This Bay Area native of Puerto-Rican ancestry has established her musical presence with powerfully sweet vocals, passionately poetic song writing and sultry production. Her music has been defined as neo-funk & soul but its roots go much deeper with an infusion of afro-latin/carribean rhythms, jazz, hip-hop, salsa and rock, blending perfectly to create a unique sound all her own.

A radiating, fiery talent that should not be contained by categories or definitions. Munoz calls her "Oakland's visionary funk prophet.


FEMI began formally studying music and dance at the age of 5 years old, following in the footsteps of her parents; Her mother attended and graduated from the prestigious Julliard School of Art in New York and later became a principal dancer with the Ruth Beckford African-Haitian Dance Company in Oakland.

FEMI’s passion for music came directly from her father, who raised her as a single parent; salsa music was always apart of her life, influenced, in part, by Tito Puente, Willie Colon, Johnny Pacheco and the Queen of salsa: Celia Cruz. Singing, dancing and playing congas was not uncommon at home for FEMI growing up as a child. However, it wasn’t until the early 1990’s that she fell fully in love with the performing arts.

After attending and graduating with honors from Castlemont High school in Oakland, FEMI attended Texas Southern University in Houston, TX and joined the TSU Jazz ensemble. She auditioned and got a principal role as a dancer for the 1992 Ms. TSU pageant and was bitten again by the performance bug. After returning home from Texas, FEMI continued developing her musical craft. She studied piano, voice and guitar for several years before discovering music production as a tool. Although it was a hobby, more and more people became interested in the work she was creating; at that time her sounds were coined “neo-soul” by the music industry.

As one of the pioneers of the Oakland spoken word/open mic scene, FEMI began to lay the groundwork as an emerging artist, captivating the heart, soul and ears of others in the scene, unaware that she was painting vivid collages of sound and texture that were considered “experimental” for the time. FEMI has since taken her magnetic sound and toured throughout the US in venues from Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia and her hometown of the Bay Area. Her most recent accomplishments have been working with and/or opening for international recording artists like the Black Eye Peas, Ledisi, Mystic, Goapele & Les Nubians.

FEMI’s debut album, “Sweet Water Soul,” is scheduled for release fall 2008. Over the past couple of years, she has put together a live band, procured bookings and has built a national/international fan base that stretches well beyond the Bay Area market where she started, all without management. With a solid core of musicians backing her, FEMI is ready to hit the road in 2008 and share her depth as a musician, singer, songwriter and producer with the world. She is beauty, strength, vulnerability blossoming right before your eyes. A radiating, fiery talent that should not be contained by categories or definitions, she has enough energy in her to power a 747 aircraft, and it is this fuel that burns bright through her music.

  1. play The Femi — 01 - Sweet Water (Rezo)
  2. play The Femi — Imported
  3. play Now Playing: The Femi — Crush
  4. play The Femi — If I Knew
  5. play The Femi — I Want You
  6. play The Femi — Pages

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Comment by Edie Antoinette on December 7, 2009 at 9:00am
My pleasure Gene. Thanks Sole and Gloria, as well.
Comment by KnightD12 on December 7, 2009 at 6:24am
Thanks for introducing us to this talented , beautiful young lady. I love her voice and her music has a great sound. Perfect 'chill out' music. Very relaxing.
Comment by Gloria on December 6, 2009 at 1:52am
This will be my discovery for the month. I will order this from Amazon.
Comment by Shelley "SoleMann" King on November 16, 2009 at 2:52pm
OH WOW....She is Beautiful and the vocals are awesome. More music for my collection....LOL
Comment by Edie Antoinette on November 16, 2009 at 12:04am

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  1. play Norman Brown — Night Drive
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  7. play miles 4
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The history of the Butlers/Raw Soul is dense, but for all of us music nerds, that's normal. It is not totally clear what year the Butlers actually formed but they released their first single in 1963 on Liberty Records. That single was "She Tried To Kiss Me" and another single followed on Guyden entitled "Lovable Girl." After the Guyden single the Butlers took a break not recording another record until the single "Laugh, Laugh, Laugh" was released on the Phila label in 1966. The group also backed Charles Earland and Jean Wells on one Phila single ("I Know She Loves Me"). 

