Billie’s Black launches a new series this Wednesday (August 11) with the first “on the sofa with joseph riley land.” Yes, that would be me. Shameless, shameless plug. But, my job as a writer for UPTOWNflavor is to tell you about events going on in Harlem. And this, my friends, is an event.
Co-sponsored by Pollen Nation Events and Floral, the concept of the show is an Oprah-style interview, interlaced with questions from the audience. The first person on the sofa is renowned multi-hyphenate Angela Johnson (singer-songwriter-producer-musician-mother-wife-woman-human), who recently released her fourth album on independent record label, Purpose Records. The show will include selections from the new album, It’s Personal, as well as a few from Johnson’s older work.
The interview will take Johnson’s fans – both new, old and soon-to-be – on a musical journey, learning about the process of recording an album to her experiences with making A Woman’s Touch (her third album, often compared to Q’s Juke Joint). CDs – yes, old-fashioned CDs – will be for sale. Come prepared to pick up one (or four). There is no charge for the event, but there is a $10 minimum food and beverage fee (but it’s going on during happy hour, so get 2 martinis for ten bucks and then you’ll feel so good, you will want a third).
This is the second pairing of Billie’s Black and Pollen Nation in support of independent artists this summer, following the album release/signing they did for Harlem’s own KimberlyNichole in early June. In the interest of full disclosure, I work for both Billie’s Black and Pollen Nation (as well as contribute to UPTOWNflavor; and I am a freelance writer/graphic designer – I designed the flyer; don’t judge me.). Since I am acting as spokesperson for both businesses (I know, I know… but work with me here; somebody’s got to tell you about it), I can explain: Both Billie’s Black and Pollen Nation have a dedication to enhancing the lives of artists on the verge and their goal is to support these artists as they push the boundaries of what is expected from an independent artist. Ms. Johnson, though signed to Purpose Records, is still operating through an independent label and as such fits is exactly the kind of artist with whom Billie’s and Pollen want to work.
Angela Johnson has released four CDs (They Don’t Know, Got to Let it Go, A Woman’s Touch and It’s Personal) as an independent artist and two as a member of modern soul/dance music’s Cooly’s Hot Box (Don’t Be Afraid-Get On, Take It), as well as written and produced for names like Eric Roberson, Gordon Chambers, Frank McComb and Rahsaan Patterson.