A breathtaking, spell-binding performance by NYC recording artist Valerie Ghent & her killer band, “Velours” takes the listener on a journey through smooth soul, feel-good R+B, intimate ballads, sun-drenched reggae and pure funk.

Best 50 Albums of 2016 – SoulTracks
Top 5 Albums of 2016 – West Coast Music Radio
Top 5 Songs of 2016: “New York City Streets” – West Coast Music Radio

About Velours

On her fourth solo album, Velours, Valerie draws on the full range of her talents forged over 20+ years working with music luminaries Ashford & Simpson, Nina Simone, Maya Angelou, Debbie Harry & Billy Preston to deliver a breathtaking, spell-binding performance that draws the listener in and never lets go.

Recorded in the South of France and NYC, the 11 original songs on Velours propel the listener from the transcendent luminosity and opening invocation of Love Divine to the exuberant Get Funkay, from the unstoppable New York City Streets to the heart-stopping ballad, Light in My Life. The mesmerizing funk groove of title song Velours literally flows into the American-songbook inspired Linger (with accompanying string quartet), while future R+B classic It’s Got To Be You plays smooth counterpoint to the reggae-inspired Phased and the gospel blues of 30 Days. The deep groove of On & On flows like a river, and Love Will Keep Me Strong brings us back to the source.

Backed up by a band of internationally acclaimed musicians and vocalists from NYC, France and Guinea, Velours takes the listener on a journey through smooth soul, feel-good R+B, intimate ballads, sun-drenched reggae and pure funk. Featuring A-list musicians playing live on each song, Valerie has conjured up a hot, authentic sound, recording live with real musicians. “Real music you can touch.”

From Valerie:
The music on Velours was born in France, both in recording and as a title. During our first session in Provence, in February, 2014, I knew magic was happening. One month later, we had a second session in NYC. Just as magical, we recorded five songs that day. The third session, in June, 2015 was again in France. Velours emerged from those three days of recording, six songs in France & five in NYC, with overdubs in NYC & France, then mixed in France by Jérôme Buigues. And the title? Years ago I heard people in Paris say ‘velours’ when something was cool. I loved the word, the sound & the usage so much it inspired the title song. In addition to recording on both sides of the Atlantic, the music on Velours coincided with my reconnecting with long-lost family in France. Magical really….an incredible journey of re-discovery, history and love.

Musicians on Velours

Valerie Ghent – vocals, piano, rhodes, clavinet, Hammond B3 organ, backing vocals
Eluriel ‘Tinker’ Barfield – bass
Kevin Johnson, Franck Taieb, Philippe Jardin – drums
Jérôme Buigues – guitar, bass, backing vocals
Robin Macatangay – guitar
Pierre Sibille – harmonica, synth, B3 on 30 Days
Bashiri Johnson – percussion
Rob Mounsey – strings on “Light In My Life”
Alfa Anderson, Keith Fluitt, Dennis Collins, John James, Ada Dyer – backing vocals
Mano “Korani” Camara – guest lead vocal “Love Divine”
Steven Bernstein, Marc Borlet-Hôte – trumpet
Paul Shapiro, Nicolas Baudino – tenor saxophone
Briggan Kraus – baritone sax
Dan Levine – trombone

Arrangements

Rob Mounsey – String Arrangement “Light In My Life”
Jérôme Buigues – String Arrangement “Linger”
Jérôme Buigues, Valerie Ghent & Nicolas Baudino – Horn Arrangement “New York City Streets”
Paul Shapiro – Horn Arrangement “30 Days”
John James – Backing Vocal Arrangement “Light In My Life”

Recording

Recorded at Systems Two (Brooklyn), Studio Blues’UP (France), Soultune Studios (France)
Additional Recording at Studio La Reine Jeanne (France), Shelter Island Sound (NYC), The Lab (Brooklyn), East Side Sound (NYC), Above Asia (NYC), Jam On It (NYC)

Engineers: Jérôme Buigues, Mike Marciano, Steve Addabo, Valerie Ghent, Roc Isaacs, Marc Urselli
Assistant Engineers: Bill Way, Veronica Wyman (NYC)
Mixed by Jérôme Buigues
Mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound
Produced by Valerie Ghent

All songs by Valerie Ghent
except Love Divine by Valerie Ghent & Mano “Korani” Camara, It’s Got To Be You by Valerie Ghent & Tom Bisio, Get Funkay by Valerie Ghent & Jérôme Buigues, Linger by Valerie Ghent, Tom Bisio & Judy Tint

Published Valerie Ghent/Cavos Music (ASCAP)
© 2016 Valerie Ghent/West Street Records

