Fatima Washington
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Fatima Washington


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"Fatima Washington A Part of Me: CD Review"

Fatima Washington begins her debut
full-length, A Part of Me, with this
spoken-word introduction: “It’s been
a long time coming, a lot of stops, a
lot of restarts, but I was determined to
give you this. To give you me. To give
you part of me.”
If this is just a part of Washington’s
talent, a small slice of what she has to offer the world, then I’m
pretty sure all of her would blow out my speakers. A Part of Me is
part party, part love letter, part female empowerment anthem, and the
DJ Polaris-produced disc sounds perfect. The mix is clear, and while
the beats are infectious and fun, they also allow Washington’s versatile
voice to dominate the tracks. She belts, she purrs, she conquers.
If, like me, you’ve been suffering from November doldrums, A Part
of Me is just what the doctor ordered.
And, speaking of doctors, following the poetic introduction
is “Addiction.” This is not your Amy Winehouse’s rumination on
rehab. If her refrain was no, no, no, Washington’s is yes, yes, yes.
Yes to breaking free of the bonds of bad love. Yes to dumping the
Decades ago Robert Palmer whined about being addicted to
love. If only he’d had a time machine and a dose of Washington.
She would have saved him a lot of heartbreak. The music here is as
irresistible as the writing is clever. Consider this line: “Checked out
of Betty Ford. I’ve been to Dr. Drew and Dr. Phil told me I’m over
you.” She doesn’t need any of those people. Washington is her own
best MD.
The sexy “Please” features the smart and spot-on rappings of
2RQ and is like “Paradise by the Dashboard Lights,” only good and
with an obvious and delicious R&B flavor. It’s lightening-speed
give-and-take between a woman who wants to hear a man say he
needs her and a man who needs to say anything but. “Please” melts
into the mellow “Follow Me” – okay, I’m there – and the bittersweet
breakup tune “Loving You.” The middle of the album slows things
down and invites you to light some candles and let Washington’s
beautiful voice wash over you.
Listen to Washington’s “Over,” “Feels Like,” “Promise” and
“Melt Away” and compare them to the work of R&B superstars like
Alisha Keys, Gladys Knight and Whitney Houston before she was
a train wreck. I dare you to find anything lacking in Washington’s
delivery. The real difference between Fatima and many of the radiofriendly
divas you hear these days is the intelligence of her writing.
Her voice is not just courtesy of her crazy good cords – it’s also her
unique take on the world, her writer’s voice. She is a star in the making.
Actually, she’s a star already. Fort Wayne, pay attention. Give
this girl the ear and accolades she deserves.
In the first few lines of Part of Me’s intro track, Washington lets
us know that these 12 songs are just the beginning – that it just gets
better from here. It’s the perfect note to begin this accomplished and
incredible debut, but it’s also a smart signal that her career is just
beginning. I would like to personally entreat Fatima Washington to
give us more of her. For now, though, I’ll just keep spinning this disc
as a cure for what ails. It’s like Washington sings in her sparkling
song “Basics”: “just let the music play.” Let the music play. (Deborah
Kennedy) - Whatz Up Magazine


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"R&B singer through hiding under the covers"

