Posted by | Ray Cornelius
Soul music siren Chrisette Michele brought her Grammy-winning vocals to Atlanta this weekend for back-to-back engagements at Center Stage Atlanta. Yours truly had the pleasure of talking to the newest R&B Diva where we chatted about Black Music Month, the joys of touring, Broadway aspirations and more.
RC: You’ve been in the industry for quite some time now. What keeps you motivated?
CM: The last few months I’ve been saying to myself, “Nine freakin years!” What keeps me going at this particular moment in my career are the fans. The applause. The thanks you’s. The life-changing-stories about how a song helped someone get through a breakup. That’s what keeps me going. I go for the fans.
RC: June is Black Music Month. How do you celebrate?
CM: I just keep being Black and making music. That’s hard to do sometimes because there is very little room for our sound. As an artist, you have to go to many different countries to optimize your music. Being Black and making music is a task within itself.
‘RC: How has the journey been for you since becoming a vegan?
CM: It has been so many different things. Growing up with ADHD and finally finding a way to clean up my brain fog has been the most rewarding. To not eat so much stuff that just clogs your mind and body is incredible. I’m also just feeling better about my health in general and the environment. I still rock my Jimmy Choos but a few less cheeseburgers never hurt anybody.
RC: If you could play anyone in a film or on Broadway, who would it be?
CM: ELLA FITZGERALD! I’ve gotta, gotta, gotta, play Ms. Ella Fitzgerald. I just saw Audra McDonald as Billie Holliday on Broadway. She did an incredible job but I would love to play Ella.
RC: What is creative writing process like for you?
CM: When I was in college, I would go to Starbucks and write. Now, I get my inspiration on airplanes. I don’t know what it is about the clouds and looking out the window. I always pick a window seat (like Erykah Badu says) and I’m always with a book and writing. I enjoy singing into my phone and recording. Then I embarrassing take it to a keyboardist or a producer and say, “What do you think?”
RC: You’re currently on tour. What is your favorite part about traveling?
CM: I’m literally always on tour. It’s the way soul singer make money which is why I’m thinking about becoming a pop star. (LOL) Yeah, I’m always on the road like a country singer but that’s my life.
Check out photos of Chrisette Michele along with tour mate Chico DeBarge and more:
RC with Chrisette Michele
RC with Chico DeBarge
RC with rising singer and actress Ashley Johnson
RC with Chico DeBarge band: Crescendo & Ebonee Baccus, Roderick Geralds, and Don Manor, Jr.
RC with Ejypt (Amber Quivers, ReignDrop Lopes, Katrina Gibson, Sophia Gibson)
Photo Credits: Megan Alodie for RayCornelius.com