In my opinion, Alicia Olatuja has the voice and range similar to the late Whitney Houston, Adele, CeCe Winans and Amy Winehouse. Yep, she is of their caliber. Call me biased if you wish, but I am quite confident you will agree when you listen to her songs.
She recently took time, while on tour, to discuss her upcoming second project, her likes and dislikes, as well as her concert at Kumble Theater in Brooklyn on March 10. Grab a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and join our conversation.
1. Favorite Food? Ice Cream
2. Favorite Netflix Guilty Pleasure? "Supernatural"
3. What did you want to be when you grew up? A veterinarian
4. Embarrassing moment? When I was a little kid my mother used to make me put baby powder in my underwear. One day i used too much and after sitting on the floor during children's story at my church I got up and there was a baby powder butt print on the carpet. I had to stomp it out to get rid of it. Mortifying ... and hilarious.
5. Do you have a bucket list? If so, what are 3 of the items on it? Not really. I'm immortal. Lol!
6. What is your dream venue to sing in? Wherever Oprah is.
7. Favorite Cereal? Does oatmeal count? If not, Lucky Charms.
8. How old is Puma? (Puma is Alicia's cat, whom I feel has watched me grow up) 13 going on ... Methuselah.
9. Favorite cartoon when you were a child? Muppet Babies.
10. Favorite singer now? Hmmm ... I don't know. Me? Lol!
11. What inspired you to begin writing a second album? I wanted to do an album that championed and celebrated women composers. What better time for such a project than now!
12. What has God revealed to you in this particular writing process? We have to give ourselves permission to be recognized and celebrated, to believe that we are worth being seen and heard as artists, as individuals, and as women.
13. How did you feel after you reached your goal with your crowdfunding campaign? I felt an overwhelming abundance of gratitude and a responsibility to make the most of the opportunity made possible for me by so many generous hearts and believers in my work.
14. Can you again explain the meaning of your album title, Intuition? The extended title of my upcoming album is Intuition - Songs from the Minds of Women. When people think of the word intuition, they usually associate it with a women's internal awareness and emotional instinct. And yes, women are known to be equipped with emotional intelligence. But it is also equally important to recognize and celebrate the intellect and work that women do. This work expands and greatly impacts the artistic world and the world as a whole. We are both emotional and intellectual beings, creating work that is powerful and valid.
15. What is different about this album, as opposed to your first? The subject matter is very different but also my first album Timeless represented where I was in my life then. So much has changed and I've grown a lot as an individual. I believe that growth is reflected in the song selections, arrangements, and compositions of Intuition.
16. What are you enjoying most about your current tour? I love watching how powerful of a unifying force music is. When I travel from North to South, from overseas to across country people respond to the music relatively the same, because we all just want to be happy, feel loved and hopeful for the future. When the people surrender themselves over to the music, to the moment, they leave all the divisive things in life at the door and just enjoy the music and one another. It's the same love everywhere we go and it's beautiful to watch. Kind of makes you wonder who's really the audience, who's watching who. Lol!
17. What is it that you hope to accomplish through your music? I hope to make people's lives more enriched. I want to pass on something positive to the listener that can grow and influence them and others in a positive way.
18. What current issue definitely needs to be addressed in this country? Wow. So many. I think we need to find a way to remove the things that separate us and divide and classify us in order to find the unifying elements that makes us aware of our commonality, our need for vulnerability and dependency on one another.
19. What were your thoughts on Black Panther? I loved it. It was very powerful to see such excellence and positive representation in the cast. I was especially blown away by being able to see in a sense what an African civilization would have looked like if it were not a victim of colonization.
20. Are you a reader? If so what was the last book you read? I love reading! Taltos.
21. What is your favorite restaurant in St. Louis? I don't have one.
22. What was it like singing background on Gregory Porter's "Take Me To The Alley"? What is the meaning of that song? Gregory is a gentle giant with a humble spirit and just a beautiful demeanor. It was such an honor working with him. We laughed a lot and the music was very organic so I didn't have to do much, just follow his lead.
23. What artist do you dream of collaborating with? I dream of working with those who highlight the importance of tending to the lost, lowly, the downtrodden and ones in need as being exemplary of a great leader and individual, not the flaunting and abuse of riches and power.
24. For your upcoming concert, what are you looking forward to most? I'm looking forward to sharing new tunes from the upcoming album with audience members who may never have heard of me or come to one of my shows before but especially with people who have supported me and my music since day one. For those people who have my first album and have stood by me through this musical journey, I want them to be the first people to hear the new tunes and continue on this journey with me. My New York family means so much to me! ♡
Alicia Olatuja will be in concert at Kumble Theater in Brooklyn this Saturday, March 10th at 8pm on behalf of Brooklyn Center For The Performing Arts. Tickets are available at here.
- by Kendolyn Walker, Wit + Grace Music Editor