Sunday, February 27, 2011


A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough ass days. (write a letter.)

After thinking long and hard, I couldn't just go with one artist!  It was tough but I've narrowed it down!  I'm gonna write TWO full letters to 2 artists that have gotten me through some tough ass days and has given me the inspiration to carry on through this crazy life of mine; Teena Marie and Nikka Costa.  But I'm going to sneak in a couple others in a generalized letter because...DAMMIT...IT HAS TO BE DONE!  

Like to hear it goes...

        DEAR LADY T:  It took me a while to write this to you and long overdue especially since you have left us, but I needed to tell you what you have done for my life. were one of the biggest reasons why I wanted to be a singer.  From the day you set foot on the scene, you have been one of my biggest inspirations.  As a child, your vocal range just amazed me and I dreamed and wish I could sing one of your songs as passionately and strong as you did.  That day finally came when I got my wish.  

I had finally found a vocal teacher (Kathy Jenkins...where are you??) who reminded me a lot of you vocally and molded my voice into what it is today.  For one of my first performances, I tackled one of your songs.  I knew at the time I wasn't as vocally strong to take it on, but I loved it so much that I worked hard and I did. That song is, "YES INDEED!"  I was so nervous going to the mic.  The knots in my stomach was fierce but I sang that song like it was mine and you know what happened??  The audience LOVED IT and gave me a standing ovation. I mean one person said to me, "Teena is a hard person to sing and you nailed it!"  WOW!  Can you imagine how I felt at that moment??  Nothing could stop me now!!

So now, 20 years later, I can honestly say I have tackled EVERY song you've ever sung with ease; and even use your songs to warm up to before rehearsal.  Some of my favorites:  Cassanova Brown; Sunny Skies; Portuguese Love; You Make Love Like Springtime; Out On A Limb; You So Heavy; Oh La La La; How Can You Resist It; If I Were A Bell and the list goes on to infinity!  I can't think of one song that I DIDN'T like because you always brought that style of yours to the plate and I am forever humble and grateful to you.  

My Dear Teena, I know you're looking down from heaven and I want to say to you...THANK YOU FOR THE FUNKY JAZZY SOUL!  You will forever be in my heart and the reason why I sing!!  LOVE TO YOU ALWAYS, STARBRITE....

       DEAR NIKKA COSTA:  I am writing to thank you for all the great music you've put out.  Each time I hear one of your songs, they bring tears to my eyes because I feel that you're speaking to me and about me!  About my life and what's going on at the moment.  There are those times when I'm down and I turn you on and I feel better; like I can take on the world.  

One song in particular is, "Around The World."  This is the song I listen to when I doubt myself; when I feel low and my self esteem goes out the window.  My favorite part and climax of this song goes like this:  "when nothing's going right, love will be your soldier; when all you can do is cry, love will be soldier; when nobody's around, love will be your soldier; when your world is tumbling down; love will be your soldier."  RIGHT THERE!!  (I'm coming to tears as I write this)  THOSE WORDS make me believe that I will be alright!!  Thank you for this!

Some of my other favorites are: "Cantneverdidnothin" (not only is does this song uplift me, but it gets me dancing); "Swing It Around" (this one is just too sexy); "Tug of War" ('my soul wants to go one way but my heart and mind playing a tug war with me'-this is constant in my life); "Everybody Got Their Something" (this is one of those feel good songs); "Corners of my Mind" (*dead*); "Funkier than a Mosquito's Tweeter" (another feel good song that takes me back to my professional dance days-the percussions in this song control every essence of my being and the lyrics are just...TRUTH); "Someone For Everyone" (brings me to tears every time especially since I feel like I'll be alone for the rest of my life but this song right here lets me know...he's out there).  

I mean there are so many of your songs that bring something different and I could sit here and go through every single song explaining what they mean to me, but I'll spare you the long letter because you've already gotten the gist of it!

So in closing, Miss Costa...please don't ever stop doing what you do!  You do it so damn well!  You're "Some Kind of Beautiful" in my eyes!  YOUR GIRL, STARR...

      TO THE OTHER LOVES IN MY LIFE:  I had to write a general letter to those selected few that has brought nothing but joy to my life as a vocalist, as a lyricist and has definitely shared a time in my life when I needed some inspiration (I'll try to keep it short, but I don't know if I can promise that):  DONNY HATHAWAY (you are my all time number one favorite male vocalist-there has been no on like you and will never be); PHYLLIS HYMAN (all I can say to you is DAMN-you showed me that a woman CAN sing from the depths of her soul); BILLIE HOLIDAY (you sang with such beauty, strength and grace-I bow to your greatness); COREY GLOVER (you made me believe that singing from your gut as a rocker with such passion in a genre not normally tackled by us-you are INCREDIBLY AMAZING); Saxophonist GROVER WASHINGTON JR. (you are undeniably moving-thank you for allowing me to choreograph to your music); LUTHER VANDROSS (you are the MAN and are dearly missed!  No one could sing a love song like you) and STOKLEY WILLIAMS (you are one of my MANY favorite male vocalists-your musicianship,  unmistakable harmonies and humbleness brings forth a warmth that I haven't seen amongst many artists and it is an honor to have met you-thank you for EVERYTHING)!  THANK YOU ALL FOR THE INSPIRATION and your vocal prowess!!

And to all the bands that have captured my soul with the essence of their music:  KOOL & THE GANG; EARTH WIND AND FIRE; THE EMOTIONS; THE TEMPTATIONS; THE O'JAYS; THE WHISPERS; LIVING COLOUR; BLUE MAGIC...none of you can be duplicated!!  

I'm sorry this is so long, my lovelies, but MUSIC within itself makes me breathe easier everyday and the reason why I am who I am!

1 comment:

ABoyd378 said...

This is Beautiful!

You did EXACTLY what I would have done if I were in your shoes. No One Artist could be Singled Out for everything that has lifted you up while you were down. Each one helped you during certain eras of your Lifetime, and that is beautiful in itself. As you gotten older, new up and coming artists wrote and performed for Your Soul, and Connected.

Like I said, I would have done it this way as well!