The last time we caught up with local neo-soul and R&B artist Fatima Washington, she was spending a lot of time onstage at local restaurants, covering songs by other artists – albeit with a swagger all her own – for crowds of people ear-deep in their bowls of pasta. A lot has changed since then.
“At that time, I was really searching,” Washington says. “When you’re first starting out, you’re timid and insecure about the role you play. I had to get my feet wet first and find out what worked. There was a lot of trial and error going on at that time.”
Finally, Washington is ready to come out from behind the veil of cover tunes and start performing her own music. Written by Washington herself, her current collection of songs shimmer in the no man’s land among jazz, soul and hip-hop – all hinging on the joyful roll and sashay of Washington’s high and honeyed vocals.
“At a certain point, I realized I can’t sing everyone else’s songs for the rest of my life,” Washington says. “I had to hone my craft, and that’s just what I did. I’d wake up in the morning and start writing lyrics. I’d go to rehearsal or the recording studio or a performance. And then I’d fall asleep writing lyrics at night.”
This weekend, Washington will perform selections from her forthcoming (still untitled) album of original music. “The Unveiling of Fatima” will be a “musical coming-out party” for the performer, she says.
“The decision to have this show – I grappled with it,” Washington says. “Using my own words to communicate with people exposes so much. It’s a little nerve-wracking but exciting. This is a chance for people to get to know me; to understand who the girl is behind the music. I’m bringing it back to Fatima the singer, the writer, the person.”
Washington began writing her own material in part because she was too shy to ask someone else to write songs for her, she says. But her lyrical gifts – specifically, her ability to write a relatable love song without ignoring the power of words – are apparent.
“There is an evolution when you write and perform a song,” Washington says. “What you feel when you’re writing it may not be what you feel when you perform it. When I first wrote the song ‘Basic,’ it was my ode to music and the peace and confidence I find in it. Now, when I perform the song, it’s more about who I am. The song is me, bringing everything back to basics and avoiding all the extras that can overshadow and convolute who you are.”
For the next year, Washington hopes to broaden the audience for her original music, taking her live show to clubs and events in Indianapolis, Ohio, Illinois and Michigan. She hopes to release her album before the end of the year, she says.
“I’m just trying to take it to the next level,” she says. “That’s my theme this year: branching out.”

- Journal Gazette

"Local musicians salute the greats and Down the Line 3 concert at Embassy Theatre Bands pay tribute to acts, individuals who inspire them."

By Cindy Larson clarson@news-sentinel.com

Fatima Washington will fulfill a dream Saturday night when she performs Aretha Franklin songs live onstage at the Embassy Theatre.
She's one of six local acts performing the music of legendary performers at “Down the Line 3: Legends from Locals,” which will benefit the Embassy. The show, which is presented by Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, is a way for local bands to pay tribute to the musical acts or individuals who inspire them.
“That's every local singer's dream, to sing at the Embassy,” Washington said.
Lee Miles, of Lee Miles & the Illegitimate Sons, agrees.
“I think it's a pretty cool thing,” he said. “It's probably the best place in Fort Wayne you could possibly play.” The band will play songs from the late '60s and early '70s group the Band.
Bruce Lemert, who will perform with the Dive Kings doing Jimi Hendrix songs, clarified that it's not like they're doing an imitation of the band. They'll play Hendrix songs in homage to Hendrix, but Lemert won't be wearing an afro wig.
He said the three-piece band plays classic rock, including Hendrix, and they've been doing it for years at venues around town.
Unlikely Alibi, which plays reggae, reggae rock and some ska - all types of music with Jamaican influences - will play Bob Marley songs at Down the Line. The band plays locally, mainly at Columbia Street West and Mid City Grill.
“We're very excited about it. Really looking forward to it,” band member Jake Wilhelm said.
While Unlikely Alibi has experience playing reggae, Washington, who performs around town and for corporate and private events, hasn't “tackled” an Aretha Franklin song.
She admits to being a little nervous about singing the “Queen of Soul's” songs.
“I'm just really excited beyond words to be performing her music,” she said. Of course, she plans to “put a little bit of Fatima in it.”
She's working with several producers on her first CD and may reveal some details at the Down the Line concert. Meanwhile, she performs at American Legion Post 148, 705 E. Lewis St., every second and fourth Friday of the month.
Washington says she's had a passion for music since she was a child.
She went to Snider High School and Emory University in Atlanta, where she “blossomed” as a singer.
She graduated with a degree in psychology and a minor in music. She's been back in Fort Wayne about three years now.
- News Sentinel

"Down the Line 3.0"

"Down the Line 3.0: Legends From Locals" is expanding its musical horizons this year. For the First time, the popular Embassy Theatre fundraiser will pay tribute to several black musicians, including Bob Marley, Aretha Franklin, Ji'l1li Hendrix and Marvin Gaye.

