"Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds..." Redemption Song - Bob Marley
I am a bit late this week with my entry, but nonetheless I am here! I felt that it was time for a bit of a musical intervention on my part. After witnessing the debauchery of artistry that Mariah Carey displayed on Saturday Night Live (lip syncing et al,) I remain speechless and in shock when it comes to the state of music today. Why she is given a platform to share the mockery that is supposed to be a gift from the man upstairs, is beyond me. The fact that Mariah actually had the nerve to go on stage and sing (ha!) that mess that she calls a song was really an insult to her fans (yes, Rhythmic my friend, we are *HERE* once again!!) And then to whisper/talk that ghastly "Migrate" and feature of all people, T - Pain...let's just say I did not watch the whole thing and that was viewed on You Tube y'all. Too bad Janet Jackson was still sick!!! And believe me, I can go on ranting shamelessly about it, but it's not worth my time - SERIOUSLY. Today, I will stick to what I know best - Da Goodness!!!
On Saturday evening, it was an honor and privilege of mine to attend the 3rd Annual Indie Mixer at Billie's Black in Harlem. What an event that was my friends. This is a yearly event that is put together by Mike Ashley's Life and Soul Promotions and Dexter Myers Clever Strategies . It was my first foray here in New York City into the indie soul movement scene. Now I want to make this extremely clear, the indie soul movement is not something that just came about overnight. This is a band of people who come together because they are clearly passionate about what they do and what they believe in. Which unfortunately, is more than I can say for the major music labels out there. There is much more to the R&B and soul world than Beyonce, Usher and R. Kelly, let's be real now. I would call that more or less hip hop because the influences are dominating and unmistaken and that right there is a whole other conversation.
This "band" of people I refer to, are a soul community. First and foremost, they are a cumulative of fans who are - artists, producers, label owners, writers, promoters, DJ's etc who come together to continue spreading the word that there really is exceptional music still around. And in all honesty, you do not have to go far to enjoy it or see artists perform. And if we are going to sit back and have these major labels force feed us the regurgitative mess that they are calling R&B, then that's our faults. ESPECIALLY if we choose to complain and do nothing about it. In doing nothing, I mean sitting back not attending shows, CD launchings, purchasing albums etc all that are readily available at almost all times. This is New York y'all, there's no sleeping here! And for everyone else, there is no excuse - artists do travel you know!
I had the pleasure of meeting Pam and Detrel from ONUTSS (One Nation Under The Soul Shack.) The ladies are a bonafide team that continue to support and bring hot soul artists to the forefront. Detrel has become my Soul Commune sista and a great friend all around. Not to mention both of them showed plenty of love on Saturday evening. Here is a pic of Detrel and I, please check out their website for more info on upcoming artist showcases.
First pic is with the unparalleled Gordon Chambers who showed his love and also sang Happy Birthday to Mike Ashley. Also on hand and one of my favorites, the always smooth and mellow Eric Roberson.
And lastly, shown below is a man who works tirelessly along with everyone in unison to push the soul movement to where it truly should be. The Cool Cat himself, Mr. Terry Bellow. You can visit his site regarding the International Soul Music Summit. This is an event that all soul cats should try and attend. Check out the info.
I must also mention that the phenomenal Angela Johnson and Monet both performed. I unfortunately did not get to hear their whole set, however what I did hear was phenomenal. Eric Roberson stated that one of the most important things out of everything done, the meeting and greeting, the schmoozing and exchanging of cards - would be completion. The importance of following through is why these mixers are done and he is right. What good is it if you take a card and do not follow through with the person or at least keep in touch? I plan on doing just that, I plan to keep in touch and make movements with the wonderful people that I have met. I am a staunch supporter of good soul music, it is something that I don't take for granted or in jest. And as music connoisseurs, I think you should too. Support your indie artists, they are the wave of the future.
With that said, here is a blast from the past for the flashback video. Today's pick is an 80's gem that was NO JOKE when it came out.
See ya soon and I promise, I will be on time. Hope you checked out the podcast!