Can you tell us about your new album?
“Echoes of an Era Redux: My Father’s Record Collection Vol. 1” is a piece of art that is very important to me. It’s a record that lifts up one of my favorite singers ever: Chaka khan. But it’s her singing jazz, which is how I was introduced to her in my home. I was introduced to so many musicians while growing up because my dad played a lot of music everyday. This was one of the records that inspired me the most which is why I started with it. I and my musical Director, Thad Wilson, arranged these songs, originally put together by Chick Corea, and performed it live during the pandemic at the Legendary Washington, DC club Blues Alley. I wanted to capture the essence of what I grew up with through my voice. I tell the stories of how my dad influenced my life through music and how the music showed me how to be a musician without any words spoken. This is what the record is about.
What other projects are you currently involved with?
Right now, I’m still involved in the biggest project of my life: raising two children with one in college and one still in regular school. I’m also working in education creating performance lectures based off Black American music styles, history and culture. Young producers in South Africa are still remixing my song “Crossroads” from my first record “On Becoming a Woman…” and there will probably be another set of songs coming out of South Africa with Anthony “Luka” Kasirivu. I just recorded a song with Argentinian drummer Juan Megna, and was featured on Anthony Branker’s Grammy Nominated Record, “What Place Can Be For Us? A Suite in Ten Movements”.
What are you currently listening to and what was the last CD or download you bought?
I’m listening to a lot of blues singers like Victoria Spivey, Bessie Smith, Koko Taylor. I put Dinah Washington a bit in that category because she has such an amazing sensitivity for soulful singing. The last download I purchased was the Floyd Fuji EP Sunspots. It’s beautiful and sensuous R&B soul with delicious chords and singing.
What is your all-time favourite album and why?
I don’t have an all time favourite record but the records I listen to the most are Brandy’s Full Moon because I love the soulful groove and chord and her raspy singing, Mary Mary’s Something Big because they can sing anything and make it feel amazing, Bobby McFerrin’s Medicine Man because he’s friction amazing with all the dang things he can do with his voice…There are so many more.
Who has caught your attention recently that we should be listening out for?
A: The Artist I just mentioned Floyd Fuji. He’s amazing and of course Moonchild. Whenever I want to feel the music wash over me, these two artists make me feel like a human being again after all the stress of being a human in this difficult and beautiful world we live in.