"Before this year, it was definitely white dudes singing songs by other white dudes," event organizer Matt Kelley says. "Not intentionally, of course. But that was definitely how it ended up. And over the years, we've struggled to find a great female presence, too. So to have Fatima (Washington) is neat; it makes it so it's not just a bunch of people singing songs originally performed by men."

As usual, the artists chosen by Kelley are musicians who regularly perform in local clubs, bars and coffeehouses. In many ways, the concert should be considered a "thank you" of sorts to all of the people who keep live music going in Fort Wayne, Kelley says.

''These are the people who are doing it week in, week out," he says. "They're contributing to the artistic or cultural excitement of the scene. They're all out there doing things, providing viable artistic options for people to see. We get so many demos and samples from people who want to put together a supergroup for this concert. For me, this concert is a reward for the people who are slugging it out every day."

Here's the lineup for this year's show, which kicks off with Brian Lemert performing music by Jimi Hendrix at 7 p.m.

Fatima Washington
on Aretha Franklin:
"She's the Queen of Soul. There was no way I could pick anyone else to pay tribute to. Anytime you sing songs by someone with a career like Aretha's, you can't go into it thinking, 'I'm going to sing exactly like they do.' That's problematic. It's like dancing. No one does the moon walk exactly like Michael Jackson. "So I'm not trying to imitate Aretha; I'm paying homage to her music, her style and her voice. I want to do her songs and let people remember the glamour and glitz and drama of the music of her era, but put a little Fatima into that, too."

- Journal Gazette

"Down the Line Preview"

By Ben Larson
On January 20th, we swore-in the first African American president in U.S. history. On a local level, February 7th will mark the first time that a Black performer will grace the stage for a Down The Line performance. This year's Down The Line 3: Legends from Locals will feature both Ty Causey and Fatima Washington, performing the music of Marvin Caye and Aretha Franklin, respectively. I got a chance to talk with both Ty and Fatima recently, as well as Matt Kelley, the promoter and organizer behind all three Down The Line events, which raise funds for the nonprofit Embassy TheatFe.

As I listened to everyone's account of how they hooked up for this show, I got the feeling that serendipity had more than a little to do with Ty and Fatima's appearance on the bill. Matt Kelley told me that he had been thinking about having a Motown set for some time.

"There's not really a template for the kinds of bands we pay tribute to," Kelley says.

If there was any kind of template at all, Kelley tells me that it was to have "Rock 'N Roll Hall of Fame- type bands." Now, that's a pretty broad category, which is why he hesitates to call that any kind of model. I mean, the 2009 inductees include Run DMC, Metallica and Bobby Womack. Obviously, that leaves plenty of room to maneuver. So, in that sense, this year's lineup is probably closer to the actual spirit of the Rock 'N Roll Hall of Fame idea (the other bands being payed tribute to include The Band, Bob Marley, Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin).

Anyway, back to the serendipity. It seems that everything came together like pieces in a puzzle. Kelley mentioned that he had been thinking about having a Motown set, and the first person he thought to include was Ty Causey. The two hooked up through a tllutual connection at Temple Recording.

"It started out as a Motown set ... but we narrowed it down to [Marvin Caye]."

When I asked Ty about why he chose Marvin Gaye as opposed to someone else, I could scarcely keep up with all of the reasons he gave me.

"I just love ... how his lyrics speak to the audience," Ty explains.

Anyone familiar with the great Mr. Gaye's music knows how socially aware and relevant his songs were, and still are. Just think about the lyrics to What's Going On, specifically the line "we don't need to escalate / war is not the answer." I'm sure that for many readers, those words ring as true today as they did when the song was recorded in 1971, as do "money, we make it / for it we see you take it" from Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler).

Ty is no stranger to this material. Once, he had the good fortune to perform a set of Marvin Gaye's music in Detroit at a concert headlined by none other than the legendary Martha Reeves. In the interest of time, I'll have to cut the story a bit short, but I will tell you my (and, I suspect, Ty's) favorite part. Upon being introduced to Ms. Reeves by the show's promoter, and his telling her that Ty, would be performing Gaye's music that evening, "She looked me up and down, then said 'Marvin, huh? Marvin was taller. But you're cute. You'll do,'" Ty recalls with a big smile on his face."

