Lust has launched! We spent the evening at One Lounge DC eating, drinking, singing, and enjoying each others’ company. I couldn’t have asked for better energy or atmosphere while beginning the journey of bring classical music to a new audience. I’ve also learned that being a successful entrepreneur – albeit a musical one – means having the right people in your corner. My best friend and sister, Tynesia Boyea-Robinson, was here during the genesis of Lust, and pushed me to believe that making this happen was possible. Once the belief was in place, we worked together to make a plan, and one that didn’t require that I sacrifice my family. Truth be told she decided to be my “sugar mama” early on so that I’d never have to sacrifice my art for a relationship. I know for a fact that God placed her in my life to make sure I stayed the course and fulfilled my purpose; I’m eternally grateful. Oh, and she understands my brand of foolishness!
Marvin Mills was my accompanist, mentor, partner-in-crime, coach, friend, collaborator, and counselor. He helped me select repertoire, and pushed me to try new pieces. Amazingly, he convinced me to love several songs that I originally refused to sing. It taught me a valuable lesson about learning to understand the possibilities of a piece before making a judgment. We laughed through most of the rehearsals, and I learned a lot about what combining friendship and music can achieve. I can’t say it enough: I. Love. That. Man.
As my vision came together, I could only think of one person to make the images match the music. Raquita Henderson has been a great friend ever since I moved back to St. Louis for a few years post-divorce. She is a photographer, yes, but her real gift is how she sees women. It’s clear that she believes them to be glorious, beautiful, sexy creatures, even seeing things we don’t see in ourselves. And the magic ain’t in Photoshop! Beyond that, she’s just a kickass individual who helps me pursue wild, crazy, irresponsible dreams.
Towards the end of the production journey, I happened to fall in love. I know we’ve all done that at one point, so not necessarily unique in and of itself. What makes this so special is in how he actively supports my dream, no matter what it happens to be. It started when he revamped my website, and continued when he offered to do just about anything I needed – with a smile, and without ego. Our journey is just beginning, and I’ve learned a great deal about how much words mean when they’re backed by action through watching him. Trust me, love really is a verb.
There are, of course, more people who worked their tails off to make sure my dream came to life. Ed Kelly’s genius as recording engineer drove me to use a lot of live takes and very little mastering; 6ix Shoota created an amazing video that received kudos from Greg Sandow, who’s leading the classical music revolution; speaking of Greg, he graciously provided me an opportunity to guest blog on his site to get the word out. Forced me to think as a writer and chronicle my journey to Lust (and beyond). Asia Downer, Chief of Staff for Reliance Methods, was the ultimate event planner – and forced me to think in a linear fashion. Lord knows I needed it! From what I understand she’ll be creating an event “playbook” so we can create even more amazing experiences with less fuss. Ask me if she’s awesome 🙂
Granted, I do believe beauty starts from within, but I had a lot of help making sure it showed in pics and on film. LaTonya Jones gave me fierce looks for both the photoshoot and videoshoot, Shaune Hayes provided the killer make-up, and Dottie Mount created the glorious weave (yes, weave!) for the release itself.
Now do you see what I mean by a team? I’m praying that I didn’t leave anyone out, but with my swiss cheese memory there’s a solid chance I did just that. If so, just message me and let me know – I’ll be happy to give you a separate shout out.
Stay tuned – we’re working on the tour now. I’ll post more pics as soon as they become available, but THANK YOU!