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Alison Crockett | Features

Artist Of The Month


On Becoming A Woman

Q: Your album is entitled "On Becoming A Woman" Do you have a special message for women on this album?
A: Not really. This was just my journey and hopefully people can relate to the issues in my life.

Q: Why did you record Janet Jackson’s song "When I Think Of You"?
A: Because I love Janet. When I was doing gigs in clubs, I needed something that was a cover to appease the audience and the club owners. I rarly do any song the same way another artist does it because I like to see how things sound in different settings. So I came up with this "remix" is you want to put it that way, and I liked it. It's fun to play and sing. So I put it on the record.

Q: What does music mean to you?
A: I never know how to answer this question. It's so much a part of my life that it's like breathing. I never consider it a separate from me. I have to remember sometimes to practice and work on things because I've never been far away from music in my head. On the road I learned how to write without a keyboard or anything, and I wrote the words, melody, and chords in my head. I still do that. It' infuses who I am, not just what I do. Kind of like I sing/play because I am.

Q: Who are the most important artists that have influenced you musically?
A: There are a lot. My father played a lot of music in the house so I'm influenced primarily from those people. Different people inspire different things but the primary ones are Stevie Wonder, Nancy Wilson, Chaka Khan, Al Jareau, Ella Fitzgerald, Dianne Reeves, Gershwin, Sting, Chopin, Bach, Beethoveen, Prince Horace Silver, Cannonball Adderly, and a whole lot more...

Q: Do you like or practice any other arts besides music?
A: I used to paint and draw a lot. As a child and a teenager I did a lot of dance and theater as well as write short stories. But at some point, you only have time to do a couple of things well, so I concentrated on music. Right now my major hobby is gardening. It allows me to be scientific, physical, mix and match color, form and shape. It's great and very relaxing. I don't get to do it as much now with a 7 month old.

Q: What element in the whole process from writing to performing music is most satisfying to you?
A: All of it, except the engineering process. I'm not too good at technology. I wish I had more patience with it because I could do more on my own, but I'm not that way. But I love wiritng, I love performin, I love working on the song. I guess I'm not a huge fan of rehearsing because I'm a fly by the seat of your pants kind of person.

Q: Will we hear more piano playing from you on future projects?
A: If my brother has anything to say about it there will. I'm very unsure about my piano playing and don't really think I'm all that good. If it were up to me, y'all never would have known that I started my musical career on piano and I would have been a stand up singer. I was forced. I guess it was a good thing and I have more confidence now than I did before, but I don't know... we'll see...

Q: What would you like to achieve with this album?
A: World domination!!! ;) sike. Well, actually...i just want people to hear it, buy it, enjoy it, play it and tell all their friend about it so I can do some more records with allows me to do what I really like to do which is sing in front of people on stage.

Q: What is the latest album you bought? And why?
A: I don't buy a lot of records. I get very frustrated because I grew up with records you could play from beginning to end and maybe not like one or two songs. Then you played it over and over again, because you had to hear it over again. These records are few and far between now. Frankly, I don't listen to a lot of music because I grew up in a lot of noise and I like silence and the music that goes on in my head. Not to boast, but I really like what goes on up there. I can listen to anything at anytime. Right now 'm listening to Baby I'm a Star by Prince, in my head I mean. I'm going to make an arrangement of that so I listening hard to it while I'm doing stuff. I listen on CD to Meshell N'Degeocello, Raphael Saadiq, and Heavy.

© 2004 SaveOurSoul

Alison Crockett is a Brooklyn based vocalist, pianist and songwriter whose style is 'steeped' in a deep Soul tradition, with generous helpings of Jazz and Blues. Taking her cue from divas of the past and present such as Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Donna Summer, Diana Ross and Sarah Vaughn, this Brooklyn, New York based singer/songwriter and pianist is destined for greatness.

Alison CrockettAlison Crockett decided early on, that a career in music was to be the path she would travel. Piano was her first love. "It just called to me. I still feel like a pianist who sings." However after winning several local vocal talent showcases during her high school years, it became quickly apparent that her voice was a rare gift. Alison honed her vocal skills at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA and then a masters degree at the prestigious Manhattan School of Music. As she says, "I set out to be a craftsman; someone who could mold and shape music like a sculpture." Throughout her school years, Alison continued to build her reputation and gain a loyal following by performing regularly with notable local and national artists in and around her Washington, DC home as well as in Philadelphia and New York.

While living and performing in Philly, she met up with dj/producer King Britt (formerly of Digable Planets) and recorded the now classic, Season's Change for the groundbreaking Sylk 130 recording, When the Funk Hits the Fan (Ovum/Sony Music). She was also featured on four other genre bending tracks on the album including the first single, Gettin' Into It. Billboard loved her "throaty, diva-styled vocals."

After touring with Sylk 130, Alison relocated to Brooklyn, NY, where she currently resides. Almost immediately upon her arrival she began working with hip hop/jazz pioneer Greg Osby at the Knitting Factory for the 1996 What Is Jazz Festival, and at the Clef Club for 1997's Mellon Jazz Festival. In 1998, she was invited to participate in the prestigious Thelonius Monk Institute Jazz Colony in Aspen, CO, where she appeared on the same stage with jazz luminaries Nnenna Freelon and Herbie Hancock.

After hearing her work, Geoff Wilkenson , co-founder of the UK based acid jazz outfit Us3 (noted for their 1994 world-wide smash "Flip Fantasia (Biddy Biddy Bop)" ) became convinced he was hearing a young legend on the order of his heroes Shirley Bassey, Dianna Washington or Dianne Reeves. He embarked upon a feverish search to track her down and request that Alison became Us3's first lead singer. Upon her acceptance, Alison traveled to London to write and sing on the album An Ordinary Day in an Unusual Place. "I learned a lot about writing on that record," she says. " Geoff had ideas for songs that required me to come from certain thematic places that were not as natural for me. I really enjoyed the challenge and I'm proud of what I did." The first single, Get Out, immediately shot to the top 10 within a few weeks of its release in Japan. In support of the single and the album, Alison toured extensively in Japan and Europe with the group.

Throughout her time on the road with Us3, and back in New York, Alison continued to write, perform and work on a number of interesting musical projects -- always trying to grow, while bringing her unique sound and soulfulness to each new musical venture; often under the pseudonym Diva Blue. Almost overwhelmed with creative energy and song ideas, Alison could hardly wait to begin working on a project that would showcase the new music she was writing.

Now it's time for the world to experience Alison's singular vision as a solo soul artist. She's currently putting the final touches on her first solo recording, On Becoming a Woman. She describes the songs as a cross between Jill Scott, Meshell N'degeocello and UK broken beat visionaries 4-Hero, but make no mistake, it's pure Alison Crockett!. Alison solely composed all of the music and lyrics on the album. Her brother and business partner, multi-instrumentalist teddycrockett, handled production. She is also collaborating with dj/producer Landslide (hospital records UK) and with the up and coming Brooklyn based drum'n bass producers, Mathmatics adding soul to the UK breakbeat and drum'n bass scenes. The future indeed looks bright for this emerging talent!

On Becoming A Woman
Alison Crockett -  On Becoming A Woman Track Listing:
1. Save Me
2. When I Think of You
3. What We Do Now
4. Crossroads
5. U R
6. I'mgonnacome

7. You Know What Happens
8. Oil and Water
9. Like Rain
10. Alive
11. Nappy
click here to buy On Becoming A Woman, the official Alison Crockett website.