Lyrics

Love Divine
music & lyrics by Valerie Ghent (ASCAP/SACEM), Yoruba melody by Mano Korani Camara (SACEM), Yoruba lyrics: Traditional Yoruba song

You appear in the dark of night
A shooting star across the heavens
Sudden breath before morning light
With your touch I reawaken

Burning fire when you’re close to me
No matter where, no matter how now now now
Out of time is it an ancient spell
Calling me through the ages

In another life
Did I love you more than once before
In another time
In another life
Did we share a love
A love so fine
A love divine

Follow me to the golden sea
Let it wash away our reason now now
Only you and I alone can be
Touch the heart of all we dream on

Chorus

Baba furu erereo
oba kañene elefaho
Ejebo le re obasawo
Maba fulu eredeyo

Serere baba serereo
Bobo laiña serereo
Serere baba serereo
bogbo laiña serereo
In another life Batala Obatala
Did I love you more than once before Elefaho
In another time Batibawao
In another life Bara tire Bara tire
Did we share a love
A love so fine
A love divine

In another life mm bara tire bara tire
Did I love you more than once before Elefaho
In another time Batibawao
In another life Serere serereo
Did we share a love
A love so fine
A love divine

Bada Bara tire ete A love divine
Serere mbao ti bi m sao A love divine
Bogbo laiña serereo A love divine
Bara ti bara ti bara ti rete A love divine

In another life sumo a teya
Did I love you more than once before oh faya
In another time
In another life sara baba fiya
Did we share a love
A love so fine
A love divine

In another life Bogbo laiña serereo
Did I love you more than once before
In another time
another life mm para para ti ete
Did we share a love
A love so fine
A love divine
Love Divine
hmmmm

It’s Got To Be You
music by Valerie Ghent (ASCAP/SACEM), lyrics by Valerie Ghent & Tom Bisio (ASCAP)

Always thought my life was set
Not like those others on TV
Knew what I wanted or so I thought
Till something cried inside of me

and I wondered if all could
be different when I
saw the light in your eyes
In a moment I gave up
all that I knew

I don’t know what is next
It was just one kiss
Now all I know is that it’s got to be you

I’m about to do the wrong thing
But it’s the right time
I don’t want to do the wrong thing
But it’s the right time now
Think I’m gonna do the wrong thing
‘cause it’s the right time
and I know it’s isn’t wrong when
It’s got to be you
It’s got to be you

Could love be real just like that
Ooh you dance through my mind
If this is the misstep that they say
Why do I feel so sublime?

And I wonder how did I
Miss all of the clues
That led me right to you
Was I asleep? when did I awaken?

There were so many signs
How could I be so blind
All I know is that it’s got to be you

I’m about to do the wrong thing
But it’s the right time
I don’t want to do the wrong thing
But it’s the right time now
Think I’m gonna do the wrong thing
Cause it’s the right time
And I know it’s isn’t wrong
When it feels so
Right
It’s got to be you
It feels so right
It’s got to be you

There were so many signs
How could I be so blind
When you’re the only one who could be mine
I don’t know what is next
It was just one kiss
All I know is that
It’s got to – yeah
It’s got to – now
It’s got to woo woo woo
Be you

It’s got to be you
It’s got to be you
It’s got to it’s got to it’s got to be you
Ooh ooh yea
Ooh ooh yea
It’s got to be you
Yeah ooh baby
It could only be you
Baby it’s the right time now
Gotta do gotta do the right thing
Oh baby
It’s got to
It’s got to
It’s got to be
You

New York City Streets
music & lyrics by Valerie Ghent (ASCAP/SACEM)

Energy is coursing up from the street
People walking by as the traffic flies
Another red light

I think they feel the heat
Think they feel the beat now
Coming up coming off of the street
The city’s calling

Love or hate this city
But it’s where I was born
As beautiful at night as it is in the dawn
I can tell you

This place that I call home
Is in my bones
I couldn’t live without

Walking on
New York City streets
There’s nothing like it
nothing makes me feel so free
as when I’m walking on
New York City streets
I feel free on
New York City streets

Brooklyn and the Bronx, Staten Island and Queens
Manhattan – all together it’s a city of dreams
For around the world

Tourists looking up
Checking out the skyscrapers
This is a place where you’re gonna find out
If you can make it

This place that I call home
Is in my bones
I couldn’t live without

Chorus

I could go anywhere
Walk until dawn
Sit on a park bench
Write a new song
Head for the river
Stare at the sky
I could go anywhere
‘cuz this city’s alive

Walking on (walking on)
New York City Streets (New York City streets)
There’s nothing like it – nothing makes me feel so free
as when I’m walking on (walking on)
New York City Streets (New York City streets)
I feel free on New York City streets

New York City

Chorus

New York City Streets no other place I want to be uh uh
New York City Streets no other place I want to be
New York City Streets

