Premiere: Hear Rachel Brown’s Beautiful Rendition of Houston’s ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’

It’s the rare artist who is able to create what we’d deem a “classic” — a song that not only reached international success to an astronomical degree, but remained relevant and beloved in future decades. Whitney Houston was one of a handful whose body of work maintained steadfast longevity, even after her tragic passing back in 2012. Musicians continue to pay tribute to Houston, such as Wyclef Jean’s current protégé Rachel Brown, whom the Haitian rapper has called “the future.”

The native New Yorker, who is a self-taught singer-songwriter, took on Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” in a delicate and somber fashion, creating an entirely new rendition of the originally upbeat track by infusing a more overt feeling of loneliness and longing. The temperate strumming of the Kora, a West African stringed instrument, further amplifies the placid rework, transforming the pop classic into a wonderfully fresh piece.

The track will appear on Brown’s upcoming EP, The Band, which will be released on June 16th. About the song, Brown says:

“When I do a cover, I like to try something completely different than the original. Though the Whitney Houston original is such a fun, upbeat dance song, the lyrics to ‘I Wanna Dance with Somebody’ are truly heartbreaking. I wanted to strip it down to just vocals and a guitar and really bring the song and story to the forefront.”

You can check out Brown’s cover below, and learn more about her here.

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