When I turned this in to soultrain.com, I knew what I was getting myself into. Saidah Baba Talibah and I conversed as if kids are unable to use the Internets. From talking about blues singer Lucille Bogans to screaming and(/or) creaming, Soul Train's Sound Check was never the same. Here's an excerpt of what actually ran:
SBT: Expression is borderless – I express myself one way, and another artist could express themselves another way. At the same time, when it comes to being a woman expressing these types of feelings and being – not aggressive – assertive, knowing what you want, strong and unafraid of vulnerability is not really out there. So I guess that could be raunchy, like just in explaining how I want to please a man or how I want him to please me. We feel like we have to hide that idea behind what it means to be a lady. There are ways to do all of that and still be classy.
ST: I get it, and there’s even each one’s own interpretation of “classy” and what is a lady.
SBT: This is why I love old blues artists like Betty Davis. She was raunchy, but she was real in stating her facts of life. Also, there was Lucille Bogan, a blues singer from 1935. She was even raunchier than Betty Davis, raunchier than anyone I ever heard to this day and age!
ST: So let me ask: how important is it for you to implement sensuality into your music, and music in general?
SBT: I think sensuality – not necessarily sex – is very important in everything that I do. In the true form of sensuality – calling on touch, sight, sounds and all those things and bring all the senses together – that’s where I’m coming from.
ST: How did you develop your music within calling on those senses from The Phone Demos to (S)Cream and so on?
SBT: Continuing to remind myself to stay as free as possible and to be as real as possible. That’s always the emphasis of where I’m coming from. At least I try to because that can be a little scary. I’m still human. It’s not easy being an artist because everyone has their opinion and capability to judge.
ST:Toronto music –Canada in general – is nothing to sneeze at. How much of the T-Dot inspires your music?
SBT: There’s a lot of ridiculous talent, great musicians, great singers on the scene. There’s By Divine Right, Jully Black, Ayah, and a lot of them have branched out and moved but this city is a beast.Toronto can take over the world.Now that she mentioned it, all those T-Dot artists are dope (including her, I mean, have you heard her music?!). Off the top, By Divine Right is like Toronto's own Radiohead (if only the US had there's - sigh) with their indie kick and their music being vet-like boss status. Jully Black is sassy as shit. No seriously, she has a bold R&B sound that's different than what's typical among other R&B divas, like an over-the-top image isn't necessary to accompany her music. Naturally, fashion is her forte. Ayah, a DJ Jazzy Jeff protege, is Philly soul stuck in Toronto mixed with house, hiphop and whatever else her mind is truly capable of - in fact, a song just dropped she did in collaboration with Slakah The Beatchild called "Keep Up." More heat is sure to follow, I mean, the summer is near!
I'm so glad Saidah hipped me to all these artists. My headphones been on repeat with these folks ever since!
After filling your ears with all that Van Glorious, check out the rest of the interview with Saidah here.