"Songversation: Worthy" - India Arie recap w/ Carrie

India Arie. That’s it. That’s the tweet.

That is literally how I felt leaving her concert because this woman is a pure angel! She gave her audience an experience that I’m sure they’ll never forget, because I jot it down in my own journal to remember forever. But let me break it down for you so y’all have a better understanding of what I’m talking about.

On Thursday, May 23, 2019, India Arie blessed the Northern Lights Theatre at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino for a concert to promote her new album titled, “Worthy.” Throughout the show she had me and the entire audience of black and beautiful shea butter babies captivated by her serene spirit, as we all connected as one for the evening.

We meditated. We laughed. We sang. We even prayed. It was amazing.

When India first came out she told us about the crazy travel she went through in order to get to us that night. She said, “I never wear jeans on stage. But I was like I can’t do it, I can’t pull a dress around, I don’t feel it. So I say all this to say, tonight is about to be unique. I don’t know what’s about to happen, but as long as y’all are here for it, I’m here for it.” Mannnnn she wasn’t lying! We definitely had a unique show, but all the imperfections made it perfect.

India told us that she wanted us to co-create a moment, she called it a “Songversation,” which is the power of words, music, visuals and vibrations to have an experience within ourselves and she came to help us have that experience, she said we’ll feel it. And we felt it. Songversation always begins and ends with a prayer, so to start off we sung together that we are one.

After we did our songversation prayer, she sang one of her favorite songs, “I am light.” Then you know she had to get us all warmed up and feeling special, so she did a few classic throwbacks like “Video” and “I am not my Hair,” which she then introduced her background singers Mayah Dyson and Gene Moore and gave them their time to shine. They were sooo good! When India performed my all time favorite song “Ready for Love,” things got a little emotional. She paid tribute to one of her great friends, Blue Miller, who recently passed away and had a montage of them together in the background as she played the flute and beautifully sang the song.

Two of the most important things to India are prayer and meditation, she gave us both during her show. There’s a song on her album called, “Hour of Love,” that talks about taking the time out of your day to give yourself self-care. Before she sang this song, she had us meditate with her...I have never seen an artist act in this manner lol. It felt great, though. She said, “Prayer is talking to God and meditation is listening.” As one, we all brought our energy and attention to our bodies and relaxed. We took our tongues off the roofs of our mouths, we relaxed our faces, released our shoulders, got into a comfortable position and was just one with ourselves. Beautiful.

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Behind her was a screen that showed powerful and positive quotes that would lead her into the next song she was going to sing. There were a few seats in the theatre that couldn’t see the screen, so she moved the people sitting there so they could get the full experience of her show. A few of the quotes read:

“Feel, Deal, Heal” tomorrow is a new day, we can choose again.”

“If you want to fly, you have to give up the shit that weighs you down.”

“Give up being perfect for being authentic. Be who you are, love who you are. Others will too.”

Sometimes there were technical difficulties with the screen, but it was okay because she was authentic about it. India wanted to premiere her new music video with us, “Steady Love,” and at first it was working. While they figured it out, she filled the time by introducing the rest of her band and sang other songs. I know that sounds like what any artist would do in a moment like that, but it was the way she carried herself during that time--calm, cool and collected. She didn’t stress over it, she just gave it time. When it finally started working again, she sat down right in front of the stage and watched in awe (probably because the co-star of the video was her celebrity crush, David Banner. Man was she in loveeeee lol). The audience went crazy for it! The chemistry they had together in the video was undeniable. We were the only show on the tour that she was going to show the video to. Remember, she told us  earlier that our show was going to be unique!

Overall, India’s performance was magical. I left her concert feeling so much lighter. In the beginning, she told us the show was going to be healing and we were going to feel it. I felt all of it. From her positive words, to her down-to-earth personality and calming spirit. Like she said, lyrics are medicine, and we all were healed by the end lol.

Also, I just want to add that it had been a long time since I’d been around so many black women in one space, it felt good vibing to the same songs we all have different throwback memories with. This concert put it into perspective for me of what India represents for black women and our culture. She’s impactful. Her positive influence and the fact that she will always be unapologetically her is such an inspiration for black women young and old. It’s rare to see nowadays, since we live in a time where our value is determined by what we look like or others opinions. I can appreciate and truly stan a woman like India who drills into us that only we can define who we are and that every one of us is worthy. So shout out to India for the much needed #BlackGirlMagic.

Make sure you get India’s new album, Worthy!

