Singer-songwriter Monifah

Harlem Arts Alliance Presents: On the “A” w/Souleo

As Election Day nears, the arts and culture community is playing a significant role in encouraging citizens to vote. “R&B Divas” docu-series TV show star and Harlem native Monifah lent her voice to the cause at the event, Go Vote: A Memo to Black America. Pastor Joseph Tolton led the event at Grace Congregational Church of Harlem, which featured a powerful keynote speech by noted economist, columnist and author, Dr. Julianne Malveaux.

Backstage, Monifah shared that voting wasn’t always a priority for her, which is why she hopes to inspire the younger generation to be more politically conscious. “In my 20s I was like not subscribing to the establishment,” she says. “When you’re younger you don’t realize how disrespectful it is not to vote because people gave their lives and much more for us.”

Monifah gave her all as she performed her new song, “Invincible.” Thematically the song is similar to the recent recording, “She’s Me,” as they both aim to inspire triumph over adversity. The message is a testament to Monifah’s newfound spiritual outlook on life, which has helped her overcome the pain of being raped as a teenager.  “At 17 I was raped. I didn’t go to the police because I thought it was my fault,” she reveals. “But when I didn’t harbor that anger [He] came in and got me through that. Everything I’ve been through in my life has gotten me to where I am now.”

Presently, Monifah is working on her forthcoming untitled album, which will mark her return to music after over a decade. But one thing she is keeping top secret is whether or not we will see her on season two of R&B Divas.

One of the best-kept secrets on the music scene has been the talent of rising singer-songwriter and Harlem based recording artist, Abiah. After a series of industry challenges mainly from operating within the often-stifling major label process, Abiah returns with his sophomore release, Life as a Ballad. He notes that in order to move forward with his career, he had to avoid internalizing the professional setbacks of being on a major label …

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