Adina Howard: the next chapter

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Photo credit: Johnathan Ellerbee

Most famously known for her platinum-plus, chart-topping female anthem, “Freak Like Me,” taken from the Grand Rapids, Michigan native’s 1995 debut, Do You Wanna Ride? [Mecca Don/EastWest Records], Adina Howard is a true renaissance woman. Flash forward over two decades later, and the singer-songwriter-restaurateur, who has also given the masses a string of other popular entries including “What’s Love Got To Do With It?” featuring Warren G, “(Freak) And U Know It”, “Nasty Grind,” the Play-N-Skillz & Krayzie Bone assisted “Freaks” and “T-Shirt & Panties,” a duet with Academy, as well as Grammy award winning Jamie Foxx, to name some, is back like she never left.

Let’s hop right into this brand new single, “Bad 4 Me.” Tell me about this particular composition? How did it actually come to fruition?
“Bad 4 Me” came about late last year when my manager, AB, sent me the production to the song. I fell in love with the production out the gate, because it was a fresh sound that was so desperately needed in the urban pop music genre. Once lyrics were put to the production, “Bad 4 Me” stole my heart. It stole my heart because it was a subject matter that I am all too familiar with, and I knew that I wasn’t the only one that could relate to what was being conveyed.

For it, you kind of did things a bit differently, perhaps maybe even a little unorthodox, by utilizing the http://www.gofundme.com platform. What prompted this decision? And, are you happy with the results, thus far?
We decided to do a Go Fund Me campaign because we are doing this without any financial backing, and we figured it was a viable option to help fund what we need to get done.

Sonically, how does “Bad 4 Me” measure up to other Adina Howard offerings?
Sonically, “Bad 4 Me” is in a league of its own. I’ve not ever done anything remotely close to this ever in my career, so it’s hard to compare because it’s like comparing apples to bananas.

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Photo: Daniel Vasquez/Design: Jason Jobin

“Bad 4 Me” comes courtesy of your forthcoming fourth – fifth if one counts 1997’s unreleased Welcome To Fantasy Island – solo LP, #IHeartAdinaHoward — Conceptually, what does this title represent both to and for you?
The #IHeartAdinaHoward is part of the campaign that my baby sister, UK, came up with to help promote “Bad 4 Me.” #IHeartAdinaHoward is about creating synergy. A synergy that promotes being on one accord; like minds creating a light that feeds into productivity. And, that productivity gives way to success and so on. #IHeartAdinaHoward says to me that there are a legion of beautiful beings out there that not only want to see me win, but are participating in helping me win. They’re making a deposit into my life account with all nothing but love, light and blessings.

How does the new material either differ and/or compare to previous Adina Howard efforts?
“Bad 4 Me,” is completely outside the box. It’s not talking about freaking, grinding, or what I’m wearing. This song is about a game of tug of war that we all go through when dealing with a situation and/or a committed relationship. This single is about what is taking place outside of the bedroom.

What was it – specifically – about now in 2015 that prompted you to return to form [music]?
The right song, as well as perfect timing. I am well aware of who I am and what is written when it comes to me and my chapter in the history of music. If I am going to continue to be a part of this business, then I need to bring something fresh and new to the table. It’s time to add another chapter to the history books, but this time it’s from a different space.

With that being said, how has not only the industry itself, but even more-so, you, either changed and/or evolved since your whole inception into music?
Technology has changed the game. Artists are now in more control of their career, image, sound, etcetera. Now, there’s more than one way to get your talent out there. However, now that the wormhole has been opened, anything and everything is trying to come through and, unfortunately, any and every thing seems to be making it through.
…When it comes down to my career, I am now able to give the world what I want them to have, versus what the label wants to give for their own personal gain. Not to say that my debut wasn’t authentic because it was, I just no longer have to ride that ride because there are others. I’m not just the artist anymore. I wear many hats and I make the day to day decisions. I’m now the head and not the tail. And as I said that, “Bad 4 Me” lyrics ran through my head.