After she heard him sing, though, Ty tells me that things changed between them.

"She heard me doing Marvin in rehearsal, and after that she always checked on me. She definitely didn't think I was tall enough to do Marvin, be she defirtitely thought I could sing."

You'll be-able to judge that one for yourself on February 7th, but I'm inclined to think that every- one in the audience will agree with Ms. Reeves.
as I'd like to go on about Causey and Gaye, I really need to move on to the sole lady of the evening, the beautiful and talented Fatima Washington, who will be performing the music of Aretha Franklin (Franklin' is from "Motown"- as in Detroit- but she wasn't on the Motown record label). When r asked her about hooking up with Matt Kelley to do Down The Line, she was more than frank.

"It's a wonderful thing to have friends who speak on your behalf," she says.

Similar to Causey and Gaye, the choice to pay tribute to Aretha Franklin was helped by the similar singing styles of the two artists. Aside from the vocal similarities, Fatima told me that she and Franklin also share similar backgrounds in regards to how they got started singing. Both started by singing gospel at church services, and then branched out into popular genre's from there. She also told me that, growing up, Aretha Franklin was a musical staple in her house. If you combine those aspects, the choice to pay tribute to Franklin was an easy one, or, as Fatima put it, "who else are you going to do?"

Soul and Motown are not Washington's only influences, however. She and 1 had a nice talk about music in general, and it came out that Fatima has a taste for music with a little more of a southern feel as well.

"There's a little country girl inside," Fatima reveals. "1 don't know if many people know that."

And why shouldn't there be? One of the hallmarks of a refined musical taste is diversity. Personally, 1 can respect someone who can listen to Jay-Z, and in the same afternoon put Dolly Parton on the stereo.

Down The Line is not only a fun gig, it's also a great tool to gain exposure to audiences that might not otherwise hear you perform. Both Washington and Causey have been performing in public for years, but this experience is a unique opportunity for them to branch out, make new fans, and also maybe become a new fan of one of the other performers.

"What's great about this lineup is that you can go from Jimi Hendrix to Marvin Gaye to The Band to Aretha ... you don't find concerts period that have that kind of array of music," Fatima says.

"This event is so diverse, it really helps bring things together," adds Matt Kelley.

Visit inknewspaper.com for more details and a link to purchase tickets for this outstanding showcase for local talent.

"Fatima Washington: One-Time Wallflower Steps Into the Spotlight"

Fatima Washington was once shy. You'd never know it to see her on stage now, but when she first began singing she was more than happy to be in the corner, or as she puts it, "an actual piece of the wall." But to hear her these days is to realize that the wallflower has most certainly bloomed. Through her weekly performances at the Blu Tomato, Washington has gained a loyal group of fans and has plans to win over more with an album she has in the works. That album will no doubt contain plenty of the upbeat R&B and Hip-Hop infused songs that she has become known for, songs that incorporate modern sounds with a more classic style that she was introduced to years ago.

To say that Washington grew up in a musical family is an understatement. Her father and grandfather played guitar, her grandmother sang, and one of her brothers dances. Family gatherings were a pretty musical event. "On trips to my grandmother's house, it was Motown the entire way there and back, and of course once we got there we had to interpret Motown,” Washington says. “We would put on our own little performances in the room and I remember my dad specifically doing 'My Girl.' MTV and BET were really big then and whenever the songs would come on, that's what we would do. My brother would do the dances and I would dance and sing.”

One of the places it took her was a talent show in junior high, although, she's not exactly sure why, considering her stage fright. "I was really shy. I don't know what it was about the seventh grade. I'd been to the talent show at Blackhawk in sixth grade and there was
another young girl there that I looked up to and she sang a Whitney Houston song and I remember sitting there and thinking, 'I could do that. I sing that song at home.' The next year I auditioned and I was scared. I could hear it in my voice but my teacher had her jaw to the floor and asked 'What grade are you in?'"

