*As I was listening to the new CD of Natalie “Floacist” Stewart, “Floetic Soul,” I was taken back in time when clubs where full of poets doing their spoken word thing in a delivery manner that made the audience just as excited as any other act. Well, with this highly anticipated solo project of the seven time Grammy nominated former Floetry member, you get both poetic spoken word with the supported of Floacist’s beautiful voice.
“I understand the audience and response of the audience, “Floacist said about her delivery and performing in general.
On the “Floetic Soul” album her, though spoken word, her delivery changes with each selection: some sultry, some funky and some a bit jazzy. Joining Floacist on the “Floetic Soul” project is Music Soulchild, Raheem DeVaughn and Lalah Hathaway.
“I absolutely adore all three,” Floacist said about her featured guest artists. “I adore…what they stand for…what they choose to sing.”
It just so happens that included in some of my favorite cuts on the CD are those featuring theses artists. Musiq Soulchild assist her on “Forever,” the first single off the CD; Lalah Hathaway’s hot jazzy moaning in the background on “Come Over;” Raheem DeVaughn on “Keep It Going,” with its slight Jazz flavor; “What R U Looking 4” for its impressive piano support, and “Alright Then” because I get to hear her beautiful voice a bit more in this one, the horn support and the Jazz feel are impressive as well.
“(Floetry) was a large journey of identifying and understanding,” London native Floacist said about the ending of the duo Floetry – which she co-founded with partner Marsha Ambrosias. “I was manager, PR, travel agent, etc…”
Now managed by her husband, who in the beginning was the motivation for her to take her poetry to the stage (which is where she met Marsha), Floacist is going solo with the release of “Floetic Soul.” I feel not only will she be setting the tone to revitalize the spoken word genre, but releasing a strictly spoken word project by such a successful artist is almost trend setting.
For more information on Floacist or her project “Floetic Soul” log onto www.myspace.com/thefloacist.
Ava DuVernay directed film, I Will Follow, premieres at the historic The Egyptian Theater
*I was invited to cover PR guru – turned film producer/director – Ava DuVernay’s (My Mic Sounds Nice) film, I Will Follow, red carpet movie premiere and screening during the AFI Film Festival presentation at the historic The Egyptian Theatre. At the end of the night I walked away so proud of her. Not only did all the cast members come to support her night, but by the tears of joy in Ava’s eyes, I can see she was quite surprised at the turn out for the movie screening.
This true-life story is about the death of a mother, played by Beverly Todd (Crash), who was the center of her niece’s life, played by Salli Richardson (I Am Legend). Pledged with jealousy about that relationship, the daughter, played by Michole White (She Hates Me), finds it hard knowing she never said good-bye – because she refused to help tend to her mother.
Richardson’s character, while dealing with packing up her aunt’s possessions, is working through her own personally problems – a husband (Blair Underwood) she left a year ago to come tend to the aunt and a budding relationship with a local played by Omari Hardwick (“Dark Blue”). I Will Follow also stars Tracie Thoms (“Rent”), Dijon Talton (“Glee”), and Damone Roberts (Essence).
“I had such a great cast,” Ava DuVernay pointed out to me. When asked about any challenges the film brought as director she said, “I think the budget. We had a very low budget and not as much time as we’d like. Next time we’ll have more cash.”
I Will Follow is an awesome film, simply award winning material. It was deep, something every family goes through (even me with the death of my husband). It made me think, reflect, laugh and cry. Great storyline, awesome script, great acting and directing – bravo!