NASHVILLE, TN — Multi-Grammy nominated R&B powerhouse Ledisi was in Nashville earlier this week, as part of Maxwell’s “blacksSummers’ Tour ‘17” along with recording artists Common and LeeLa James. In fact, Nashville was the kickoff city that launched this fabulous tour!
Ledisi is a nine-time Grammy-nominated R&B artist who has wowed fans ever since she came onto the scene. In 2008, she received a Grammy nod for “Best New Artist,” as well as performed eight times at the White House for President and Mrs. Obama, and earned a place in the pantheon of the best soul singers of her generation. Her fans include legends and icons like Prince, Pattie LaBelle, Smoky Robinson, Stevie Wonder to up and coming artists like Zendaya.
She’s headlined two national sold out tours, appeared on stage alongside Kelly Clarkson, Jordin Sparks, Jill Scott and on nationally recognized shows like Good Morning America, The David Letterman Show, The Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and VH-1’s Diva’s Live.
Just a few days ago, Ledisi just released a brand-new single, “High” which is a song of self-celebration, empowerment, and heightened love. This honest message with raw bravado only emphasizes Ledisi’s powerful vocal performance. Written by Prince Charlez (Rihanna, Beyonce), Ledisi, Rex Rideout and produced by DJ Camper (Mary J Blige), The full album will be released this fall.
Shortly, before the concert Ledisi chatted with the Tribune and answered Five Questions about her career and her life.
TRIBUNE: What is one of your favorite ways to unwind, decompress and just be high on life and happiness? LEDISI: “I love Netflix and chill. It sounds so cliché, but I love it, because I don’t have to think about music. I love storylines, I love writing storylines, so to watch people act, and study storylines, has been fun. But I love people. If I were able to go to the beach all the time, I’d probably go to the beach all the time, just to watch people. And that’s my favorite thing. I love that, and hanging out with friends, that’s been fun, just listening to and having conversations with friends, and laughing. I really enjoy that.
TRIBUNE: So, when you Netflix and chill, is there a certain genre of movie? Do you like love stories, or horror, or romantic comedies, or what? LEDISI: “I love watching ‘House of Cards,’ I love ‘Black Mirror,] and I love ‘Insecure.’ . All the fun things that are fun, regular stuff that people don’t think about, I love shock value, or fiction, or whatever. I just love good acting, and good storytelling.”
TRIBUNE: Well, we all know you’ve done some acting yourself. Are there any upcoming projects that you’re working on, or will be auditioning for, or what? LEDISI: “I’ve been doing a lot of auditioning recently. I do have stuff coming out soon but I’m going to let that be announced first, before I speak on it. I did some acting, and it helped me enjoy acting more, but not as much as singing because I’ll always sing. But I do enjoy the characters and stuff. I’m starting to understand that voice that I have. I didn’t know I had that. So, that’s been fun exploring the last couple of years. I had a good, fun time with being a storyteller. It’s enhanced my songwriting, I will say that for sure.”
TRIBUNE: Your fan base is not only just people like me and others, but you’ve got Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, the late and great Prince, all these household name people are in your fan base. Have you ever been on stage performing and one of your famous fans were sitting there in the audience, and how did that make you feel? LEDISI: I’m nervous when the legends show up. I don’t care how good of a singer you think you are, when you’re around the greats you become a little kid. I had the pleasure of being at the white house when the Obamas were there, and they always had celebrity audiences – it’s pretty nerve racking to say the least, but I enjoyed that they respected my craft as well, and gave me my little show. I know I become a kid, whether I’m standing there talking to them, or they’re listening to me. I’m nervous all the time. It never gets old that I’m sitting there and Stevie’s telling me about a song or something like a friend. In my mind I’m going, ‘You’re sitting with Stevie Wonder.’ I still can’t believe it.”
TRIBUNE: Everybody knows you’re originally from New Orleans, one of my favorite cities. So, being a New Orleans young lady, do you have a special dish that you can really cook? Creole, whatever – what’s your favorite New Orleans dish that you can really knock it out? LEDISI: “A lot of people love okra, so I’m an okra fan. It’s a really good dish that I love. Anything with shrimp as well. So, anything with shrimp, and that’s a really big thing in New Orleans. Anything with shrimp, okra, I love those kinds of dishes.”