Lalah Hathaway is convinced that everybody is an artist in some way and with her sixth solo album the contemporary R&B songbird set out to explore what that really means. Special to the Tri-State Defender
Lalah Hathaway is convinced that everybody is an artist in some way and with her sixth solo album the contemporary R&B songbird set out to explore what that really means.
|“Where It All Begins” – the new album by multi-talented R&B star Lalah Hathaway – is due out Oct. 18 from Stax/Concord. ((Photo credit: Derek Blanks/Courtesy of Front Page Firm & Concord Records)|
“For me it meant walking into being the artist I’ve always wanted to be,” said Hathaway. “It was an opportunity for me to embrace my independence as an artist through my music and connection to my fans.”
Hathaway penned the title track, along with Ernest Green. At the beginning, she croons, “If you say what you mean/And mean what you say,” showcasing her sensual alto over a languid, hypnotic groove.
In addition to Green, Hathaway recruited other kindred spirits to either co-write or contribute tailor-made tunes. The list includes Lewis Williams, Lee Hutson,Jr., Errol Cooney, James Day, James Fauntleroy, Rahsaan Patterson, TerrenceLilly, Jonathan Richmond, Mike City, Dave Young, Bryan Sledge, Eddie Serrano, Rich King, Andre Harris and Vidal Davis. From that group have come hits written for Alicia Keys, Jill Scott, Bilal, Babyface, Musiq Soulchild, and others.
This album contains several up-tempo gems – “If You Want To,” “My Everything,” and “Small of My Back.” And for proof that she hasn’t abandoned her R&B roots, “Where It All Begins” includes memorable slow jams such as “This Could Be Love, on which she sings of joys and fears of truly falling in love with that someone special, and the bittersweet. “Always Love You,” which hints of the sadness of leaving an unfulfilling romantic relationship.
“Where It All Begins” comes on the heels of Hathaway’s most successful album to date, 2008’s “Self Portrait,” her first record for legendary soul label Stax Records. The album reached the top ten on the Top R&B Albums chart and included the Grammy® nominated (Best Female R&B Vocal) song “That Was Then.
Of course, Hathaway is forever her father’s daughter, and she honors the unforgettable Donny Hathaway with her take on one of his recordings, “You Were Meant For Me.”
“I really listened to my dad’s own songs,” Hathaway says fondly. “‘Jealous Guy’ by John Lennon – I always thought my father owned that,” she laughs. “I just grew up with the approach of opening yourself up to create something beautiful, that’s a love letter to what came before.”
Enter “Where It All Begins.”
“I feel like I’m at the top of my game, like I’m at the beginning again,” she says, excitedly. “There aren’t many artists, particularly female singers, who after 20 years, are kind of still on the come up. I feel like I’m on the come up.”
(Visit Lalah Hathaway on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LalahHathaway.) Follow Lalah Hathaway on Twitter: @lalahhathaway)