Next up was an encouraging experience with karaoke. "They used to have these things at the Coliseum, almost like a kid fair, where they sell all these things and hand out brochures. They had a karaoke area set up and my Mom said go do it you know you want to. I was thinking, 'I don't know. There's people around here.' I waited until the end of the
day when there wasn't anybody around and I was so scared. Even though I knew every single word to that song my eyes did not leave that screen. I turned around expecting my Mom to give me a 'thumbs up' and there was a crowd of people. This one woman was shouting 'Janet's in the building! Janet's in the building!' I was so petrified I hid under my Mom's coat to walk out."

During her junior and senior high school years, Washington developed an appreciation first for young female artists and then became a fan of neo-soul. She also began to understand her talents more and began honing her craft. "I started doing UPAF in high school. I got a lot of training in voice and music theory from Snider's choral program and then I joined UPAF. The combination of the two helped with my confidence which showed in my performance and that was when I really blossomed. I was trying more things at home. I would have rehearsals at home instead of accidentally singing along to a video and wondering if I hit a note or not. I think I bought a karaoke machine and that was my rehearsal machine. I was serious about it, but I didn't know how serious so we didn't want to spend gobs of money on all this equipment and then two weeks later decide that I might want to be a painter. So, I was recording and practicing and listening back."

After graduating high school, Fatima decided she wanted to pursue music full time, but also didn't want to wind up a struggling musician. So, she attended college where she majored in psychology and minored in music (she graduated just a few credits short of a full-fledged music major). Every summer she would come home and practice on her karaoke machine. “That's when I started writing more,” she says. “I had always written poetry but now I was putting the poetry into song form. I was literally sitting down and listening to beats and writing songs."

Fatima says she couldn't tell you how many songs she's written over the years ("I have three lyrics books that are full of songs and thoughts."), but she does remember one of the first songs that she wrote. "It's a song, called 'Best Ex-Friend,' about looking back. You
realize the person that you thought was your friend, you're glad that you separated. It's a good song, but it's not a good song."

For nearly two years now, Fatima has been performing at the Blu Tomato, a gig that came about through a friendship with Ty Causey. Causey would sometimes do a guest spot with the UPAF and on one occasion did a duet with Fatima. He was very impressed, and over the years stayed in contact with Fatima’s mother. When Fatima turned 21 and got out of school, she went to see Causey perform at the Blu Tomato. Causey invited her to sing a few songs, but Fatima was so nervous she didn’t go back for months. Causey called her up on stage. “He said ‘I have these songs, do you know any of them?’” she says. “One of the first songs I did was 'Rock the Boat' and as soon as it came on I started singing and the crowd started dancing and cheering me on. I eventually was doing so many songs with Ty that the owner asked me if I wanted to do my own show.”

Fatima had just upgraded from her old karaoke machine to a proper mixing board with amp that her brother had helped her purchase from a pawn shop. “I had all of this equipment and I could look at it,” she laughs. “But then I got the gig at Blu Tomato and it just fell into place. That's how so much of it will happen. It's a blessing that I'm not able to block myself from those things."

Currently, Fatima is putting together her debut album, but she does have a single that is available at her shows. "It's $5 and the single is 'Fool for Love' and then it has snippets of some of the other songs that will be on the album. I'm trying not to rush it because this is
my first and I've been working on it for over a year. I've learned so much from the time I started until now. If I had released it by now, I wouldn't be listening to it. I've grown so much. My writing has gotten better. I really believe it’s going to be a good album."

By Sean Smith - Fort Wayne Reader

"7 to watch in 2007"

2007 is shaping up to be a big year for talented vocalist Fatima Washington. A weekly performer at Fort Wayne's Blu Tomato nightclub, Washington's powerful voice also dazzled crowds at events like the Fort Wayne Urban League Gala, the Summit City Poetry Slams and other major venues.

