Ledisi to bring her upbeat show to Stranahan TheaterWritten by Vicki L. Kroll | | email@example.com
On her new disc, Ledisi sings, “Give me a mic and I’ll rock it.”
Or give her a phone. The R&B star’s enthusiasm is contagious, almost as catchy as her songs on “The Truth.”
She took a break from tour rehearsal in Atlanta to talk about the CD released March 11.
“I had to let go of a big relationship, and instead of feeling bad about it — I went through that stage — I felt really good because I felt renewed, like I had a new person I was finding out about and doing things I had never done. So instead of singing sad, slow love songs about letting go, I wanted everything to be upbeat,” Ledisi said.
“Then I started noticing that I was getting the love I deserve from people and just even people noticing me. I didn’t know that I let myself feel so low, then I got higher because I started paying attention to me.”
Songwriters and producers Claude Kelly and Chuck Harmony noticed.
“When I started working on the song that became ‘I Blame You’ with Claude Kelly and Chuck Harmony, Claude said, ‘You look good! What is going on with you?’ ” Ledisi recalled and laughed. “I’m just happier. The fact that he could tell, I said, ‘I think we should write a song about blaming someone else for that happiness.’ ”
The exuberant hit, “I Blame You,” opens the disc and includes a nod to Lionel Richie, name-dropping “Dancing on the Ceiling” in the chorus.
“Rock With You” pays tribute to Dionne Warwick and Aretha Franklin with Ledisi singing, “I say a little prayer for you.”
“I like to keep the spirituality throughout and sneak it in. It’s a big part of it for me, and having fun and referencing the people before me,” she said.
Empowering women also is high on the list for the soul singer.
“I just want women to feel lifted, that they can actually say what’s wrong or what’s right, for the man to give the love they deserve, yes, all the time. Or just be brave and just live and work hard for that happiness. Nothing is perfect, but always exude that confidence of wanting the best and acquiring it for yourself and others around you.
“I’m very direct and fun and sassy and playful,” Ledisi said. “And it doesn’t matter which size or curves, hairstyle — none of that matters. It’s about how you stand for yourself. And I can’t wait to show that on stage.”
Since releasing her 2000 debut, New Orleans native Ledisi Anibade Young has shown up on the charts with “Alright,” “In the Morning,” “Goin’ Thru Changes,” “Pieces of Me” and “Stay Together.”
And the Grammy-nominated artist has scored high-profile fans, performing six times at the White House for Barack and Michelle Obama.
“Every time I see them, I’m amazed and I come outside of my body sometimes, like, oh my God, this is the president of the United States, the first lady, you’re talking to casually about music, what’s the best Stevie Wonder song? I mean, literally, we’re sitting here talking and it’s so surreal. But they’re really just so down to earth that you forget sometimes and then you remember as you’re leaving,” she said and laughed.
Ledisi will bring “The Truth Tour” with special guest the Robert Glasper Experiment to Stranahan Theater at 7:30 p.m. April 22. Tickets range from $29.50 to $49.50.
Tags: artist, Chuck Harmony, Claude Kelly, Grammy, Ledisi, Ledisi Anibade Young, Lionel Richie, New Orleans, producers, R&B, Robert Glasper Experiment, Songwriters, Stranahan Theater, The Truth Tour”, “Dancing on the Ceiling”