Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Journey Overseas Days 1, 2 and 3

Day 1
It's been 6 years since I have been across the pond and the reception has been incredible. The first show in London at Bush Hall was sold out and the audience was louder, bigger than any performances I've had in London since my first performance in 2002 at the Jazz Cafe.It was so crowded in the building. My heart almost stopped when the words to my songs were sung back to me. So much love returned. The band squeeze on a stage the size of a bathroom (laughing) and played the funk outta Bush Hall. I wish I had my horn section with me but I was kinda glad they weren't there we had nowhere to put! The 4:30am lobby call to head to Paris was a downer. But no one complained and we made it to Paris with enough time to sleep before the show.

Day 2
After an afternoon of rest just one interview and to my surprise the writer had all 5 of my recordings. After the interview I signed all his CD's and headed to soundcheck. The stage was small and the band was exhausted and with only 30mins to get ready they came to the stage and performed like they had slept all day. The crowd was nice and intimate. They knew every lyric and danced to the music and screamed for more. As the night went on more and more people arrived.It was awesome for my first time in Paris. I love the energy of the band here.We all seem really close and connected more than usual. Everyone was having fun. The night ended with kissing cheeks, signing papers and photos and a wonderful late dinner. What a perfect ending watching the nightlife of Paris with dinner.It was a great night.

Day 3
11:30am in the limo to the train station. Beggars, homelessness and vendors towered over us like eagles hunting prey. lol! Our drivers spoke in French demanding that they leave us alone. I pulled out my camera and started to take photos once we arrived inside the station. People waiting, running and eating. Looking at the board to display their track number waiting for their train to arrive. Amsterdam finally came up and we scrambled the long walk to board our train. Now I am here writing to you as I look out my window at a blue sky, green grass and the country side with interruptions of a tunnel and a train stop every now and then. Soon I will finally make my destination to a place where I found my father's music, decided to make many changes in my life and was at one of my lowest and highest moments of my life. I also had my last performance across the pond 6 years ago in one of my favorite places Amsterdam.Another sold out show at The Paradiso.Very excited and extremely tired.So happy for a day off.

photo by BunnyBoots Photography

What a Night!I hope we can do that again!

I took this photo while everyone was still inside checking out Mint Condition. I had to leave after the third song. I had a show the next night. I never get a chance to see my name in lights and it was up there with one of my favorite bands. So... I jumped out of the car and took this photo. I pray this happens again!LOL!!

photo by BunnyBoots Photography

They Matter: UNCF Empower Me Tour My Visit in Florida

For the past year I have been apart of the Empower Me Tour Launched by The United Negro College Fund.Where professionals from all walks of life visit all the Historic Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU) speak and give advice about how to be a successful entrepreneur. My recent visit to Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, FL enriched my life.I shared the panel with Ms. Sheryl Underwood, Ms.Tatyanna Ali and Mr. Warren Ballentine. There was so much passion in that room no one wanted to leave. We shared our life's journeys and our challenges, dreams and how we deal with our success. In return the students gave back with thought provoking questions about entrepreneurship and defeating fear. The hall reminded me of a church, so I had to grab my camera and take a photo. After every panel I always host a listening party for the students.All of them showed up at the listening party for Turn Me Loose and one of the students sang for me. She sang her face off ya hear me! We had a wonderful time and learned from one another. I wanted to share with you some of my photos I took from that day. Thank you UNCF and Wells Fargo for letting me be apart of this journey.I hope to be apart of this over and over again.

For more information about the Empwer Me Tour Visit

Photo by BunnyBoots Photography

A Spring Day In Memphis

I was so grateful to have a show in Memphis this month.I opened for Robin Thicke and it was a fun sold out show. I have to be honest, the best part of my trip was being able to come in early and see what Memphis TN had to offer. I came in a day earlier and walked around downtown with one of my road managers Clyde and my personal stylist Justin Ellis( originally from Memphis) and we met so many wonderful people while walking around.
I never hang out in the city where I perform. Always work and no play. This time I was able to hang out and see the sights. I was surprised at how popular my music has become there. I heard whispers as I walked by and many screams with my name somewhere in there.I thought something had happen at first and Justin told me "honey we love you down here! we goes in over some Ledisi!" (I love his southerness!LOL!!!)I took photos and gave hugs all day. I sure did think I could be a tourist and hang out with no one knowing who I am.(Not!) Some people could not believe it was me. The funniest moment was this young lady passing us by with a weird look and we walked into a shoe store, 5mins later she came into the shoes store."ARE YOU?"We all laughed.I had to look some people in the eyes and say yes it's me because they could not believe I was walking around. I'm pretty low key when I hang out.No diva stuff. Only in high heels.(laughing) The only time things were calm, was our visit to the National Civil Rights Museum.

It was a beautiful day and spring had just arrived. Justin wanted to make sure we saw the National Civil Right Museum (The Lorraine Hotel),which is the place were Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated. The walk through the museum was breath-taking. There was so much I didn't know. Part of me had to calm down because I was emotional and taken aback how there were many original pieces from that era.You can actually see Rosa Parks in her seat on the bus and sit next to her.You can see Dr. Kings bed where he slept and prayed. You can also see where he died and where his killer slept, bathe and murdered Dr. King. You were there. When I came out of there I had to get it together.It took a minute because all day I kept thinking about the struggle of the Civil Rights Movement.I also thought about Dr. King and how simple his message of "non-violence" created so much.It felt so good to re-visit the past. I can appreciate how things are now and that inspired me to want to do more for the future.Please when you go to Memphis visit the Museum and the lady outside who has been protesting against the Museum for over 20 something years.

On a much lighter note. There are so many wonderful restaurants in the downtown area.We loved the Flying Fish and for dessert we walked to The Cheesecake Corner. All I can say is save room for dessert.It was an absolute delight.I made sure to stop by the Grammy Building to say hi to the staff.What a gorgeous Spring day in Memphis! Friends, History, Food, Music and a Sold Out Show!I am so blessed!

photo by BunnyBoot Photography