Washington is also co-host of the weekly local music television show Fort Wayne Reader presents Live On Stage, which airs after Saturday Night Live on WISE-TV (Channel 33/Comcast Channel 13). The popular program is now entering its second season.

And if that's not enough, Washington plans to release a new CD of original material later this year. - Ink

"Catch her while you can"

Not every teenage girl thinks her father is an idiot. Mine was a Barbra Streisand fan, though, so I had no choice. Every once in a while - whether I wanted to hear it or not - he would tell me about the time he saw Streisand perform at "a rinky-dink club in Chicago." And then he'd close his eyes, lean back and slowly shake his head.

"Terrific," he'd say. "Terrific."

Naturally, this mortified me. To me, Barbara Streisand’s music was strictly for the socks and sandals set, the kind of stuff you’d hear at a Gin Rummy party. But for my dad – who had seen Streisand perform long before she was the talon-nailed psychiatrist in “The Prince of Tides” – watching the then-unknown singer felt miraculous, like touching stardust.

The other night, as I watched local R&B singer Fatima Washington perform her weekly Saturday night gig at The Blu Tomato, I understood what my father was talking about. Before fame, photographs and tabloids, there is talent. And Washington has it – the kind of voice the ear follows through winding scales and jazz riffs. It’s both soft and powerful, filled with the echoes of R&B and soulful pioneers such as Aretha Franklin and Patti LaBelle.

“I definitely have older influences,” she says. “I grew up listening to The Temptations, Patti LaBelle. I think Patti LaBelle is one of the best singers. Ever. In the whole wide world. Her voice is just ridiculous.”

Raised by two musicians, Washington taught herself to play the piano in seventh grade, plunking out Mozart by ear. Currently, she’s learning to play the guitar – a little trickier for her fingers, she says – and working on her still untitled first album a collection of songs with roots in R&B, peppered with neo-soul, hip-hop and rock-pop influences.

“I try not to put a label on my music,” Washington says. “It’s definitely got its basics in R&B, but I can end up writing songs with a totally different sound. One of the songs on the album has a Kelly Clarkson rock sound. So, my music spans the gamut.

On stage, Washington is a powerful performer. Schooled in the style of recent acts such as Brandi and Beyonce, she enjoys adopting their performance elements into her own stage show, she says.

“I’m trying to compare myself to what I want to be,” she says. “If I can shoot for that, I might land close and someone will see me and help me get the rest of the way. For this next year, I want to keep growing in my performance and as a vocalist. And I definitely want to grow as a writer. I’ve only been writing for a few years, so I want to hone that skill and write songs that people can really feel and understand. I want to be able to make music that is the soundtrack to a person’s life.

Until then, Washington will continue to perform at venues around Fort Wayne. Her CD Single “Fool For Love,” is available at her shows and a full-length CD will be released this year.

“My end goal is to become a national act,” Washington says. “Music, I like it and, it’s a big part of me. But what keeps me going is being able to watch the audience enjoying it. That means more to me than someone saying, “You’re a great singer.” I love when people say they’ve had fun at one of my performances.”

By Emma Downs
- Journal Gazette

"Fatima Washington, coming star with new single"

