If you live near a store that is carrying it, pick it up! It is one of the year’s best new releases!

Ivana Santilli looking to further solo career with funk-heavy Corduroy Boogie
TORONTO (CP) – Ivana Santilli has been poised to break out for about a decade.
First it was with the Juno-winning funk group Bass Is Base in the mid-’90s. She followed that with a solo record in 1999. It somehow missed the mainstream despite good reviews, Juno nominations, decent album sales and critical praise for her packed live shows.
But the Toronto-born indie singer – who picked up a trumpet in high school and was encouraged to learn South American pop songs by her wedding-band leader father – isn’t letting it get her down and is back with a new record five years later.
She’s taken the notion of not always getting what you deserve and turned into a funk-laden track on her new record, Corduroy Boogie.
“I can work harder, maybe last longer but that don’t mean that I’m gonna get what I am worth,” she sings in the bopping Deserve, currently making the rounds on pop radio.
“Deserve is a way to make fun of myself,” Santilli said, sitting in an office at a small recording studio in Toronto.
“It’s about me but I looked around and a lot of people are dealing with this stuff. They’re working really hard and honestly and not getting ahead. I always thought paying dues was what you do. But I’ve seen it happen where people just pop into the business and get signed right away.
“You can’t look at it as ‘Oh, I deserve this.’ But that’s not how life works . . . sometimes you have to just grab what’s yours, and at this point I’m grabbing it,” she adds clenching her fists to emphasis her intentions.
For Santilli “grabbing it” meant taking advantage of respected producers like electronica prince King Britt and British nu-soul giant Omar – both of whom showed interest in her previous projects – to make the new record.
It’s also about booking lots of live shows where she can show off her musicianship. She’ll be taking her trumpet and piano skills on the road this fall to let people know she’s back.
But it wasn’t easy, says Santilli, who’s of Italian and francophone background. The five-year lag time between records was partially caused by financial restraints.
The distributor of her debut record Brown went bankrupt and, she says, never paid her for the 30,000 units sold, leaving the self-financed singer in the lurch.
“It was difficult because when you self-fund a record you need to see some of that come back so you can fund the next project,” said Santilli, who is coy about her age.
“I turned my back on music for a while. I didn’t find hope in anything.”
It didn’t help that industry professionals were telling her to tone down her R&B and hip hop influence.
“It was a lot of people telling me I had to change what I was doing, which was rough,” she said. “How can I lay off something that influenced me for years?”
She snapped out of her spell with a writing trip to Philadelphia sponsored by Peer Music International, an independent music publishing house which hired Santilli to craft songs.
“There’s a newness there. It allowed me to understand my validity again. I was away from home so there was no ‘Let’s support her because she’s one of ours.’ ”
Corduroy Boogie takes listeners on a trilingual (she also speaks French and Italian) jazzed-up funk ride into soul, R&B, electronica and disco while somehow maintaining Santilli’s signature smoothness.
It’s a record that might finally propel her in front of new audiences because it’s hitting radio at a time when most music sounds the same, says Mocha, music director and afternoon drive host at The Beat 91.5 FM in Kitchener, Ont.
“When you have something like Deserve that comes out and is completely different from everything else, it’s refreshing,” said Mocha, who added the song to the station’s heavy rotation cycle. “It catches your ear.
“The commercial radio audience probably hear the song and they think she’s a brand new artist.”