The Bliss

The Bliss are Scottish vocalist and composer Angela Higney and Italian keyboardist and composer Piero Calvi, plus guest artists Pierre Planche (saxophones), Alessandro Conti (saxophones), Lauren Schwaar (guitar).

Combine Italian class and Scottish class and you get CLASSY music... called The Bliss - no doubt because their music is bliss to the ears. Don't let the music genres scare you... these people put music out that is easy listening and top-notch. Worth every minute it takes to download...guaranteed

-7 May 2000 - CHmusiq invests 15,000 US dollars in the sponsorship of The Hunger Site to promote the music by The Bliss on MP3.COM (MORE INFO) The campaign is an overwhelimh success: The Bliss' homepage receives more than 50,000 visitors in one week, CD sales (DAM CDs and audio CDs) are counted by the hundreds. The newest song "What Can I say?" jumps at an extraordinary

# 1 in Switzerland

# 2 in Europe

# 4 in the world

over more than 350,000 songs on MP3.COM

April 2000 - A team of established Italian and American producers based in Italy realises a production for the European dance market based on remixes of The Bliss' "Kinda Girl" and starts negotiations with one major label and one big independent label for distribution.

1 March 2000 - Angela and Piero create their own independent label, CHmusiq (CH as in Switzerland, and as in Calvi/Higney). The label is established as limited company in Geneva, with the aim of producing and distributing music, mainly through the Internet. Susanna Soderstrom joins as associate for Management and Public Relations.

February 2000 - The Bliss celebrate six months of presence on the Internet music scene with 19 weeks at the #1 position in the Soul chart of MP3.COM, hundreds of CDs sold worldwide on the Web, over 35,000 downloads to date, radio airplay in eight countries, and a constant stream of very positive remarks by the public. Despite all this, a nation-wide distribution deal for Switzerland, sought intensively during the last few months, remains elusive.

December 1999 - The Bliss remain at the top of the Urban/R&B section of MP3.COM. More Gigs in Geneva, more Internet sales. New songs in the making, with a pronounced "new soul" character.

6 October 1999 - The Bliss sign a deal with Canada's Destiny Software Productions for the inclusion of two of their titles in an MP3 compilation CD distributed in 50,000 copies across North America. Meanwhile, during the first two months since their appearance on MP3.COM, the Bliss have totalled over 17,000 downloads of their songs. "Crazy" celebrates eight full weeks as #1 in the Soul Section.

15 September 1999 - As the streak of popularity on MP3.COM slowly settles, CD sales on the Internet go up. Most important, the Bliss enter into a deal with Frequence Laser, a major Swiss chain of music retail outlets, for local distribution.

26 August 1999 - Downloads on MP3.COM keep going up (2,304 on 25 August). Specialised and national charts are pulverised. The song "Crazy" gets to No. 1 in Switzerland, No. 5 in the "Europe Top 40" and to an absolutely incredible 20th position on the "MP3.COM Daily Top 40" chart.

22 August 1999 - The song "Misled" is selected by MP3.COM as "song of the day". Downloads jump from an average 80-100/day to a staggering 1,264 on Saturday 21 August and 1,345 on Sunday. No talk of specialised charts anymore: "Misled" reaches the 53th position on the overall MP3.COM chart (over 100,000 singles), and peaks at No. 12 in Europe!

11 August 1999 - The songs "Sunny" and "Misled" make it to the "Top Ten" of the MP3.COM Acid Jazz and Acid Funk charts respectively.

1 August 1999 - Official birth of "the Bliss". Launch of the new website. Premiere of the new songs on MP3.COM.

23-31 July 1999 - Several hundred members of the "Higney Fan Club" are asked to vote electronically to choose the new name of the band. The name "the Bliss" gets the most votes among the three proposed choices.

July 1999 - Mixdown of the new tracks and mastering of the new CD. Alessandro Conti is "recruited" as the band's saxophonist.

end of June 1999 - Decision to change "artist identity" from one of a female vocalist to one of a duo.

early June 1999 - Finishing touches on the 8 new tracks.

May 1999 - The songs "The Man With The Horn" and "Together" hold the no. 1 positions for almost two weeks on MP3.COM's Vocal Jazz and Acid Funk charts respectively. Downloaders from all over the world keep sending very encouraging remarks.

April 1999 - As Angela, Piero and the guest artists start the recording of 8 new tracks, the songs from the "Higney" album hit the top of the charts on the gigantic Internet site MP3.COM (home to 15,000 artists from almost 100 countries, where the 6,000,000 visitors per month have access to over 100,000 songs in MP3 format).The song "Mr. Maybe" remains in the "top ten" of the overall Jazz chart for ten days, peaking at number 4. Angela Higney reaches an astounding 84th "most popular artist" position.

