Playing via Spotify Playing via YouTube
Skip to YouTube video

Loading player…

Scrobble from Spotify?

Connect your Spotify account to your Last.fm account and scrobble everything you listen to, from any Spotify app on any device or platform.

Connect to Spotify

Dismiss

A new version of Last.fm is available, to keep everything running smoothly, please reload the site.

Biography

Ever have that distinct feeling of deja vu, but just can't seem to put your finger on where you've met before? You're positively sure you've heard the voice. Most of us are even familiar with the name. Yet by the time the majority of us fully experience The Art Of A Woman, the solo debut by singer/songwriter/producer ATHENA CAGE, we'll be left wondering why we haven't heard more of this crystal-clear, keenly melodic and spirited voice. Bringing forth an overall bright and contemporary Pop/R&B sound, ATHENA breaths new life into new millennium urban music with sharp melodies, lively and warm production, put across with an upbeat and optimistic attitude.

In ATHENA's world, there's no more brooding over lost loves, working through dramatic break-ups or letting relationship woes get you down. Instead, through the lyrics that comprise her stunningly infectious debut disc, ATHENA chooses to put a more optimistic spin on matters of the heart. "I'd like people to know through my music that relationships that don't work, don't necessarily have to be negative," she conveys. "You can take something positive from every experience and move forth. You can always use the lesson for your next experience, so that you don't make the same mistake." Drawing on both personal experiences and those of people around her, ATHENA takes a detour from the sassy, attitude-laced "battle of the sexes" message that has been prominent in recent Pop/R&B sounds, opting instead to co-write songs for her solo debut that tell "positive stories."

Asked why she chose the title The Art of A Woman, ATHENA responded, "Music is art. Just as a painter uses his brush to paint pictures, a singer uses her voice to sing songs. So I look at each of my songs as a painting. The songs on my CD represent a collection of my art, thus, The Art of A Woman. I don't know what the critics will say, because my art, if you will, represents a diversity of genres. Some may say it's risky. But I trust music lovers and hope there's something for everyone."

What you hear from ATHENA on The Art Of A Woman has an ultimately refreshing tone. Unlike your run of the mill Pop/R&B diva, ATHENA was intimately involved both in the songwriting and recording process, having co-wrote and co-produced nearly every song on the album, including the first single "Hey Hey," a funky club jam on which she shares a writing and production credit. "I'm also very proud of the fact that most of the album was recorded with live instruments," explains Athena. "Live strings, horns, guitars, piano and percussion. You won't find a single sample on the entire album."

With production by such sonic superstars as Rodney Jerkins, with whom she co-wrote the confident and empowering "All I Need Is Me," a track Jerkins produced with a brand new twist on his million dollar sound, Damon Elliot (Destiny's Child) and Steve Rhythm (Pink), ATHENA presents herself as that modern-day young woman who wants the truth – no matter how much it initially hurts.

On the lush, easy-paced track "Let Me Know," as her sugar-kissed, multi-layered vocals assure, "I'll be fine all by myself/It won't be hard to find someone else." Continuing the legacy of women demanding their props, her sexy, yet assertive "Respect" can't help but seep into your subconscious with its steady-driving, mid-tempo rhythm, while even a bit of hip-hop makes the mix amidst the slick 'n' shifty glide of "Make You Really Wanna."

Yet you'll find her approach to more delicate material just as enthralling. While ATHENA feels that the very personal "Dream Lover" is "just absolutely beautiful," her on-point sense of melody propels the smooth-groovin', Pop/R&B beat balladry of "Take It Out On Me." In a more soul-baring mode, she turns in the nearly angelic, honey-coated profession of love with "You," while "Until You Come Back To Me," with its live string arrangement, and one of ATHENA's favorites, lays it all on the line in the most tender of ways.

ATHENA also found time in between writing and recording her solo debut to record the pivotal track for Paramount Pictures/MTV Films #1 release "Save The Last Dance." Entitled "All or Nothing (Live Your Dreams)," the song is a catchy, up-tempo number included on the movie's accompanying soundtrack. The hugely successful soundtrack is the third consecutive platinum album on which ATHENA has appeared. Her previous two were with her frequent collaborator, Keith Sweat.

Given her track record, it's no small wonder how she managed such a way with a song. For as far back as she can recall, her Kentucky upbringing was filled with a variety of influences, listening to everything from Shirley Caesar, The Winans and Whitney Houston to Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Dionne Warwick and even Shania Twain. "I just got into listening to everything," she fondly recollects. "Ever since I can recall, I knew that this was the business for me; I just wanted to be a singer as far back as like eight or nine years-old. I remember barricading myself in my room, just listening to the radio all day long. It was in my blood; I just knew from the beginning – without a doubt – that this is what I wanted to do."

Though she'd always envisioned herself as a solo singer, steadfast determination found her signed to platinum-selling r&b singer Keith Sweat's Elektra-distributed Keia Records, as a member of girl group Kut Klose. "Kut Klose allowed me to get my feet wet, and see what this business is like," is how she sums the group experience. Though they created quite a buzz with their Surrender LP and "I Like" single, ATHENA would enjoy even greater chart success and notoriety with "Get Up On It" and the unforgettable "Nobody," her Number One, multi-platinum, hit duet with Keith Sweat. In 1998, ATHENA was honored with the prestigious BMI pop Song of the Year award for co-writing "Twisted" with Keith Sweat. "Twisted" was one of the most successful singles of the previous year. The resulting momentum created by her chart success would find her spending nearly two years on the road, touring non-stop.

Resisting the big-city lure of music industry capitals like New York and Los Angeles, ATHENA decided to return to her native Kentucky, where she spends much of her free time writing songs. "This is the part of the country that was basically forgotten in terms of music," ATHENA says. "You think of New York, L.A. and Atlanta, but no one really thinks about what kind of talent is in Kentucky. So, I wanted to come back and base my music companies here in Bowling Green to take advantage of the wealth of musical talent in the area. Another reason is that I enjoy the peacefulness and being around my family. To me, these are the things that keep you grounded. Plus, when I'm home, I'm a bit more introspective. I really dig deep into myself and come up with song ideas." Thus, while she concentrated on the creative, her management team took care of handling the business end. "I knew I wanted to make the transition into being a solo artist," confides ATHENA, "so my management was negotiating with a few companies."

As the old adage goes, "For those who wait, good things do come." For ATHENA, that "good thing" would be a solo recording contract with Priority Records, that "right situation" she'd held out for. For lovers of fresh-feeling contemporary pop and r&b music for the new millennium, that "good thing" comes in the form of The Art Of A Woman. Ecstatic over the prospects of her long-anticipated solo career, ATHENA enthuses, "I just wanted my debut album to be all me, and basically, I've achieved that. In my estimation, we've got a lot of great songs. I'm very excited over how things are going. You could say I'm positive and upbeat about life, the long and short of it."

Edit this wiki

Don't want to see ads? Upgrade Now

Similar Artists

Features

API Calls