Chorus

I feel free on New York City Streets
I feel free on New York City Streets
I feel free on New York City Streets

Light In My Life
music & lyrics by Valerie Ghent (ASCAP/SACEM)

Lost, afloat
Adrift upon the sea
Grey skies above
Sails are empty
Alone at the end of the day

Cast out, forgotten, torn
Broken down
Did I have a name once
I can’t make a sound
Trapped in silence
Only one place, only one place to turn

You’re the light in my life
You shine down on me
Lifting me up
When I need
You’re the light in my life
You shine down on me
Lift me up
When I’m down on my knees
You’re the light

Each night I’ve waited
Waited for a sign
Without an answer
Sometimes I feel so blind
I’m surrounded by darkness
Only one place, only one place to turn

You’re the light in my life
You shine down on me
Lifting me up
When I need
You’re the light in my life
You shine down on me
Lift me up
When I’m down on my knees

I still have hope
You know I need to believe
No matter how far
Through the dark
I may fall
On you I call
On you I call

You’re the light in my life
You shine down on me
Lifting me up
When I need
You’re the light in my life
You shine down on me
Lift me up
Pick me up
When I’m down on my knees
You’re the light

You are
you are
you are
You are the light

You’re the light
Light in my life
You’re the light
Light in my life
You’re the light
Light in my

You’re the light in my
You’re the light in my
Life

On and On
music & lyrics by Valerie Ghent (ASCAP/SACEM)

it always makes me nervous
to see a cat on a ledge
suppose a bird flew by
tempting every sense
oh I want to step in
prevent tragedy
if I could save that bird
I’d save the cat in me

oh now baby go on
leave winter behind and go
on and on
go on

it always makes me laugh
to hear what people say
when they don’t really know the answer
but want to act it anyway
it’s a fragile boat
when the waters are sharp
there’s no protection
from the shadows in my own heart

oh now baby go on
leave winter behind and go
on and on
forgive yourself for what you haven’t done
we’ve all got something to let go on and on

make no mistake
too little too late
just before you break
it goes on and on

it always makes me sad
to think of years misspent
wrapped up in folly
when my vision was bent
I will never forget
and maybe none of us do
the very worst that I can be
well that’s a part of me too

chorus

on and on oh oh on and on
on and on oh oh on and on

Get Funkay
music by Valerie Ghent (ASCAP/SACEM), Jérôme Buigues (SACEM), lyrics by Valerie Ghent

Do you wanna have fun
Do you wanna know how
Do you wanna just let go
Let it all hang out
Do you wanna get close to me
Before I show you how
Well I got one question now

Do you wanna get funkay
Do you wanna get funkay
Do you wanna get funkay come on
Hey yea (3x)

Do you wanna be free
Free to be yourself
You know that deep down part
You don’t ever let out
Do you wanna open all the doors
Before I show you how
Well I got one question now

Do you wanna get funkay – yea
Do you wanna get funkay -yea
Do you wanna get funkay come on – woooo
Hey yea (3x)

Do you want to climb mountains
Reach the highest heights
Dive off the precipice
In the morning light
Do you want to know how far
Just how far you’ll go
That’s all I want to know
That’s all I
That’s all I want
That’s all I want to know

Do you wanna be free
Free to be yourself
You know that deep down part
You don’t ever let out
Do you wanna open all the doors
Before I show you how
Well I got one question now

Do you wanna get funkay – yea
Do you wanna get funkay -yea
Do you wanna get funkay come on – woooo
Hey yea (3x)

Let go
Free your soul
Let go
Free your soul

Do you wanna get funkay
Do you wanna get funkay now

Hey yea yea yea
Free Your Soul
Hey yea yea now
Free Your Soul

Velours
music & lyrics by Valerie Ghent (ASCAP/SACEM)

call it what you see
nevermind what else
someone else would do
no no not you
you can know your mind
if you can unwind
all the words they use
so so untrue

when they give you more than you deserve
take it out the door and save your breath
‘cuz they won’t realize what drives you on
so let it lie
and you’ll feel it

velours
I’m feeling like velours
velours
you know I feel alright (2x)

take another step
past the one from yesterday when you said
no no not me
never is too long
so find where you belong and let yourself be free
take it from me

when they give you no response at all
it’s time to leave the bar without a tip
‘cuz they won’t realize what drives you on
so let it lie and you’ll feel it

velours….

ooooh ooooh velours
ooooh ooooh velours – come on come on come on
ooooh ooooh velours – oh velours
ooooh ooooh velours

call it what you see
nevermind what else
someone else would do
no no not you
never is too long
so find where you belong and let yourself be free
take it from me

when they give you no response at all
it’s time to leave the bar without a tip
‘cuz they won’t realize what drives you on
so let it lie and you’ll feel it

velours….

yea I feel alright

velours….

