POP/SNEAK PEEK : `A SERIOUS LABOR OF LOVE' FOR HEAVIES' DAVENPORT.
It's hard to believe Atlanta-born r&b diva N'dea Davenport has just released her first solo album.
That's because Davenport's voice is so familiar. As a session singer, she collaborated with everyone from Natalie Merchant to Malcolm McLaren to hip-hop icon Guru.
And, of course, as featured vocalist with the funky British combo the Brand New Heavies, she cut four albums and helped usher in the retro-soul era.
``I was giving so much to everybody else, I forgot to give to me,'' said Davenport, whose self-titled album was just issued on the V2/Delicious Vinyl label.
Davenport wrote and produced all the disc's tracks with the exception of four cuts produced by hitmaker Dallas Austin.
``On the suggestion of Daniel Lanois, I produced myself since I wanted to go into production,'' Davenport said from her home in New Orleans. ``It was a serious labor of love with lots of ups and downs.''
Davenport recorded in such locales as North Louisiana and Oxnard, where Lanois owns a studio in a converted theater.
``I'm a person who likes to do things nontraditionally, from how I dress to how I make my music,'' Davenport said. ``So, it made sense that I make my album in an environment that was very comfortable and natural.''
Guitarist Zim Zum says he left Marilyn Manson last week on good terms.
``I came to the realization that if I was going to do everything I wanted to do, there was no better time than now to step away,'' he said.
The Chicago-bred Zim Zum (he won't give his real name) played on the majority of tracks on Manson's forthcoming album, ``Mechanical Animals,'' due Sept. 15.
``It was handled as professionally as could be,'' the guitarist said. ``We sat down and talked about it, and Marilyn understood that maybe everyone in the band will get to this point sooner or later. I left on good terms.''
Zim Zum, who lives in Hollywood with Manson keyboardist Pogo, plans to produce tracks for others, record a solo album and put a band together.
The 29-year-old guitarist said he was thankful to all the fans he met during his two years with Manson.
``I feel very positive about this decision,'' he said. ``It's far from over, and I'll see you all very soon.''
Egil lands in Burbank
Ex-Groove Radio disc jockey and producer the Swedish Egil will spin dance music at 8 tonight at the Virgin Megastore in Burbank. There is no charge.
Photo: Session veteran and Brand New Heavies vocalist N'Dea Davenport produced all but four of the tracks on her self-titled solo album.