Indie Shine – Erica L. James

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In this edition of Indie Shine, a place for rebirthoflisa to ‘Shine’ the spotlight on indie artists, we welcome recording artist Erica L. James!

Erica James

©Erica L. James used with permission

 

Bio:

A timid nine-year-old decides she will try out for her school’s Glee Club. She is nervous and practices all night, hoping her hard work will pay off. The music teacher calls her name and she walks over to the piano awaiting his note. She sings “Happy Birthday.” He stops playing the piano and she sits down uncertain if she’s made it. After all the auditions, the music teacher stands up and says,”…the following students should remain seated,” and this is where it all began… Erica James is a R&B Hip-Hop artist from Brooklyn, NY. From her days in the Glee Club to high school singing groups, Erica has music vibrating in the core of her being. Her earliest influences were: Mariah Carey, SWV, Mary J. Blige, and HiFive to name a few… Her passion for music doesn’t rest with just singing, but is coupled with her songwriting skills. Far removed from those Glee Club days, now as an adult she shares her love of music, seasoned with the commitment to uplifting her people. Her catchy lyrics flavored with soothing melodies are for those wanting music of substance. Music that people of all ages can listen to. Music that is righteous. Her mission is just one…to create a space where love is safe.

 

Q&A

What do you do and Why do you do it? 
I make music that promotes positive responses to life’s challenges. My destiny is to help people heal themselves. Many of us are hurting and suffering from self-inflicted guilt, shame, and fear. We have enough music about turning up, but my music is about “turning in.” It’s time that we fix ourselves and I truly believe once this happens, the world will be a better place.
Erica James2Tell us about your most recent work. 
My recent single, “Other Side,” is about using meditation to find peace in stressful situations or to envision success in your endeavors. As a practitioner and teacher of Hatha Yoga, I think it’s important to share the tools I use to create a more balanced life. This song serves as a reminder to take time for yourself unapologetically.
Who inspires you?
My grandmother inspires me greatly. She is, and has given the purest form of love I know. She taught me how to be: (1) assertive but compassionate, (2) adventurous but practical, and (3) confident but approachable. I have several college degrees but my education doesn’t stand a chance against my grandmother’s wisdom. She is the smartest person I know, and her dedication to her faith and family strengthens my very own commitment to my life’s goals.
What do you consider your “Masterpiece” at this time? 
My “masterpiece” has not yet been created, or maybe it has. It is my hope that my music inspires one person to change something about themselves for the better. If I have done this, then that is my “masterpiece.”
What is your motto in life? 
My motto is: “Nothing is a problem unless you make it one.”
Name your wildest dream. The one you can not imagine achieving, but would love for it to come true.
My wildest dream would be Erykah Badu, Indie Arie, Lauren Hill, Jill Scott, and Ibeyi participating in my yoga retreat. We would all sing, eat good food, detox, share, and create a space of power.
What is your favorite quote? mayaquote
“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” ~Maya Angelou
When it is all said and done, what would you like to be remembered for? 
I want to be remembered for creating music that changed peoples’ lives. I hope that people will say that I made it cool for music to be spiritual without being gospel.
Tell us about your next project and when will it be available to the public?
My next project is my album, “Always In Love.” Hopefully it will be available to the public next Spring.
Where can fans purchase your work? 
Fans can purchase my songs on iTunes, Amazon Music, Google Play, and Tidal. In addition, fans can stream my songs on Apple Music, Spotify and Pandora.

Social Media

Website: eljmusic.com

Facebook: @songsbyEJ

Instagram: @songsbyEJ

Twitter:  @songsbyEJ

 

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Melanade – Grace Jones

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Welcome to another edition of Melanade, where we feature women of color who are doing great things! This month we are featuring the incomparable Grace Jones!

Grace-JonesSexy! Shocking! Beautiful! Dangerous! Icon Grace Beverly Jones is all of those things and more. She ruled the 80s and is still going strong today. Whether she is tearing up the runway, smoking up the silver screen, rocking the concert stage or gracing us with her loud and proud personality on the tube, Grace is undeniably everything!

 

A visionary before her time, Grace is still influencing artist all over the globe in 2017. Check the receipts. Rihanna, Beyonce, Lady Gaga and more have her to thank for creating the bar and setting it so high they have something to reach for. Once heard in an interview with Joan Rivers saying she dated twins, she helped break stereotypes that women are not sexual beings.

She unapologetically proved women are not only sexual, but not afraid to ask for grace n dolphwhat we want. She broke barriers in interracial dating, being from Jamaican descent and dating Swedish twins. Her four year relationship with actor Dolph Lungren was buzzing all over the world. She was also the talk of the town when she starred opposite The Roger Moore in “View to a Kill” as bond girl “Mayday”. And yes, there was a sex scene!

 

Her career spanned decades proving that she had staying power. My generation remembers her fondly from her role in Eddie Murphy’s cult classic “Boomerang” where she played diva/supermodel Strangé! IMHO that was the defining role to launch her into the stratosphere as the superstar she is in the acting world.

Jones is also known for her music around the world. Her rendition of “Pull up To the Bumper” is still played in heavy rotation. I have never had the pleasure, but I hear her concerts were off the rails!

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Grace was never known as the classic beauty according to European standards, but she is edgy and gorgeous just the same. She is a photographer’s dream with the angles of her cheekbones and her squared jaw line. Beauty is not all she possesses. Grace speaks five languages and is an author. Her book “I’ll Never Write My Memoirs” was released in 2015.

She has broken barriers in the entertainment industry, while doing things her way. She never let anyone tell her what she couldn’t do and she thrived in controversy.

When it comes to Grace Jones…

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Zora’s Uncanny Resemblance to my mom – Yea or Nae?

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Today ends the week long celebration of the 2nd Anniversary of my first book, The Mistreatment of Zora Langston. I wanted to share something very personal that happened during the planning stages of the book cover.

My graphic artist, Monica Gibbs drew the picture of Zora and sent it to me for approval. A little know fact is that there were some changes made, but when I looked at the draft of her I thought Zora bared an uncanny resemblance to my mom. I marveled at this and showed it only to my husband, trying to think of a way to explain it. You see, Monica and I met online and she had never seen my mom so I was at a loss to explain how this could happen. I still can’t explain it so I will leave that alone.

With Monica’s permission, I am including the pics of ‘work in progress Zora’ and my mom back in the day when she was in her twenties. You tell me what you think. Does Zora really look like my mom or is it just me? Leave me a comment and let me know.image1(1)

img_4848If you still need to get your copy of The Mistreatment of Zora Langston, be sure to take advantage of the anniversary sale $0.99 thru March 19th. e-book only! Click Here to purchase.

Friday Happy Dance – Missy Elliot

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Ok so our world is going crazy with hate and discrimination. We all need to take a break and have fun for a minute or two and Missy Elliot is just the artist to provide this distraction. Here is her latest creation “I’m Better”. I hope you take a couple of minutes to enjoy this visual masterpiece and while you’re at it shake that thang for a couple of secs too. I won’t tell anybody 😉

Calling All Indie Artists!

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Calling All Indie Artists! 

I have decided to start a new feature on my blog called ‘Indie Shine’. This will begin in February 2017! 

 The purpose is to shine a spotlight on individual indie artists. It doesn’t matter what your chosen field is as long as you are indie and an artist. 

I have received responses so get yours in today. Space is limited, as this is only a monthly feature. 

Go to https://rebirthoflisa.wordpress.com & complete contact me form. I will respond with detailed information and a questionnaire. Once I receive the completed questionnaire, I will let you know when your feature will post. 

#indieartist #bloggers