Local talent Fatima Washington follows the beat of a different drummer, and the rhythm has never been more unique than on her new single, “Follow Me”.
The latest release follows up her previous single, “Loving You,” and both singles give fans an idea of the direction Washington wants to take with a tentative album.
“I’ll probably release one or two more singles before the year is out and it will definitely will round it out,” Washington said. “My CD has a lot of different feels to it. I feel like these singles are good representations of it.”
When it comes to songwriting, Washington approaches everyday life as her muse.
“It comes in all types of places. Sometimes I get it from watching other people, sometimes I’ll watch TV and it makes me think,“ she said.
“Follow Me” takes a soulful approach to R&B while “Loving You” displays an emotional appeal. Washington describes her music as a culmination of both genres.
“Most of my music is R&B, there are sometimes a little more of a soulful kick to it, but it’s definitely R&B,” Washington said.
Producer DJ Polaris said he believes that Washington’s involvement gives the “Follow Me” vitality.
“She did a good job, “ Polaris said. “It’s an upbeat song, she did her own background vocals and it feels like a full song.”
Polaris met Washington as a teenager and informed her mother that he would be interested in producing music for her once she was older. Since Washington graduated from Emory in 2006, the two have collaborated on her repertoire. Washington continues to broaden her career path.
“The ultimate goal is to be an international recording artist and entertainer,” Washington said, “All of my other goals are the steps I need.”
Between performing in cities like New York and Chicago to the Eiffel Tower in Paris and opening for artists such a Keith Sweat and Bobby Valentino, she is active in the studio, co-producing her own material.
“Her involvement separates her from a lot of artists,” Polaris said. “She is involved in the mixing, sometimes production—she’s very hands on. She isn’t waiting for a producer to give her music and then just sing a long. “
While Washington configures an album for the near future, she has set up performances for private parties and believes that her local support has helped her effort to get her music to the public.
“The local market has supported its artists pretty well. The artists just need to make sure it’s out there.” Washington said. “It’s just difficult to make sure that everybody knows that it’s out there especially in Fort Wayne where there are so many different facets.”
Washington, however, can now reach a large-scale audience with her singles on iTunes, and while a release date for the album remains open, Washington believes the time in between will be well spent.
“There are some other things that may cause it not to come out as soon as I expected but it will be worth the wait,” Washington said.
This is part of the June 23, 2010 online edition of Frost Illustrated.

Have an opinion on this matter? We'd like to hear from you. Click here.
- Frost Illustrated


When Fatima Washinton ook the Embassy stage in February 2009, singing the music of Aretha Franklin as part of her Down the Line performance, it marked a significant moment in her blossoming career. But it was another venue several years earlier that had proved pivotal in the life of the talented singer.
“When I was 16, I was part of a choir chosen to represent the United States on a European tour,” she said of a trip which took her to several countries including Italy, the Netherlands and France. “It was when we performed at Notre Dame that I realized that music was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. We did one song where there was an abrupt stop, and when we practiced it was just silence during the stop. But at Notre Dame there was this echo – and on my dying day I will still remember that echo.”
Despite her commitment to music and her determination to pursue it in the future, her academic ambition kept her grounded enough to focus on earning a degree in psychology at Emory University in Atlanta. Although music was her minor, Washington held firm to her desire to help kids through difficult times and was as driven in that capacity as she was in pursuing her music career.
“I got a degree in psychology thinking I would either get a counseling license or go on to law school and then would partner with someone who had done the opposite, with the hope of opening a center to help children coping with divorce or other issues which are troubling them. I just always thought I could do both, help kids and play my music,” she said.
And, as it turns out, she can – and does. Now working at the Madison Center after several years with SCAN, Washington is putting the degree to use, helping children coping with behavioral issues. But her music career is going strong, as well evidenced by her slot at the third installment of Down the Line, an annual event which draws on the diverse musical talent in the Fort Wayne area. Although by design the music performed is largely music made famous by others, Washington has branched out in recent years to write her own material. Her efforts include writing, performing and producing jingles, including the recently launched radio campaign for a local glass company.
Even more remarkably, she finds herself sharing the stage with a variety of major stars, serving as opening act at concerts and the 2009 Fort Wayne Urban League Gala, where she got to work with R&B legend Regina Belle. Washington says she learns something from everyone she meets and is especially grateful for the opportunities she has gotten thanks to support from other successful local performers.
“Ty Causey has been so great to me, mentioning me to people and mentoring me. He helped me gain the courage and the focus I need on stage and gave me a platform to grow. He started inviting me to join him at his shows at the Blu Tomato, and from that I started performing there every Saturday for over a year,” she said. “It was great exposure and a great confidence booster.”
Washington’s confidence and stag presence belie her years, and it is likely her musical savvy which has thus far delayed her CD, an effort she admits has long been in the pipeline. But her determination to release a quality product will come to fruition this spring, as will a live performance DVD recorded in 2008. A performance at the Urban League’s Black & White International Ball highlights the busy March, and she has bing plans for the months and years ahead.
“2010 will be a breakout year for me,” she said. “And the beginning of a breakout decade.”
- Fort Wayne Magazine