March 1999 - The initial lot of 500 copies of the debut album has gone. A few gigs in Geneva to test the public's response to the new repertory. "Higney" goes on MP3..COM

February 1999 - Finalisation of the new repertory, inlcuding the six new songs composed during the second half of 1998.

January 1999 - With new songs available, hundreds of copies of the debut CD distributed through the website and an almost incredible wealth of positive comments from customers and fans worldwide, Angela and Piero decide to "go for it". New repertory, new band, gigs, and a new CD to try to "make it bigger".

July - December 1998 - The web site gains slowly but steadily in popularity. People like the "no money upfront" proposal and orders keep coming in. North America and Europe, mostly. but also Brazil, South Africa, Mexico, Korea, Papua New Guinea. A customer from Australia tells that he has heard of "Higney" "through the grape vine"!. "Bad debts" are really low: the vast majority of those who like the CD actually send the money, the few who don't send the CD back. And, what is most important, people to whom Angela Higney is a total stranger send very warm comments on the music. "Higney" ends up getting airplay on radio stations in the US, Canada, Portugal and Switzerland. Meanwhile, Piero is mostly in New York. New compositions are taking shape, experimenting with new sounds and new beats.

May 1998 - Launch of the website and conception of the "no money upfront" distribution system. Visitors to the website are offered a free evaluation copy of the CD, with the agreement that they will pay if they enjoy the music and they will send the CD back if they don't.

Early May - June 1998 - Live gigs in Geneva and Milano for the launch of the debut CD "Higney", which gets an enthusiastic welcome from the fans. Angela and Piero perform with backing singer Mariana Olofsson and Saxophonist Yves Bellego.

1 May 1998 - Release of the CD.

March - April 1998 - Recording, mixing and mastering of the CD

January - February 1998 - Five original compositions and one cover version are put together for the CD.

End of 1997 - Angela and Piero decide to put some of their musical ideas into a six-track CD. Both of them had professional musical experiences in the past and presently, alongside with their work for the International Red Cross and the United Nations respectively, they perform in local clubs in the Geneva area. They had produced a two-tracks demo CD in 1996 and now they want to get into more serious recording.


More info:

The Bliss - For Real

The perfect joy or felicity, supreme delight, blessedness. All that and more is bliss. In July 1999, when the band decided to change artist identity from a female vocalist to a duo, hundreds of fans worldwide were asked to choose between three proposed band names. The Bliss got the most votes. And the group earns this name

The Bliss are Scottish vocalist and composer Angela Higney and Italian keyboardist and composer Piero Calvi, plus guest artists Pierre Planche (saxophones), Alessandro Conti (saxophones), Lauren Schwaar (guitar).

For Real is throughout a vocal album. So you can hear on all tracks Angela's ingratiating voice. And if you are not familiar with the text, that's no problem. Enclosed to the CD is a 16-page colour booklet containing the text of all songs. It's a professionally-recorded and mastered album. 

You can compare the mood of the album with Sade's ones. It's the same atmospheric feeling, otherwise the voice is different.

Misled is a moody tune about a relationship, which is be finished. There is no happiness but a strong defiance. Keyboard sounds combined with a soft sax are perfectly backgrounding Angela's performance.

Kinda Girl is the story about a girl with special qualities. Alessandro Conti sparkles with a brilliant alt sax solo.

On Mr. Maybe Angela's sings about a hesitating man, who cannot make up his mind. Angela's voice is shimmering and precise. She puts down clear accents.

Voglio is a special break. Piero Calvi adds a particular Italian Rap and Funk flavour to this album. I wanna learn to play... Angela is scating in.

In Thinking Of You Angela reveals her longing after the embrace of her loved man. The dreamy song is perforated by snaring drummachines.

Together is an uptempo song about delicous attributes to an attractive man. 

Crazy is the invitation of a willing woman. Like on the other tunes a perfect interplay between Angela's sultry voice and Calvi's masterful keyboard play.

Discover The Best is introduced by shakers and piano tones leading to Angela's scating recital. A subdued mood à la film noir.

Happy drumming time on Sunny, an uptempo cover of Bobby Hebb's former hit from 1966 of the sametitled album.

This Emotion is Angela's contemplation about her feelings. A sensitive song well accompagnied by Lauren Schwaar on guitar and Piero Calvi on keys.

The Man With The Horn is a praise about an unknow  musician. This admired man is Miles Davis. Wonderful bass and piano play are the best texture for Angela's vocals.

Stars is Angela's question after her future. Well we cannot answer to this question, but this formation  has certainly character and will gain popularity and success in the near future. It's all a question of time.