, even faintly, of classic country, but there’s a straight-forward directness that the players maintain throughout that seems quite part and parcel of the genre. The electric guitar is especially rugged and often sets off sparks, but the drumming is equally important to establishing a sense of drama that powers this performance from its earliest minutes to its final seconds. Kanisha K keeps up with every flex of its muscles throughout and shows great attention to detail by tailoring her voice according to its needs. In the end, this doesn’t even sound like a solo performance per se – instead, Kanisha makes herself fully part of the musical experience rather than trying to sing over it and it makes it the song even more memorable. “Oh Damn Yeah” is going to find a lot of fans and for a lot of reasons, but there’s little doubt that Kanisha K, the song’s central figure, is a commanding voice quite unlike anyone else out there today.