"Fatima Washington debuts at Therapy Cafe’s Soul Food Sunday"

It’s difficult for a new singer from another state to play a local bar for the first time and knock the audience off its feet, but that doesn’t scare vocalist Fatima Washington of Ft. Wayne, Ind.
She’s an R&B singer, gushing with confidence, who will make her debut in Dayton on Sunday, July 12, at 8 p.m. for Soul Food Sunday at Therapy Cafe, 452 E. Third St.
“I sang a lot while I was in high school,” Washington said from Ft. Wayne. “But from 2001 to 2005 I quit singing professionally to go to college. After college I made up my mind to pursue music full time. I have a really good management team working for me and I’m confident our show will be great.”
Since revitalizing her career Fatima has performed for Ft. Wayne Women’s Magazine and has opened for artists such as Keith Sweat, Bobby Valentino, the SOS Band, The Whispers, Paul Anka and others.
Emma Downs, features writer for the Ft. Wayne Journal Gazette, said Washington’s style is “both soft and powerful filled with the echoes of R&B and soul pioneers such as Aretha Franklin and Patti LaBelle.”
Washington, who will be accompanied by a local band, is crystal clear on where she sits on the musical map.
“I’m not neo-soul or pop,” she said. “I’m an R&B singer but I can end up writing songs with a totally different sound. One of the songs on my new album has a Kelly Clarkson rock sound. So, my music spans the gamut.”
HOW TO GO Who: R&B singer Fatima Washington When: Sunday, July 12, 8 p.m. Where: Therapy Cafe, 452 E. Third St. How Much: $7 For More Information: Call (937) 461-4000

- Dayton Newspaper


Loving You (single) - 2008
Follow Me (single) - 2009
Addiction (single) - 2011
A Part of Me (Full Length) - 2011



“Fatima Washington was once shy. You’d never know it to see her on stage now… to hear her these days is to realize that the wallflower has most certainly bloomed.”
Sean Smith
Fort Wayne Reader

In a short time, Fatima has gone from just another young performer to having her own night at several clubs and restaurants. Most recently, Fatima has sung back up vocals for Trace Adkins while on the Shine On Tour with Martina McBride to thousands. Additionally, she has opened for T-Mills, Cali Swag District, E-40, Jagged Edge, After 7, Keith Sweat, Bobby Valentino, the SOS Band, and shared a stage with Tony Award winner Heather Headley. Fatima has toured New York, California, Chicago, Atlanta, Dayton, and various parts of Europe, including The Eiffel Tower in Paris, rocking the crowd and leaving indelible marks at every event.

At home in Indiana, she started singing background vocals and recording voiceovers on various studio recordings for Sweetwater Sound, several of which are in rotation. Fatima has performed for Down the Line Concert Series, The Homeless Walk, Fort Wayne Urban League Black & White Ball, Indianapolis Sickle Cell Foundation, Indianapolis Black Expo, and Fort Wayne Magazine’s Women’s Night Out to an audience of over 2,000. She has truly made a name for herself.

Fatima is currently promoting her debut CD, A PART OF ME, with previously released singles “Loving you” and “Follow me,” all available on cdbaby, iTunes, Amazon, and several other internet stores for digital download. A Part of Me has been described as “part party, part love letter, & part female empowerment anthem. Fatima Washington belts, she purrs, she conquers! The music is irresistible as the writing is clever. If this is just a slice, then all of her would blow out your speakers!” Fatima writes and arranges her own material and co-produced portions of her album with local producers. In fact, you will find that she also plays instruments on a few songs for the album.

With the talent that she possesses this singer/songwriter is well on her way to success in the music industry. Simply put “catch her while you can.”