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Best Singer-Songwriters In Los Angeles

July 24, 2014 4:00 AM

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(credit: ANWAR AMRO/Getty Images)

(credit: ANWAR AMRO/Getty Images)

(credit: Lori Stoll)

(credit: Lori Stoll)

In addition to being a mecca for those in the film industry, Los Angeles is a hot spot for musical entertainers. In this big city, many versatile vocalists and musicians oscillate among stage, screen and the recording studio to make a difference and, hopefully, create a legacy. Here is a list of some of the more productive L.A.-based singer-songwriters that are now turning heads within Tinseltown’s ever-changing musical landscape.

(credit: Cat Gwynn)

(credit: Cat Gwynn)

Gary Stockdale
www.garystockdale.comWith evergreen charisma and a resplendent voice designed for musical theater, singer-songwriter Gary Stockdale ushers in a warm and soulful perspective to arts and entertainment. The award-winning composer has lent his distinctive range of polished articulation to an array of major motion pictures, including “Avatar” and “The Aristocrats.” The cabaret-style artist has written effective songs for such national television broadcasts as the annual “Film Independent Spirit Awards” and “A Home for the Holidays,” a CBS seasonal special that promotes adoption and foster care. Mentored by the late and iconic Henry Mancini, Stockdale’s easy-listening charm brings the allure of Broadway to stage and screen. His latest album, titled “SURE OF MICE ELF,” is presented by Amazon.com, iTunes and CD Baby.

(credit: Katrina Parker / Amy Lochmoeller)

(credit: Katrina Parker / Amy Lochmoeller)

Katrina Parker
www.katrinaparker.comAfter earning star power on “The Voice” in 2012, singer-songwriter Katrina Parker concentrated on publishing her debut album, titled “In & Out of the Dark.” Her crowd-funded compilation of songs, which delves inventively into the evolution of love and relationships, was released in 2013. The album, written primarily by the Hollywood resident and produced in large part by Tim Moore, provides a dramatic journey into the ambitious mindset of an uber-talented performer. Empowered by the compelling forces of jazz, soul, pop, rock and country, Parker’s inaugural foray into the music industry is smart, classy and effective. This Southern-born artist is on her way to becoming one of L.A.’s top lyricists and vocal sweethearts. Her music can be found at iTunes, Amazon.com and CD Baby.

(credit: Matt Shockley)

(credit: Matt Shockley)

Matt Shockley
www.mattshockley.comBoasting more than 200 solid proofs of performance within a single year, singer-songwriter Matt Shockley is quickly making a name for himself at live events throughout Southern California. The affable multi-instrumentalist delivers with utmost precision an infectious type of feel-good music that appeals to an expansive demographic of music aficionados. Backed by collar-loosening magnetism, this polished entertainer applies his specialized vocal range to define well the characterizations of his compositions and inventive renditions. Samples of the Long Beach resident’s best original work have made a praise-worthy home on his latest CD, titled “Love Like This.” The impressively produced album is available at iTunes and Amazon.com.

Related: Best Voice Lessons In Los Angeles

(credit: Oya Thomas)

(credit: Oya Thomas)

Oya Thomas
www.spiritofoya.comInfluenced by such legendary recording artists as Ella Fitzgerald and Prince, singer-songwriter Oya Thomas creates a treasure trove of musical expressions. The talented songstress fuses the coolness of R&B and Reggae with the reputed sounds of Gospel and Jazz. The Los Angeles native’s natural skills to transform poetry and stories into songs began at the age of three. Her vocal instrument reached refinement after years of singing in a church choir and embarking on solo performances. The performer’s debut album, titled Spirit of Oya, is a fusion project of R&B/Soul, Gospel, Jazz and Funk. It’s a musical depiction of Oya’s journey, filled with life, love, inspiration and light. Her gospel single, “PEACE IN THE VALLEY,” featuring acclaimed gospel pianist Kenneth Crouch, of the famous Crouch Family, is currently in rotation on airwaves across the nation including KJLH Los Angeles. Spirit of Oya is available at iTunes and Amazon.com.

(credit: Lori Stoll)

(credit: Lori Stoll)

Francie Kelley
www.franciekelley.comWith two albums added to her growing list of credits, singer-songwriter Francie Kelley’s popularity index in elementary education hits all the right notes. The musical scribe, who recently performed with Barbra Streisand, pens children’s songs that celebrate the innocence and curiosity of youth from sunrise to after moonrise. The impressionist also takes young listeners on a Disney-like adventure to pay homage to the melodic cultures of the world. Thanks to a solid background in television and musical theater, the guitarist and pianist provides parents and teachers with what they need to help nourish little brains with relevant knowledge in an entertaining manner. “Wake Up & Go To Sleep” and “Where Do You Want To Go Today?” are ready for download at Amazon.com, iTunes and CD Baby.

Related: Best Vocal Groups In Los Angeles

Sharon Raiford Bush is an award-winning journalist who covers topics of social interest in greater Los Angeles. Some news articles she has authored have been archived by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Sharon also contributes to Examiner.com.
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