I always loved the Don Henley song, “The Heart of the Matter.” Then I heard India.Arie singing the Henley standard and I thought, “I might even like her arrangement better.” Either way, it’s a great song and “The Heart of the Matter” is felt in each word that she sings.
India.Arie was born in Denver. Her mother was a former singer on the Motown label and her father was an NBA basketball player. As a child she was encouraged to play and sing and to learn multiple instruments. When her parents divorced her mother moved the family to Atlanta (Arie also has a brother.) But it wasn’t until Arie was at the Savannah College of Art and Design that things really started to take shape. Arie started to play guitar and began to discover songwriting and her own voice as an artist.
In the late 90’s Arie helped to co-found the Atlanta based independent music collective, “Groovement” that started its own label named “Earth Share.” A song that she recorded and put on a compilations reel unexpectedly jump-started the young artists career. That one song led to her being asked to perform at the 1998 “Liltih Fair.” Soon after she caught the attention of a scout from Universal/Motown, and the rest is history.
With a style that encompasses R&B, soul, jazz, hip hop and rock, India.Aria has fused together a sound that crosses over many borders and seems to erase the many boundaries that can confine each border. Her first album “Acoustic Soul,” was released in 2001 and debuted at number 10 on the Billboard 200 Chart while coming in at number 3 on the “Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums.” Nominated for a number of Grammy’s that year, it wasn’t until the release of her second album, “Voyage to India,” that she actually won her first Grammy.
It was four years later in 2006 when Arie released her third album, “Testimony Vol. 1 Life & Relationship,” that she sang the Don Henley classic, “The Heart of the Matter.” Right now she has a new single out called “Beautiful Flower,” that is a song from her soon to be released upcoming album entitled, “Testimony Vol. 2 Love & Politics.” That record is expected to come out in February 2009.
Below you’ll find a live recording of India.Arie singing “The Heart of the Matter” and “Umbrella” at the North Sea Jazz Festival in Holland. To view this video either click on the link below, or cut and paste it into your browser.