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Martha Wash faces reality of aging in the music business

Martha Wash

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

With over 30 years in the music business dance music diva, Martha Wash refuses to let age slow her down. She isn’t opposed however, to let life’s maturation process teach her a few financial lessons. On Friday July 19, Wash will appear at the Bronx Library Center for the Fame and Fortune series to share how getting older has made her more aware of the need to secure a sound financial future. It is a theme relevant for many maturing singers and musicians who were often financially exploited by record labels.

“I worry about the retirement part of it,” she reveals. “I have a pension plan with the union, SAG-AFTRA but outside of that I don’t have anything else,” she reveals. “That’s the hard part—the older you get and later you put into retirement, the longer it will take you to save up. I haven’t done it and that’s the bad part on me.”

Wash hopes that her story will inspire others in and outside of the music business to take care of their finances. Meanwhile, she knows that a limited retirement fund means that she will have to continue to record and tour for the foreseeable future. “A lot of people are putting off retirement and continuing to work past 65. It seems like I probably will too. But for some people it keeps them going and moving. So I think that’s great.”

Still this time around Wash is doing it all her way by remaining an independent artist in control of her future. Her latest release, Something Good is now available here.

If fashion designer Onyenauchea Nwabuzor has her way, she will work for as long as possible too. The rising talent was one of several intriguing guests at acclaimed visual artist, Kehinde Wiley’s Independence Day party in SoHo. While there, Nwabuzor shared a preview of her line, Ana Kata. The designs are inspired by cultural awareness, African culture and rooted in personal experience. It is these elements that the designer hopes will compel others to view African fashion as valuable and worthy of greater mainstream recognition.

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