NeoSouljah

NeoSouljah

 Cleveland, Ohio, USA
BandSpoken WordSinger/Songwriter

NeoSouljah's performance poetry infuses Neo-Soul, R&B, and Jazz not just as the backdrop, but at times the driving force. She is now working on her dynamic debut CD. Her work will a focus on quality more than quantity as she promises that this will not be another 78 minutes of ‘stir-fried crap.’

Biography

“I would never diminish another’s’ accomplishments by comparing myself to them, limit my achievements by having them compared to me nor will I compromise or try to make you comfortable to be in the “in” crowd. I am quite controversial. I am who I am” ~ NeoSouljah

Educator. Performance Poet. Singer. Songwriter. Vocal Coach. Host/FemCee. Actress. The level of diversity to NeoSouljah’s list of talents and abilities often make it hard to pigeonhole her into the category of anything other than Artist. Where does one start?

As both an Educator and Spoken Word Artist, NeoSouljah was the very first presenter of Spoken Word and host of an open mic/Slam competition at The National Society of Black Engineers conventions on the National level, and the first clinician to approach the topics of relationships and sexual/emotional responsibility in their workshop forum. Each year they gave her a larger room. Each year, they filled the room, even sitting on the floor. Each year, she served it up “black: no sugar, no cream” as she says. Each year, they’ve asked her to come back.

NeoSouljah’s style, thought provoking and often humorous laced with Neo Soul vocals was witnessed at the Stellar and Dove award winner Babbie Masons’ International Music Conference in 2002, earning her a standing ovation and the baptism of the name NeoSouljah from Babbie Mason herself. Since that time she has graced stages in the company of such noted HBO Def Poets as Peabody/Tony award winners Abyss and Georgia Me; stood in the pulpit and ‘spit’ at an array of local and national churches and regional conferences, as well as taking home top honors in local and multi-city Slam competitions.

In April of 2007 she caught the ear of Jazz artist Brian O’Neal [keyboardist/KEM] and upon their first interview meeting wanted her to just record some a capella poetry for future work. He began to play a melody that she says “sounded like he was playing me”. 30 minutes later at around 3am, one of her now signature pieces “He Played Me” was born. The next afternoon it hit MySpace, and before nightfall had received nearly 1,000 hits. She was asked to return to Detroit by him and audition poetically/vocally for the opportunity to contribute to his latest CD release “Daisy”. She can be heard singing on “Let Me Do It Again”, and poetically on “Because” which she penned to compliment his tribute to his grandmother Daisy. 2 months later, NeoSouljah was billed as both the special featured guest and host of his CD release party where Grammy award winning Jazz artist KEM called her work “amazing”. It was noted that her sound check prior to the beginning of the show caused everyone to stop working, and just listen.

Ah yes, her vocals. To see “Neo” stand on a stage at a full-figured, statuesque 6’1” in stiletto heels and a gigantic Afro is one thing. To hear her voice with a range from 2nd tenor to mezzo-soprano is another. She is the real deal - delivering note for note every emotion from pain, to anger, to forgiveness, to fun, to love. Her roots are deep in Gospel, but because of her ability to arrange and sing all the vocals needed for background, Neo has been sought out and flow in to lend her vocals to a variety of genres; Country & Western, R&B, Jazz, Classical, Neo Soul, and Hip/Hop-Rap.

NeoSouljah is now working on her debut CD. With producers such as Brian O’Neal [KEM], Threefourteen [East Side Boys], and Rob Hardt/The Candy Factory in Europe [Frank McCombs] and a focus on quality more than quantity, she is promising that this will not be another quick-fix, manufactured 78 minutes of ‘stir-fried crap’. With titles like “Green Kool-Aid”, “Grown Folks Business”, and “Panties on the Stage (and Other Family Matters”), one can only guess….. But one will never be disappointed.

Discography

"Prequel to Absolutes" 2007.
"Privately Social" Summer, 2008
There are tracks streaming on The Speakeasy Cafe [blogtalk radio], The New Word Order, and myspace.com/neothepoet

Set List

Life in the Key of Relativity - Poem
Want Ads - Poem
Like A Star [cover, Corinne Bailey Rae]
I am Not My Hair [cover India Arie]
Sistah Girl - Poem w/music
Real Love [original material]
A Love Of Your Own [cover Average White Band]
Old School - Poem
He Played Me [original material]