New York City will get its chance to see Danai Gurira’s play “ECLIPSED”, uniting a group of actresses who’s passion and talent is exceptional. Making its NYC debut on my old stomping grounds, the Public Theater. Join me this fall as I join these beautiful actresses in a play that explores the treacherous lives of several women during the Liberian civil war: to be a war bride, a soldier, a casualty of the war. As a woman of both American and Liberian heritage this topic is particularly poignant and meaningful for me. Having just done, Marley at Centerstage, submerging myself in Jamaican culture, I’m ready to dive into this difficult portion of Liberian history. Honestly, I’m continuing my connection to the diaspora I am personally honored to join these women: Zainab Jah (Hamlet,Ruined), Akosua Busia (The Color Purple, E.R), Pascale Armand (The Convert, S.H.I.E.L.D.), myself, Saycon Sengbloh (Fela, Marley) ,and last but certainly not least Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years A Slave, Star Wars). The play is written by actress Danai Gurira of the Walking Dead, and will be directed by Liesl Tommy (Informed Consent). This year has been amazing thus far and I look forward to more, I’m looking forward to sharing the Eclipsed performances with my friends and family, especially my mom, and meeting new people through this show. Amen! For more info on how to get tickets to see ECLIPSED
As I prepare for my upcoming, “Live at Drom” concert to promote my single, “Be Here” I have had a one of the most awesome opportunities, an interview on the world-wide network, ARISE. This interview was amazing, I went there to discuss my role in Motown the Musical and also to tell them about my new single release, Be Here. I was a little nervous but the hosts of the show were fun and seemed to be genuinely into it. I saw several people I know working there including my friend Cece. These types of interviews are few and far between but I was able to talk about my music and my career and introduce it to a whole new audience. This is priceless for an independent artist like myself. I hope to have a great relationship with them and I look forward to going back to sing on the Arise.tv/entertainment show. That would be beautiful ya know?
If you’re following this blog please know that you are one of the people who knows what its like to be an independent artist, perhaps you read the blogs I’ve written in the past, all we seek is a platform. Motown has been a wonderful platform and I look forward to seeing what else comes of these endeavors. Look for my song Be Here online and ask me about dropcards or CD’s whenever you see me in person!
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Special thanks to :
Randy Bonds of RCBondsPR and Kerstyn Dioulo of Glowconnection
Thanks again for your support and feel free to tweet and repost the interview on your various social networks! Share the blog, share it all! More opportunities come base on clicks and interest!
I dare you to broaden your minds! Young African Queens of the Diaspora are here! Well, the latest playlist that is! Listen to something new for a minute or 1 hour In support of indie artists and musicians everywhere and divas of the African diaspora: English speaking, Spanish speaking, and those of various African or European languages are all on this short list together. I put a new Youtube playlist together to listen to while I write. Actually, many of the artists added to this playlist are not new, many of them have a huge following outside of the US but if you’re anything like me you may find yourself listening to America’s top 40 constantly and just might enjoy listening or learning about other artists you haven’t heard before. So I went on a search on Youtube, this playlist consists of what I’ve found. Start listening now!
Now not to confuse or leave anyone out this 1st list consists of female artists who are new to me and perhaps new on the landscape of music in the last few years, I could of course populate a list with beautiful queens like Angelique Kidjo, Miriam Makeba, and Celia Cruz. But this list is something different. Please hit me with more names of artists who fit this title I learn something new everyday and look forward to hearing from you guys. The Ask Saycon page is there for questions. Click the link to listen while you work. As a kid I’ve always had a fascination with maps imagine all the musicians of the African diapora making music throughout the world and check out a list of names below:
Peep the names listed below:
Shingai Shoniwa ( of the Noissetes)
Its a small world! Indeed for Destiny’s Child alum, Michelle Williams, and myself it is! She will be taking on the role of Sandra in the latest tour of Fela scheduled to tour the world!
She and I both played in Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida back in the day I was her *standby at that time. And now she will play afro-beat queen Sandra Izsadore. Sandra, notably is a activist, and performer and former girlfriend of Fela Kuti. She helped to infuse some of the political tone and strife to the Nigerian-born music man who would become a leader in jazz and African music.
I’ll be excited to see Michelle in Fela! For those of you who don’t know, Fela! is the story of one of Africa’s most well known and prolific musicians, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, a Nigerian man who’s music and very lifestyle stirred both hearts and controversy during his 20 plus years entertaining the world with his innovative “afro-beat genre of music”. I played Sandra Izsadore in the Original Broadway production and also sang on the Grammy nominated cast recording of Fela! along with Sahr Ngaujah (ABC’s Last Resort) and Kevin Mambo (Cadillac Records). We appeared with director Bill T. Jones in Vibe magazine during my shaved head days:
Miss Williams will be having a great year as she reportedly has new management and also recently signed to Light Records, I copped her first recording and will definitely purchase the next. When we were on Broadway with Fela, Michelle came to see the show and gave me congratulatory hugs. She was playing the role of Roxie Hart in “Chicago”, in the theatre right across the street at the time. A class act, she sent me flowers the very next day! So most definitely must return the favor! I’ll never forget the fab white suit wore to her opening night party as Aida when we played at the Palace theatre. Although I’m currently in broadway’s Motown the Musica,l I continue to champion the story of Fela Kuti and to be a supporter of the show, because the powerful music and piece of history the show represents. My friends, leading men Duain Richardson, and Adesola Osakalumi will be headlining the tour along with the talented Danny Soto and “afro-soca” lady Shakira Marshall. On the SayconTalks blog look to the right under Favorite Links and click the Fela tour link for show dates.
*A standby is a sort of built in person who can resume a character at any moment and perform a role during special appearances or in the absence of the primarily advertised actor.
Nneka in New York! the Nigerian & German songbird is here in the U.S. to promote her new album. I saw her across the room in a Whole foods store while have a tea with my friend Maia (aka Soulluvlai) often at a loss for words I couldn’t remember her name for the life of me but of course who can forget that face! A classic beauty without a shred of makeup. Boldly, and nosily, I approached her to ask if she was a Nigerian singer she said yes though I’m pretty sure she and her friend thought I was full of sh*t, LOL anyway we began to chat. I told her about my visit to Nigeria last spring. Nneka said she was in town to promote her new album and I was happy to tell her we shared a publicist when we were in Nigeria, Miss Bobby Taylor who did some amazing work during our time there. Nneka was kind and I was random, anyway, well done Nneka let’s do a duet one day let’s unite for Liberia and Nigeria ya digg?. Check out this video of Nneka making of her new album.
PS.-Shoutout to my Nigerian brothers and sisters struggling to pay for gasoline with oil prices surging. peace,
Its been a busy few weeks we attended the annual Nigerian Reunion in Orlando, Florida. There I performed Upside Down from Grammy award nominated Original Cast Album of Fela and I also sang a new version of Sorrow, Tears, and Blood (Bamboosounds.net). My highschool friend and singer extraordinaire Clinton Harris stopped by! Between performances there was fun in the sun, crazy onstage antics, and lots of questions from the Nigerian youth about the Fela Broadway production. All I can say is see for yourself what a moving piece it is, as it continues to tour the U.S. The highlight of the evening was meeting Omotola Jalade!