Monday, October 26, 2009

Music Week Sleeper Pick: Whatcha know about Lalah Hathaway?

Lalah Hathaway (daughter of the late, great Donny) is one of the most slept on artists of our time. She has a sultry alto/contralto voice that when paired with her meaningful lyrics and artful arrangements set a mood and tone that should not be missed. Her music is a blend of old school soul, neo-soul and jazzy R&B. Recently asked about why she is not more of a powerhouse in the music industry, Lalah replied that she doesn't want to fit into the music industry's current standards. Lalah stated, "I don't necessarily want to fit into what's happening now, but I want to stand with it, doing my own thing. I would really love it if people need the record. I put a lot of myself into this album, so I hope people can hear me and understand who I am."

Her debut album, Lalah Hathaway, (singles Baby Don't Cry, Somethin' and Heaven Knows) came out in 1990. Her fifth studio album Self Portrait came out in 2008. In between she has done some amazing work, a few of my favorites being Love Like This (with Grover Washington, Jr), Forever, For Always, For Love (from the Luther Vandross Tribute album for which she was nominated for a Grammy) and a deep hard to find cut Summertime (with Marcus Miller). She has made over 25 featured appearances on other artists' albums and her voice is a distinctive jewel that rides a melody. If you get a chance to see her live, do not miss the opportunity. Her live performances are always extended cuts of her album versions in a way that less talented performers cannot pull off. Here she is performing Forever, For Always, For Love live (deepest darkest regrets and apologies for the BET Mo'Nique show, I couldn't find clearer video), enjoy:

22 comments:

daisy said...

Love, love, love Ms. Lalah! I have seen her in concert like six times. She ALWAYS sounds good.

MochaMuffin said...

Hey Chele, she's on twitter as @lalahhathaway - show her some love.

derek love said...

The real question is - what do YOU know about Lalah? I've been following her for years. Take a lady to one of her concerts and all of a sudden you are one of those evolved brothers with depth... HA! Jokes aside, she's great.

AppleBerryMIA said...

No joke - I would give a fella mad props for taking me to see Lalah over Beyonce. Raheem DeVaughn over Drake. Means either his game is tight or he took a second to figure out me. Either way, it's a good look. Love Lalah. great post chele!

All Honey said...

Don't get me started on that yodeling, marching around in a leotard chick. She can't hold a candle to Lalah... who I love, thank Chele for the spotlight!

JasonD said...

She is the TRUTH! And yes, probably one of the MOST slept on artists of our time.

OneChele said...

For the folks that know me "in real life" I've bombarded them with Lalah's music since 1990. Apologies to the men who have gone from "you and I have somethin'" to "our love was better as a memory" - soundtrack of my life. As long as she keeps making music, I'm good.

girl610 said...

love. her. I'm done. Your blog goes up in my esteem just for getting down with Lalah!

OneChele said...

And now I can die happy since Ms. Lalah saw this blog post.

Leon X said...

Her voice is a winner. I haven't listened to Self Portrait yet, but that cut Dealing on Eric Roberson's Music Fan First featuring Lalah Hathaway is a keeper.

yourgirlC said...

Thanks for posting this! I missed this performance (I simply can't sit through Monique's show and hear her shout 'baby" every 30 seconds). Lalah is truly gifted!

JaymeC said...

I'm going to have to grab that one. Have been catching up on her Marcus Miller collaborations. OneChele you are right - Summertime is a masterpiece!

diamond life said...

have you heard her work with Joe Sample. Smooth as silk. Grown folk music!

OneChele said...

I don't know why Mo'Nique feels it necessary to scream at the audience.

Stacey said...

caught her live at a holiday show last year with will downing and gerald albright... brilliant!

OneChele said...

I saw that show in Dallas. She did This Christmas - brought a tear!

CoolJoe said...

RESPECT on reppin' the Lalah love. Deep cuts!

Lady Loves Hats said...

Believe it or not, I saw her overseas for the first time and wondered- why haven't I heard of her?! Ever since then I buy whatever she puts out.

SpkTruth2Pwr said...

YES! Slept on! Another slept on artist...Ledisi!

Leon X said...

For those interested, Lalah Hathaway does is part of a tour called Daughters Of Soul that features the daughters of Chaka Khan, Nina Simone, Syl Johnson, and others. They've only toured Europe. Their website is http://www.daughtersofsoul.com/

OneChele said...

That's great info - thank you!

Reads4Pleasure said...

I love Lalah. I've never been to Boston, but her song by that title just does me in every time. It's really hard to understand why quality artists like her don't get airplay, but Rihanna's yodeling self does. And I know it's a money thing, but I would think that the demographic that has money listens to her, unlike the 21 and under demographic that loves SheThatYodels.

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