In having said that, what all had/have you been up to, both personally and professionally speaking, during your lengthy musical hiatus?
Living my life; gaining control of it. Received my associate degree in culinary arts, walked down the aisle and committed myself to sharing my life with my husband. Shared my story with TV One‘s ‘Life After’…Shot the documentary, Adina Howard 20: A Story of Sexual Liberation, directed and produced by Gezus Zaire…Preparing for the next chapter that is to be written. In others words, I’ve been minding my business.

Reflecting, how did you first discover your musical talent?
I have been singing since I was a little girl. My mother made me sing more often than not when I was child. I really don’t know why, because my singing was not the business back in the day. She obviously heard what I couldn’t. It was until later in life that I began to hear what she knew was there.

Who have been your greatest inspirations musically and why?
My greatest inspirations musically…Is my journey. Like a movie, my life has soundtrack. What I go through is documented through music, song, poetry, etcetera.

How then would you describe and/or define the style of music that you create and perform?
Authentic. Relatable. Universal.

Longevity, what do you attribute yours to?
I was blessed with the classic, “Freak Like Me,” that started a music evolution revolution. The foundation that was laid was meant to stand the tests of time. I also attribute my longevity to not looking in my rear view and focusing on what was…Not concerning myself with trying to stay relevant, because that is totally irrelevant.

What do you feel you offer the music industry that we don’t already have in other performers?
I’m bringing to the table my vision and version of music. My experiences that both men and women can openly embrace, because I speak to Venus and Mars.

Have you encountered any problems in getting to this point in your career? And, what exactly do you want people to get from your music?
I’ve experienced growing pains along the way. That’s part of the process of growth. No pain, no gain. But, you have to discern which pain is conducive to your growth and which is not. Be clear, all pain ain’t good pain.
…What I want for people to get out of my music is respite from the day to day nonsense. I want them to know that they have someone that can sing and/or say what they can’t, won’t or don’t know how to.

On a more serious note, are you happy with the current state of R&B? And, even more specifically, where exactly do you “fit in” when it comes to today’s current/trending sound-scape?
The state of R&B is where it’s supposed to be and I’m okay with it because that opens a door for what’s needing to come through, as we are beginning to see the resurgence of the genre.

…Where do I fit in in today’s current/trending sound-scape? That’s a good question. With every puzzle there is a piece, and no other piece can be put in its place. I’m part of the puzzle and I fit perfectly in my reserved space.

Do you have any other outside/additional aspirations, maybe even completely away from music?
Yes, I’m going to begin highlighting my cooking and love of everything food and music.

What has been your greatest achievement(s) so far?
The obvious, “Freak Like Me”…Obtaining my degree, getting married (who would have thunk that?) and making and breaking “Bad 4 Me.”

If you could collaborate with any one artist, living or dead, who would it be and why?
Tech N9ne, I heart him! His skill is second to none. Working with him is on my bucket list.

If you could play any venue in the world, which one would you choose and why?
That’s a question I didn’t expect to be asked. The thoughts not ever crossed my brain. Let me put it like this, now that you have sown the seed, my goal is to play in every major venue across the globe.
…Why? Because that would be a great accomplishment to achieve. Just added something new to my bucket list, thank you.

One track of yours that you think defines you and why?
A song has yet to be written that can define me as a whole in my present state.

Is there anything I left out, or just plain forgot to mention?
No, but I need to make sure that my love bugs know that “Bad 4 Me” is now available for purchase and download. To stay in the know and connected with me, go to: AdinaHoward.com. Like and follow me on social media. Instagram: AdinaHowardJordan, Facebook: AdinaHowardFanPage, Twitter: @AdinaHoward.

Any closing thoughts for our readers?
To everyone who is and has supported me along my journey, thank you! Thank you for supporting my many missions…Helping me deliver my many messages…For sharing your light with me…For allowing me to fill your ears with the sound of my music. You are appreciated and I am grateful to have such an amazing following. I wish you all the blessed. Namaste.

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