Author Archives: blakcitrus

Donn T Takes Flight (Interview)

DonnT.

Earlier this year Donn Thompson Morelli released her sophomore album, Flight Of The Donn T. It had been 5 years since her DJ Simbad-produced Kaleidoscopic and since then she’s married, started her own label and launched a DJ career to add to her resume. Music is a DNA thing for her as she is a member of Philadelphia’s Thompson family responsible for The Dixie Hummingbirds, Lee Andrews And The Hearts and her brother Questlove of The Tonight Show band and The Roots fame. As a singer-songwriter she delves into complex feelings with poetic language whether she’s writing about world concerns or personal travails. She has had her songs to appear in Ava DuVernay’s I Will Follow and Lifetime’s With This Ring. Her video for “Waiting” is one of the year’s best for its minimalist use of her face and black and white cinematography to convey profound emotions. In the following interview she discusses the source of her maverick R&B expression, Philadelphia, family and future works.

We all get to a place in life where we’re not sure how to step forward or what’s going to occur but we just step

You come from a musical family what was it like growing up with musicians for parents?

The atmosphere was pretty lively all the time. And when I say all the time it literally was 24 hours a day sonically it was rich definitely. It was really inspirational and it really put me in touch pretty early on with the fact that I was a creator and I was connected to something special. It’s creativity and you’re working in that process and you’re dealing with other challenges growing up and I notice as an adult that that background helped me with other things by showing me reslilence, which is where I am with Flight Of The Donn T.


When did you discover your creativity and voice?

I don’t remember a moment where like I was one thing and something shifted I always identified with being a writer and a storyteller. I identified with the writing aspect probably more than other members of my family. We’re all writers and create music from that place. I identified with words and so that was my entry way into the rhythm, the sound and all that. I would notice as a kid if I would read the stories or recite poetry to my parents or friends of the family, they were really impacted. I just recently did a remix of my song “Last Breath” and I needed to listen to the original and there’s an additional chorus and my husband and I newly wed, I call it newly wed but we’ve been married for three years and he brought to the marriage a beautiful little girl, she’s very creative, my daughter and she actually collaborated with us on a chorus. If you listen to the remix there’s something additional there and so I say all that to say as a kid it was a very familiar space to have my thoughts and have my lyrics considered by my parents who were veterans in the business and I had that approach but I passed that on and there was a line or two changed and uncle Amir was very impressed.

Mike City-I Rock Wit U Featuring Dwele

MikeCity

Veteran songwriter/producer Mike City is ushering in The Feel Good Movement series of albums that will include music from Carl Thomas, Teedra Moses, Faith Evans and more. “I Rock Wit U” featuring Dwele is the first song from the series.

Ebony Bones-Oh Promised Land

R&B auteur Ebony Bones returns with a video for her new song “Oh Promised Land” from her upcoming Milk And Honey Part 1 EP. Bones is releasing the project October 10th on her own 1984 label.

The Internet Perform Girl And Dontcha At KCRW Studios

The Internet appeared KCRW’s Mourning Becomes Eclectic to perform “Girl” and “Dontcha.” The Ego Death tour kicks off September 8th in Los Angeles.

Zakiya Hooker, Daughter of Blues Icon John Lee Hooker, Serenades “Live” and “In The Mood” with Jazzy New Music and Video

ZakiyaHooker

Atlanta – Blues legend John Lee Hooker is best remembered for his iconic hits, “Boom, Boom” and “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer.” But perhaps his greatest legacy is found in the seductively supple vocal stylings of his daughter, the jazz-inflected, bluesy recording artist, Zakiya Hooker. Zakiya last showcased her brand of the remarkable Hooker inheritance with her 2009 CD release “Keeping It Real,” an unbridled presentation of sassy melodious seduction. Her return to rhythm’s landscape is now powerfully noted with her fifth and sixth releases, the consummate “In The Mood” and the outstanding performance production “Zakiya Hooker Live at the International BluesFest Eutin, Germany.”

“In the Mood” is one of Zakiya’s most diverse efforts to date. With the music actually recorded in Argentina and Zakiya’s vocals laid down in her current home state of Georgia, the project boasts eleven tracks drenched deep in the muddied Delta waters. A defining contribution establishing her own legacy as a woman who intimately dances the blues, Zakiya, like her father, displays no notion of loudly belting the genre. Poised, regal and confident, instead she just pours the blues all over you. Like warm massage oil penetrating the skin, her songs simply seep inside the pores, tingling to the core.
ZakiyaHookerInTheMood
When she opens with “Receipt to Sang the Blues,” her ‘proof of purchase’ is a matter of fact, not notion, as her smooth vocals lusciously ride a rollicking blues train of testimony. Zakiya then simmers in a delicious serving of jazz flavored serenade on “Drowning,” a lover’s ode that gushes with tender surrender. “Look Me Up” offers up some seventies styled R&B while the title release “In the Mood,” along with “One Step,” reminiscence signature Hooker swag with amplified electric guitar over a steady, heavy blues trodden beat. The finger poppin’ “Protect Me” swings hard marrying jazz and blues with regrets and remorse. Then Zakiya seals all deals with the closing track, her beautiful, serene lullaby “Sweet Baby J,” a tribute to her son that she lost in 1991.

The Weeknd-Tell Your Friends

The Weeknd releases his official video for “Tell Your Friends” ahead of his Fall 2015 The Madness Tour and the August 28th release of Beauty Behind The Madness.

Method Man-Straight Gutta Featuring Redman, Hanz On & Streetlife Official Video

Method Man’s “Straight Gutta” posse cut is a dark basement-looking clip designed to focus on the lyrics and refelct an underground aesthetic. Redman, Hanz On and Streetlife all make appearances in the video. The Meth Lab can now be purchased in fan bundles via Bandcamp.

Throwback: Michel’Le-No More Lies

MichelleMichelle

Michel’Le’s “No More Lies” transformed her from a background singer on the World Class Wreckin’ Cru’s “Turn Off The Lights” into an R&B solo star. Dr. Dre produced “No More Lies” and her entire solo album which was released on Eazy E’s Ruthless Records and also produced the hits “Nicety” and “Something In My Heart.” Michel’Le’s second album, Hung Jury, was recorded for Death Row Records but it was not successful. In 2013 Michel’Le joined the cast of R&B Divas: Los Angeles.

Media Questions Of The Week

Would Straight Outta Compton have been a better movie if the violent incidents involving
Tairrie B, Michel’le or Dee Barnes had been included?

BeyonceVogue2015

Why didn’t Beyonce do an interview for Vogue magazine’s Spetember 2015 issue even though she’s on the cover?

FreshPrinceBel-Air

Is Will Smith’s reboot of the Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air right on time?

The Underachievers-Chasing Faith Rain Dance & Allusions

The Underachievers took their songs “Chasing Faith,” “Rain Dance” and “Allusions” to create one video for all three songs. They filmed the video in the Mojave Desert and the Sunset Strip using Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas as the theme. Evermore:The Art of Duality is ready for pre-order.

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