/Carrie for CW






MKE Industry Mixer ( Press Write Up)

Milwaukee has really been trying to step up their networking game lately, and making sure to include the creatives in the city. Every other day I see a new event I’m invited to on Facebook where creatives are coming together to meet and possibly collaborate on projects. The most recent event I went to was the MKE Industry Mixer, hosted by DJ Rickey Allenz from v100.7. This mixer was packed with people in the music industry from popular DJ’s to local artists, radio personalities and more. I tried to talk to a little bit of everybody in each category to see what they thought of the event to really give y’all a good feel for what went down if you missed out!

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DJ Rickey Allenz was the mastermind behind this beneficial event, and for this to be his first one, he did a bomb job. He wanted to have the industry mixer because he feels like he’s in tune with a lot of Milwaukee artists, however, some DJ’s just don’t know what’s currently hot in the streets. The point of the mixer is to bring artists together with DJ’s because in hindsight, artists without DJ’s are practically nothing. The DJ is the one who’s going to play your record in clubs, on the radio, etc. They can help spread your music to a wider audience who might not normally get to hear it on a regular basis if, for example, the artist mostly promotes it within their own community. DJ Rickey Allenz is a DJ for v.100.7, WNOV and KBBG 88.1 in Iowa. Other DJ’s have connections in other cities as well, so if they know you and like your music, they can promote your songs in those areas. That is called a PLUG ladies and gentlemen!

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Allenz used to be an artist himself, but he didn’t know the game well enough, so he fell off of it. He said some DJ’s will hustle an artist and charge them money to play their music and then possibly not fall through with actually playing it. That’s not what Allenz is about. If he likes it, he’ll play it, simple. He’s always willing to help an artist grow and put them on game if they’re willing to help themselves.

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Two artists who I was able to speak with at the industry mixer were @NuMoney2mm and @_sgodjayy. They both came and either performed or had their music played that night. NuMoney performed one of his songs, and he says the DJ/Artist duo is a great relationship. The artist has a product the DJ demands and the DJ can be the start of everything. He says, you never know a connection someone might have with someone else who can get your foot in the door.

@_sgodjayy had one of his songs played and was literally geeked when his song came on lol. Jayy says every platform is a good one, it just depends on how you use it. He gets excited for his music and takes pride in his craft and creativity because “when you take pride in what you do, it shows.” You have to have confidence, he says, or else you’ll limit yourself.

I met the lovely DJ Trustar, aka the Trap Princess and the first female Core DJ in Milwaukee, and she says it’s important for DJ’s to come to events like the mixer. Sometimes DJ’s don’t talk on the mic and artists don’t know who they are so it’s good to get your face out there. For example, a lot of people don’t even know she IS DJ Trustar, since she doesn’t talk on the mic much, if at all. People are usually surprised when they find out she’s a woman, especially since she really knows how to throw down on the 1s and 2s, which usually isn’t expected from a woman DJ (btw, that’s a whole topic for a different day that can be dissected when y’all are ready lol).

Lastly, I spoke to the very personable radio personality, Promise from v.100.7! A few Milwaukee artists might know him from his radio segment, “Heat from The Street.” Promise resurrected the segment when he first came to v.100.7 because he wants to help artist get more exposure. Promise tries to be pretty hands on as far as trying to make sure the city hears different sounds and styles, because a lot of the time people get boxed into whatever part of the city they’re in. He also says social media has ironically made people antisocial. Promise says, “In the music industry everybody wants to be heard, but a lot of people don’t know the right approach.” Networking events like the mixer are a great opportunity for media professionals to interact with artists and put them on game. It gives them a chance to get in front of each other and learn how to talk and be more personable instead of hiding behind a screen. Also, it helps for people in the industry to put a name with a face or a face with a voice.

Overall, I thought the event was a great opportunity for people in the industry to mix and make those connections to further grow their careers. There weren’t just DJ’s in attendance either, club promoters, music producers, sound engineers and other journalists with media platforms came as well, s/o to Brittani and A Sit with Britt.

My only concern was the fact that there weren’t a lot of artists there. The DJ’s did their part and showed up. I was introduced to plenty of them such as, DJ Heathen of v.100.7, DJ devast8 and DJ Cell of the Recordbreakers, etc. I’m not sure if it was the promotion of the event, artists just not wanting to come or what. But, I see a lot of artists complain that there aren’t events like this, then when there is, no one shows up. Like I’ve tried to drill into your brains throughout this entire article, this industry mixer was a great opportunity for everyone involved, so if someone can let me know the reason why more connections weren’t made on the artist side, please enlighten ya girl! Hopefully DJ Rickey Allenz and other DJ’s throw more networking events like this in the future because the concept is great and can really elevate the music culture here in Milwaukee (which you know CW is all for).

/Intern Carrie for CW