As you might be noticing, the Butlers were doing a fair amount of recording but not achieving much success. The group's recordings sold regionally but never had the promotion to make an impact on the national scene. After the single with Phila, the Butlers moved to the Fairmount label (part of the Cameo-Parkway family) and released a handful of singles, some being reissued singles of the past. The Butlers were with Fairmount for 1966-67 and then moved to Sassy Records. Sassy released the group's greatest single (in my opinion) "Love (Your Pain Goes Deep)" b/w "If That's What You Wanted." A copy of that 45 sold for just under $500 last summer on eBay. Even though that isn't that much in the world of record collecting--it's still a hefty sum. The Butlers released another single on Sassy ("She's Gone" b/w "Love Is Good") that appears to be even 
harder to come by then the "Love (Your Pain Goes Deep)" single.


The true history become a bit blurred here as the AMG biography states that the Butlers last record was released on C.R.S. in 1974 (". However, between 1971 and that single, Frankie Beverly formed a group called Raw Soul and released a number of singles. Some of the songs recorded by Beverly during this period are "While I'm Alone," "Open Up Your Heart," (both on the Gregor label) and "Color Blind." "Color Blind" was released by the Eldorado label and rerecorded by Maze. Beverly's big break came when Marvin Gaye asked Raw Soul to back him on a tour. Gaye helped Beverly/Raw Soul get a contract at Capitol. Beverly decided to take the group in a different direction, a name change occurred, and Maze was created. 

The above isn't the most complete history of Beverly but hopefully someone will know a way to get in touch with the man or his management because a comprehensive pre-Maze history needs to be done on Frankie Beverly (his real name is Howard, by the way). Below you'll find every Frankie Beverly (pre-Maze) song available to me right now ("Color Blind" will be up soon). 

If you have a song that is not included below, shoot it over to funkinsoulman (at) and it will go up in the next Frankie Beverly post (later this week--highlighting Maze). Also, if you have any more information please share your knowledge. The Butlers material has been comp-ed sporadically (usually imports) but the entire Maze catalog has been reissued and is available. 

Enjoy.  "She Kissed Me" (Fairmount, 1966 or 1967) 
 "I Want To Feel I'm Wanted" (not sure which label or year) "Laugh, Laugh, Laugh" (Phila, 1966) "Because Of My Heart" (Fairmount, 1966 or 1967)
 "Love (Your Pain Goes Deep)" (Sassy, 1967)
 "If That's What You Wanted" (Sassy, 1967)

Frankie Beverly is one of those cats that has lasting power. He started in the music business doing a tour with doo wop group the Silhouettes and then formed his own group called the Blenders. The Blenders never recorded a single, Beverly wouldn't appear on wax until forming the Butlers a few years later. Along with Beverly, the Butlers included Jack "Sonny" Nicholson, Joe Collins, John Fitch, and Talmadge Conway.

Beverly would later enjoy great success fronting Maze and Conway would become a
well-known penning Double Exposure's
"Ten Percent" and the Intruders' "Memories Are Here To Stay." 
 While Maze is a phenomenal group, Beverly's work before that group will always stand out as his best (imo).

The Butlers produced tunes that most Northern Soul fans would kill for and Raw Soul gave the funksters something to pursue. If, by chance, you know of a way to get in touch with Frankie Beverly or his management, please drop me an e-mail. It would be absolutely great to do an interview with him about his pre-Maze work. He's still playing out, most recently doing a New Year's Eve show in Atlanta.
:: Funkinsoulman ::

Power...Through Simplicity ♪♫♪



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