For this week’s featured artist, I have for you Polish singer-songwriter and recording artist Basia. Basia's biggest influence has always been American music, particularly soul and jazz. Her songs are also inspired by Latin American music, especially Brazilian, and such genres as Bossa Nova and Samba She has cited Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Burt Bacharach, Astrud Gilberto, and Antonio Carlos Jobim as some of her musical influences. Basia is noted for possessing a wide vocal range, approximately three Octaves. Basia began singing professionally in various Polish bands from the late 1960s throughout the 1970s. She then relocated to the UK in 1981. She rose to fame as a singer in the British trio Matt Bianco. Despite her success, in 1985 Basia and her bandmate from Matt Bianco Danny White, the brother of our most played artist, guitarist Peter White, left the group to focus on her solo career. This was the beginning of a longtime collaboration which lasts to today. With Danny White as her manager, Basia enjoyed a successful international career between 1987 and 1999, particularly in the USA where her first two albums were platinum-certified, million-unit sellers.
Danny White asked his brother Peter White to tour with him and Basia in 1990. At the same time Peter White’s solo career was also beginning. Basia withdrew from the music industry when her mother, to whom she was very close, died in 2000. Not long after that, her cousin died in a car accident which was followed by the passing of other close friends. The singer struggled with depression, lost motivation to work and thought she would never return to singing.
Urged by her former bandmates Danny White and Mark Reilly to join the reunited Matt Bianco, however, she eventually returned to music in 2004 and issued Matt's Mood with the band. The positive response to Matt Bianco's reunion and pleas from her fans encouraged Basia to work on her next solo album. Basia released It's That Girl Again with White's help in early 2009.
Following another somewhat lengthy hiatus, Basia reunited with Danny White to record 2018's Butterflies, her fifth studio album that was played at the time on this show.
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