It was so great to see and hear the lovely, Nia Simmons and her background singer. She set the stage on fire with her new single, "Used to You!" It was incredible. The incomparable Mika graced the stage with "I'm in Love!" It was so wonderful to see her up there and to hear her sing. Kat Web rocked it!. I was finally able to hear her sing. I missed her last year. She will be at The Rendezvous at The Shrine tomorrow night. Good luck! I met a lovely young lady last night, Badia Farha. She sung her new single, "Moonlit Sunshine." It was a great song and she really worked it! I was so happy for her and it was so nice to meet her. Another lady I met, Tara Hendricks ripped the stage with Dr. Feelgood! I told her that was the first Aretha Franklin song I learned when I was a young singer. Loved it! It brought back so many memories. She really made the song her own. It was a great performance. There was a young lady there that had such incredible energy, like James Brown. She was such a dynamic performer, Niva, the soul diva. Wow! Her show was electric. Unbelievable. Another stand-out vocalist was Nikki Areial (A-Train Music). She had the vocal range of Minnie Riperton, one of my all time favorite singers. She was incredible. I know she will go far.
Other great artists I met were Matt-Smoove singing his hit single, "Hey Ladies" and Dazz Lightburn. I thank Matt-Smoove and Dazz for giving me their CDs! I can't wait to listen. The ladies of DeJa Voux took us there with "I'm In Love"! I can't wait to hear the new songs on the CD they gave me. It was good to see Chad Franklin doing his thing with the house band! Always a pleasure to hear him play.
One monumental moment was Japanese singer, Nao Yoshioka. She brought Harlem, New York & the USA and the house down last night with one song. It was incredible to see what her music could do as an international soul artist. She is definitely a force to watch out for this year!
I'd like to thank my band for coming through for me last night with "Lose Control" and "The Freedom Song." You all are truly the best musicians and people a singer could ask to work with. I appreciate all the talent and support you bring to my project and last night was no exception. We started the show with a bang and I couldn't have done it without you! It was so much fun. Thank you, Christi, Peter and Manny for everything! You're the best. Oh, what a night!!
Most importantly, a special thanks to Mike Ashley and Dexter Myers for this outlet for indie soul artists. I was able to network and meet so many great industry people and artists that I wouldn't have the opportunity to meet outside of this important event. The fact that you've sustained this for 9 years says a lot about you both as organizers and visionaries of this event and the indie soul community. What you started 9 years ago is now a movement. Keep up the good work!
It was great to see Danny Brookings a.k.a. DJ Dan.c.e. He schooled us on the NARAS (Grammy's) and how and why we should join. I'm definitely looking into that. Thanks again, Danny for your support of indie soul music and artists. We thank you for sharing our music on RhythmandSoulRadio.com! You said something to me last night that struck a chord. That we, as indie artists, should stay focused and true to our art in the indie soul community and continue to build from where we are with what we're doing, like attending the indie showcase, putting out our own music and promoting ourselves. (I hope I'm saying it right, Danny! Correct me if I'm wrong.) But, I thought it was so true to staying true to our art and who we are as artists, not compromising just to get noticed in the major industry. If we keep putting our art out there and keep grinding and hustling, imagine how far we can go with that on our own terms! Thanks to Marko Nobles of InJoy Enterprises (producer of The Rendezvous and RhythmandSoulRadio.com), for all you do for the indie soul community and beyond!
I met great industry people last night: Naoki Yamanouchi of Sweet Soul Records (his artist is Nao Yoshioka). Producers, Ferando "Royal" Singleton and Nate Scott. Record promoters, Dean Jackson, James Lewis, Barry Jackson, Top Notch Music and Al Levene and crew of ATrain Music. Thanks to Tony Bass of City Beat Multi-Media Group for recording my performances this year and last year! I can't wait to see the video.
This is what's its all about. I met so many great people (industry people, artists) last night and saw so many great performers! I can't wait until next year. This should hold me up until next year. My only regret that I couldn't stay all night!! Keep rocking it, everyone!!