"I Put a Spell on You" - Kandace Springs

You may not have heard the music of Kandace Springs (KS), yet. I came across this musician via saxophonist David Sanborn's Youtube channel, Sanborn Sessions, in which he invites guest artists to a recording session. KS is a singer and pianist who performs music in a style at the intersection of R&B, jazz, and pop. Growing up around music in Nashville (her father is the studio back-up singer Scat Springs), she studied classical piano before exploring other genres as a teenager. On her website, KS describes her artistic intention as, "What would Nina Simone do if she had the technology of today?"

"I Put a Spell on You" perfectly encapsulates this approach of combining old and new. Watch the video here. She takes the wild love song, written in 1956, and first performed by the dramatic blues and rock and roll musician Screamin' Jay Hawkins, and creates a mashup with the the first movement of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata (in G minor, not the original C# minor), while singing in a bluesy, soulful style. After the first verse, the drums and bass enter with a R&B groove under her singing and the Beethoven-inspired piano part. The engaging result combines the perpetual melancholy of this piece from the classical piano repertoire, with the hard-driving beat of the bass and drums. What feelings does the music inspire in you?

If you are interested, you might check out video of Screamin' Jay Hawkins perform in his very theatrical, mad-man style, complete with costume (may be startling to young viewers). Other artists who have recorded versions of "I Put a Spell on You" include Nina Simone, Marilyn Manson, Annie Lenox, IZA, and Samantha Fish.