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Prince Protege Drops New Music Through The Dease & Reese Project [Audio]

The Dease & Reese Project consists of Prince protege and associate singer Elisa Fiorillo Dease and guitarist Tyler Reese. (Photo: Elisa Fiorillo Dease)

A bumpy flight in a private jet with Prince was the unlikely inspiration behind the first single off the debut album by new musical duo, The Dease & Reese Project.

Singer Elisa Fiorillo Dease, a member of Prince’s NPG (New Power Generation), has teamed with guitarist Tyler Reese as The Dease & Reese Project to create “Life in 20,” a jazz, funk and R&B album comprised of 12 songs about love, loss, motherhood and faith.

“I hate flying,” Dease said. “I was on my way to a concert in Europe with Prince when we ran into some pretty bad turbulence. I looked out the window and imagined angels holding the plane up and keeping us safe. That’s when I started thinking of the melody and lyrics.”

As if flying into a storm, “All Over the World” begins smoothly with a soft acoustic guitar motif and Dease’s sultry vocals, then builds to Reese’s piercing electric-guitar crescendo.

The growing intensity of the music is offset by the gentleness of Dease’s lyrics:

Look around, tell me everything you cannot see
Far beyond space and time.
Something’s there and it’s watching out for you and me.
Don’t be blinded by the simple minds.
Angels within, lifting us up, making us fly
All over the world.
Keeping us young, waking up free, spreading our love
All over the world.”

Dease, who has worked with Prince since 1990, has also recorded her own projects dating to 1987, including “Who Found Who” with producer John “Jellybean” Benitez and her album “I Am,” a collaboration between Dease (Fiorillo) and Prince. In addition, she has performed with D.J. Rob & The Funk All-Stars.

Record producer Jeff Silverman, rock icon Rick Springfield’s former lead guitarist, co-producer and co-writer who operates Palette Music, introduced Dease to Reese, a 21-year-old former Berklee College of Music student now based in Nashville.

“Jeff suggested I write something with Elisa,” Reese said. “I sent her an idea that I had for a guitar riff. She replied back and wrote lyrics over my idea, and it turned out to be really cool, so we decided to do a whole album together. …

“I have always been interested in all kinds of music,” Reese said. “What this project has done is help bring out the writer in me. Writing music with Elisa has not only been an amazing experience, but has also helped me develop and gain inspiration more and more in that aspect.”

“Even though you’ll hear many different influences in these songs, the common glue is an R&B/soul feel that the three of us have in common,” Silverman said.

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