Mekole Wells
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Mekole Wells

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"Article: Mekole Wells: singer, Survivor.(Q+A)(Interview) Article from:Curve Article date:April 1, 2007 Author:Kreitzer, Sonia Copyright"

Mekole Wells is a woman on a mission. Her music seeks to empower her audience to be true to themselves and find time to break it down on the dance floor. the provocative and reflective quality of her voice reveals the singer as an authority on the subject matter, and indeed she is: In 1998, Wells was told she would never sing again after she was stabbed 10 times and her throat was slit in a domestic abuse incident. Now, eight years later, the lesbian musician has just finished her role in menopause: The Musical and awaits the release of her second album.-Sonia Kreitzer

TELL ME ABOUT YOUR FIRST CD, FULL CIRCLE.
"Full Circle" was basically written for me and everyone else out there because I had gone through such a tumultuous time in my life, between my stabbing and the loss of my mother and just really searching for myself.

HOW DID THOSE EXPERIENCES AFFECT YOU, AND YOUR MUSIC?
You know, after my stabbing, I had gone through a lot of stuff and I lived on skid row for a minute. Not because I was an alcoholic or drug addict, because I don't do that It's because I had too much pride and sometimes your demise in life makes you wake up. So I wasn't liquored up when I was on skid row, I was wide awake. And that, that's even worse...Someone once asked me,"Do you believe in the afterlife?" I said "I believe in the afterlife, yeah!" I do, 'cause Im walking afterlife. When you lose a third of your blood, and they put you out for the count, and your still here you get it together. ... Everyone has got to have something to build their strength. If I did not die with tear-stab wounds, I would not be where Im at today.

DO YOU FEEL THAT YOU HAVE COME FULL CIRCLE?
Yeah, I do. And I am still learning, still learning... You know the song "Crush on You" was about me coming out. I was married at the time, and I had this crush on this girl, and I knew there was something inside that had to be opened up and explored and truth came through. And "Full Circle" was really my truth, my truth to myself and to everyone else about me and who I am.

PARTING THOUGHTS?
The bottom line is just, take a chance. I could have set up in skid row. Yeah! Its easy, get a free meal, get some clothes thrown at you, but I don't want that. I can say, " I can't do a CD, I'll never make it." I ain't worrying about making it, my voice will be heard, and thank God my voice is being heard. - Frances Stevens


"SPORTS/RECREATION Wells-done: Singer runs for others"


MeKole Wells was just at the "thinking about running a marathon" stage in April when she told a close friend about her plans, which included joining the National AIDS Marathon Training Program ( NAMTP ) .
The friend, an African-American woman like Wells, looked at her and quietly said, "You should because it's something that I've experienced."

Moments later, Wells learned that her friend had just been diagnosed with HIV.

And shortly thereafter, Wells learned about another close friend, also an African-American female, who had contracted HIV.

Wells promptly signed the contract and joined the NAMTP, which raises funds for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago ( AFC ) . She's now training for the Rock 'n' Roll Chicago Half Marathon in August and the Bank of America Chicago Marathon in October.

Wells is determined to raise $2,600 this summer.

Read more story below....

"The marathon is my opportunity to do something for someone else," said Wells, 45, who lives in Chicago's Rogers Park neighborhood and is a high school teacher in Chicago for at-risk students. An accomplished jazz singer originally from Bakersfield, Calif., Wells has a partner of almost four years: Charon Crosby.

Wells has plenty of motivation for the runs, including her two Chicago friends who were recently diagnosed with HIV and one who recently died. Of course, her students—who range in age from 15 to 22—provide motivation as well.

"I know that I have to be an example for my students. I want them to see how perseverance can change you," Wells said. "A lot of the students say, 'I can't believe you're running the marathon. Are you crazy?'

"They think I'm as nutty as a fruitcake, but they love me because, as they say, 'We trust Miss Wells because she keeps it real.' They think it's 'pretty cool' that I'm running the marathon, and I think it gives them incentive to do something with their lives." She added that she is "very rewarded" by running the marathon.

Wells runs several times during the week by herself, and then joins other NAMTP runners on Saturday or Sunday along the lakefront.

"As I always tell my students: 'No matter what your circumstance is, you rise above the occasion. That's life; you've got to be better. Because life is going to label you according to what your production is,'" Wells said.

"I'm running for a lot of other people, and I know it will be very emotional at the start line.

"People of all races are dying of AIDS, of all ages," she added. "But that drives me, and the training has been very, very good so far. The National AIDS Marathon Training Program offers a camaraderie that you've never experienced before. Everyone is so loving, so kind; it's a great group."

So what's the biggest surprise so far during marathon training?

"I'm just shocked that I'm running three miles three times a week at 5:30 a.m.," she said, laughing.
- Ross Forman 2009-06-24


Discography

Full Circle
12 tracks | 67 minutes
Released Apr 2006
Today's Top 40 | Mood Music

Photos

Bio

Wells has been singing since she was five years old. She began, like most African American singers, singing in the church, however Wells sultry voice was one that needed another outlet besides the church. She began searching for other channels for her art to bloom, talent shows, open mics, any event she could get into. Anywhere there was a microphone Wells was there.
After receiving her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Southern California, and a Masters of Arts from New York University, Wells began what would become a prolific career in both acting and singing.
In 1989 Wells signed with a subsidiary of RCA records called Bassment Records where she had 3 top forty dance singles: "Make My Day" , "Where Did Your Love Go", and Cuties Get Connected."
After being successful in the dance scene under stage name "Eleesa", Wells began pursuing the world of jazz music. She left Bassment Records and started doing background vocals for jazz stars such as Princess, Greg Hamilton, Carl Anderson, and Keiko Matsui. She has also shared the stage with Jazz legend Jonathan Butler.
Redefining herself as a jazz artist unlike any other, Wells is moving strong on the music circuit across the US. She did her first one-woman show in Charlotte
NC in February 2005 at the C.A.S.T Theater before a sold out crowd. "This show gave Charlotte a soulful feeling that it has not felt in years," said Jermaine Lee of Motif Entertainment.
Wells is a multi-talented vocalist capable of performing everything from live dance music, to jazz, to cabaret, to cover band gigs. She has been compared to the late Phyllis Hyman and Sarah Vaughn. She is a soulful lyricist who captures the hearts and minds of all who hear her.

"MeKole Wells is going to change the face of music in years to come" -Jermaine Nakia Lee, Motif Entertainment

"The woman is a Diva she can sing, get ready cause she is about to blow up!" -Darren Austin, TV Host Darren Austin Show, Pride Network