This blog has to go up. In the two years I've been with JTNL, a majority of my conversations with supporters tend to go this way. Actually 9 times out of 10 these are the most asked questions I find myself answering. I'm not tripping, just trying to provide insight to a life people want to know about.
QUESTION 1: HOW DO YOU STAY SANE TRAVELING WITH 6 GUYS?
I've gone from weed smoking to divine meditation. Seriously. I meditate a lot and when I'm not meditating, I'm working on a specific task - doing what I'm supposed to be doing, minding my own business, or sleep. Smoking stopped being the answer for me after the first tour we went on. Many of you read that struggle in previous blogs. I created space. Had to. Sanity is important. Peace of mind is key. Not that you be sane, but that you be inside sane. Being on the road with a bunch of dudes ain't sexy for me until showtime - and I think I manage pretty well considering I have a period and I still enjoy old eps of Sex and the City and Living Single.
QUESTION 2: IS IT DIFFICULT BEING THE ONLY AFRICAN AMERICAN FEMALE SOUL IN A BAND OF WHITE ROCKERS?
Not where the music is concerned, but outside of the music . . . go figure. Race is never brought up as a Subject. Sometimes it's the white elephant in the room - other times it's not. I did let the guys know that I voted for O'bama if that answers any questions. I don't really participate in many of the conversations the fellas have when we're together whether it be about race or Jennifer Anniston on the cover of GQ because I'm usually on my own PLANET. I'm constantly in a certain state of 'being' even when I'm not with the band. Now, venues and fans is another story entirely, but the band is cool.
QUESTION 3: WHY DON'T THEY LET YOU SING MORE? WHY AREN'T YOU ON THE HOT TROTTIN CD?
I'm at total peace with the exposure I have in JTNL. I've been pushed to step up to the plate more, however, I enjoy background singing and creating parts for the background. I do! I'm not in a rush to be a solo singer. Background is a coveted position in my opinion. Wonderful soul and R&B artists blossomed from such beginnings. Finally, I'm creating my life, living as a Creator. I decide what I desire for my life and I head in that direction. Right now, I'm a background singer by choice. Regarding Hot Trottin', I joined the band after the CD was produced.
QUESTION 4: HOW DO HOTEL ARRANGEMENTS WORK OUT?
Number system for the guys. I always get a bed. It's one of the few luxuries of being the only female in an up and coming band. The fellas pull numbers for the remaining sleeping spaces which include the floor, the van, roll-a-ways, pull-out couches, and the homes of fans and supporters. We do not discriminate when it comes to sleeping quarters. We are evolving to better acommodations (two rooms) but it's still very grassroots most of the time. However, we make due because we have music to make and shows to perform. I keep my sleeping bag with me in case some shit - know what I mean? I tell you there's an art to being in my position.
QUESTION 5: WHERE DID YOU LEARN TO PLAY TAMBOURINE?
Church. The United Methodist Church. The same place I sung, prayed and learned what exceptional moral character is. I actually played in a choir where the tambourine was an essential component to the music and we were 'taught' or 'shown' how to hold and play a tam using rests, single and double-time shakes, rolls, and what are called 'pats'. Timbres and tones are key with tams and alot of time I witness people playing the wrong tam due the tone, size, and number of rings. I recognize that I have patterns for certain songs that I play, such as in Crosstown Traffic, Can't Let Em Get You Down, and Time For Love. No, it's not a guitar, or a keyboard, but it's an instrument that requires some sense of study or understanding.