Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Part 2 Europe: The Journey Overseas

photo by BunnyBoots Photography 2010 " Thanks Mandy "

Day 5
Finally!I woke up from almost a day and a half of jet lag and managed somehow to walk to sound check. As I made my way to the Paradiso, I remembered walking down this same street 6 years ago, imagining myself living there. I reminisced about how excited the people were, anticipating the mysteries of what the night would bring. The cool wind from the water gave a soft chill as I looked around at the Dutch and the tourists. So much freedom in Amsterdam, I remember thinking to myself. This could not be the same place where Anne Frank hid from the Nazis in the attic, could it? Where she stayed was just a few miles away from my hotel. It's so beautiful here. Every time I come back I think of all my memories, my friend Harry helping me to find my father and my friend Kees taking me out for curried chicken. So much history this place holds for me and so many beautiful memories.

This was the first time I walked into the Paradiso and the staff knew me immediately. They were surprised to see me come in by myself. The party had already begun with Mos Def and his DJ who made the big stage rumble. A crowd filled the big room which was a across from our stage which was in the smaller room. After catching Mos Def for a bit, I went to sound check and told my sound engineer I was going to head back to the hotel. I felt really sick and all I wanted to do was to lay down.

Back in my room, my phone rang and it was Sandra St. Victor. We talked for almost an hour and it felt good to catch up with my friend. I wish more singers would uplift one another and not be so competitive.I guess that's the nature of the music business. She encouraged me to keep doing my thing and encouraged her to finish another CD. Time passed quickly and before I knew it - it was show time. I was ready to go and that small room was packed! People hugged the stage and as I walked on, the sound of their cheers almost brought me to tears. It was a magical night. This time around I did not have the chance to hang out with my friends but they really came out and I felt their love and happiness in seeing how I had grown as an artist. I just hope they know I love them and appreciated their presence. Amsterdam as usual showed us love. After the show, I went straight back to my hotel and went to bed. Earlier, as I soared on stage, so were the Ashes in Iceland and they loomed around us. We were oblivious to what was to come...

Day 6
The next day was the train ride to Germany. I loved the big Cathedral outside the train station, it clearly let us know we were now in Germany. No time to check out the sites, we were off to sound check. I had a chance to walk around near the club and visit a little grocery store across the street. The smell of the herbs and fresh fruit in the store reminded me to embrace the little things. Found some tea and my brief tour brought me back to the reason why I was there...

After changing into my stage gear, I walked up to the club and there were photographers and fans waiting outside the back entrance. I signed autographs and took pictures of course, but honestly I was shocked that they were there! People knew me here? When I hit the stage I realized, yes, they do, they know you. They sang and danced and I had to tell them not to shoot video or take photos. That annoyed them I'm sure (laughing), but the music kept everyone happy. The best part of the first show in Germany was watching the band members solo on “Alright.” It was amazing! The crowd ate it up.

Later that night...almost 1 am, we were all hungry and we walked to Burger King, which was supposed to be around the corner but ended up being far, far away. We laughed and joked about the walk and kept encouraging our bass player to keep going. On the way something really cool happened, we saw big huge posters of my face and the show advertised on a fence along with other artists. I had never seen my show advertisements posted all over the place before. It brought me to tears and we were all excited to see posters everywhere. I remember walking past posters of major artists in New York City thinking one day that was going to be my CD poster plastered everywhere. Wow....I thought, I'm getting closer to that dream.

As we arrived in Berlin, everyone was tired but excited to see what the city had to offer. I had been there before with my best friend Dexter (RIP) so it held many memories for me. This show was going to be a challenge for me because Dexter constantly begged me to come to Berlin and perform. "They need to see you! They will love you!" he kept saying. I had finally made it to Berlin and he was not there physically to enjoy it with me. All day I felt weird because I could not call my mom and tell her how painful this was for me. But of course, I sucked it up and got on that stage and did that show for Dexter. I sang everything like he would have wanted me too. People came and they loved what we gave. I even made it through without crying.

That night some of the band members and I went out and walked along The Berlin Wall. We took photos and talked about the trip and looked forward to heading home. But.....The next day will be a day I will never forget. Well... That next week I will never forget.

Day 7-Day 12
Two band members left early and the rest of us took separate flights. My tour manager had a different flight as well. My manager also left early. By the time we arrived at the airport in London, our flights had been canceled. No one had answers and the Ash from the volcano in Iceland hovered over most of Europe. The Polish President died in a plane crash and his funeral was that week. This was the first televised election in Britain and the worse traffic jam in the sky since 9 /11.

No one was going anywhere. Three people out of my unit had made it home safely. The rest of us were stuck in Europe for 4 more days. I had to take care of all 6 of us. Made the best of the stay by making new friends, writing songs and eating fish and chips by the London Bridge. I was finally able to see Abbey Road Studios where my favorite group the Beatles, recorded their hits. Some of us whined about being there and all of us longed to be home. I learned a lot about patience and about myself as a person during this time. I also learned a lot about people and how they behave when they are in distress. The most important thing I learned is to wait on God.

My background singer/friend Kamaria sent this to me after the Ash cleared up a little,"up on the mountain my Lord spoke out of his mouth came fire and smoke"

I love Europe and as always created a lot of great memories. Can't wait to go back. I'll return once the dust settles...”


  1. come on in Italy Pleaseeeeeeee! :)))))

  2. I've always admired you and yet reading this makes me realize even more just how cool of a person you are!