I feel alright
smooth as silk mother’s milk
I feel alright
smooth as silk mother’s milk
bring it on bring it on
smooth as silk mother’s milk

velours
feeling like velours
velours
you know I feel alright

Linger
music by Valerie Ghent (ASCAP/SACEM), lyrics by Valerie Ghent, Tom Bisio (ASCAP), Judy Tint (ASCAP)

Linger a little longer
it gets stronger the longer you stay
and oh I can’t help feeling this way
Wonder this spell I’m under
in the glow I feel bold yet unsure
oh I can’t explain this strange allure
Raindrops falling
night is calling
let’s take in the view
and linger a little longer
me and you
Tender – do you remember
can’t forget how we met long ago
oh under the moon your eyes were aglow
I am certain
one thing’s true
I hear music when I am with you
oh the rush of the day fades to blue
Night is falling
stars are calling
let’s turn down the light
and linger a little longer
tonight
So many memories
linger from before
I don’t want to rush
but when we touch
my heart wants more
Pull me closer
Hold me tight

I am certain
one thing’s true
I hear music when I am with you
oh the rest of the world fades to blue
Night has fallen
moonlight’s callin’
come and take my hand, and
linger a little longer
wonder this spell we’re under
linger a little longer
tonight
tonight

Phased
music & lyrics by Valerie Ghent (ASCAP/SACEM)
I turn around
look each way
there is no exit
You are gone
I am here
I run the gauntlet
of missing you

The other day
I played a tape
and I heard your voice
calling me

now I’m Phased
without your love
Phased
without your love

I always knew without you
I would not fathom
How many ways
you knew my soul
and how you wrapped up
all my secrets
all my secrets yea
all my secrets
and all my dreams

now I’m Phased
without your love
Phased
without your love

I’m turning I’m turning I’m turning around
lookin for you
you cannot be found
I’m turning I’m turning I’m turning around
lookin for you
You cannot be found
turning I’m turning I’m turning around
lookin for you
You cannot be found
turning I’m turning I’m turning around

Phased
Phased
oh I am Phased

Phased
Phased
Phased
Phased
oh now now Phased
Phased
Phased Phased Phased oh yea

30 Days
music & lyrics by Valerie Ghent (ASCAP/SACEM)

I got 30 days to redemption
the preacher said to me
30 days to redemption
to set my soul free
30 days to redemption
get my ticket straight
he said whatever you do, wherever you go – don’t be late

I got 30 DAYS
30 DAYS
I got 30 DAYS
In 30 DAYS I got to forget about you

I got 30 days to redemption
to pay off my bills
30 days to redemption
better head for the hills
30 days to redemption
Please lord hear my case
he said whatever you do, wherever you go – don’t be late

I got 30 DAYS & that ain’t much
30 DAYS I’ll be damn flat out of luck
30 DAYS coming all too soon
In 30 DAYS I got to forget about you

Gotta rectify
simplify
turn my iife around
no use for you and all the hate you do
I got to stand my ground

Return to what I hold dear deep in my heart
let go of all those evil thoughts
that tie me to you

30 Days
30 Days
I got 30 Days

30 Days to redemption
30 Days
30 Days to redemption
30 Days
Stand my ground
30 Days to redemption
30 Days
30 Days to redemption
30 Days
30 Days

Love Will Keep Me Strong
music & lyrics by Valerie Ghent (ASCAP/SACEM)

Thunder clouds build on the horizon
The wind speaks in foreign tongue
In this darkening light
Restless fear lingers in the air

I’m a morning dove in flight
Looking for sanctuary
A place to rest my wings
But the sky closes in on me
I fly alone in spirals
Torn inside
All I want is to heal the fright
I’ve lost my inner guide
Yet I believe
Your love will keep me strong and fearless
When I feel I can’t go on you dry my tears
Your love will keep me strong and fearless
When I feel there’s nowhere I belong
Your love will keep me strong
Your Love will keep me strong
In the eye of the storm
Your gaze
Strips and leaves me bare
I am trapped in a maze
Show my how to begin again
Torn inside
All I want is to heal the fright
I’ve lost my inner guide
Yet I believe
Your love will keep me strong and fearless
When I feel I can’t go on you dry my tears
Your love will keep me strong and fearless
When I feel there’s nowhere I belong (2x)
Without you by my side I’ve lost all strength
I’m breaking down
Down to the end
Down to the end of it all
Love will keep me – Your love will keep me strong
Love will keep me – keep me strong
Love will keep me – keep me strong
Love will keep me – and fearless
Keep me strong – Your love will keep me strong
Keep me strong
Keep me strong
Keep me strong

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