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The Voice of the Black Community

Arts and Entertainment

On the record with Avery Sunshine
We all have a reason to shine in this world
 
Published Wednesday, August 20, 2014 6:50 am
by Michaela L. Duckett

COURTESY PHOTO
Soul singer is performing in Charlotte Saturday night at the McGlohon Theater. She and her musical partner and guitarist Dana "BigDane" Johnson are celebrating the release of their new CD "The Sunroom." 

Soul singer Avery Sunshine is performing in Charlotte this weekend along with Kindred the Family Soul. The artists are performing as part of  V101.9 and The Sol Kitchen’s “A Night of Soul” at McGlohon Theater Saturday night.

Sunshine, who is currently featured in VH1’s “Artists You Oughta Know” and has a top 20 single for her song “Call my Name,” is celebrating the release of her new CD “The Sunroom.”

Ahead of her appearance in the Queen City, she called up The Charlotte Post to discuss everything from her music to her fans and why we all deserve to shine. Read on for an excerpt from that interview. Some questions and answers have been edited for brevity and clarity.

TCP: Tell us about your new CD “The Sunroom.”

AS: It’s a collection of songs that we felt like we wanted to hear. It’s stuff that we like, and we hope that it inspires everybody to do the things you were created to do, and do it unapologetically.

The whole idea of calling it “The Sunroom” is that the sunroom is usually the sanctuary in your home. That’s the place where you can do whatever you feel like doing – put your feet up, have company, sing a song, watch TV, read a book, write a poem or whatever you want to do in your space. And that’s what we did with the record. We wrote whatever we felt like writing, the stuff that made us feel good. I heard somebody say that what comes from the heart goes to the heart, and I believe that what comes from the soul goes to the soul. And we hope that’s true and people will receive our music in that way.

TCP: You talk about “being yourself unapologetically.” What advice do you have for people about getting to the place where you are comfortable doing that?

AS: We have so much stimuli that it is contrary to that, whether it’s television or whatever. There’s always somebody telling you how you ought to be. And sometimes that voice is louder than your voice, and it’s hard to know the difference. You believe that whatever the “Massa” says must be true. It’s not true.

You cannot believe everything that everybody else is telling you, especially for your own life. Dana and I always tell everybody, don’t let the voices on the outside be louder than the voice that’s on the inside. That voice won’t steer you wrong.

TCP: Say we are all here “to shine.” What does that mean exactly?

AS: That means to explore and develop that the gift that you were given. Nurture that. Think of it like a piece on a car. Every piece has a particular job. If one of those things on that car is not doing its job, it might run for a while, but it’s not going to run the way it’s supposed to. I think of human beings being the same way. The world spins much better when everybody is doing the thing they were created to do.

TCP: What do you think of the state of music today?

AS: I try not to have too much to say about it, but I will say this: I’m glad that the industry has a place for me. It clearly is not what it used to be, but it is in a place of reforming. You really can create your own thing… You kind of decide how it works, and that’s what’s amazing about the industry right now. You can make it happen for you. You just have to believe it.

TCP: The music industry can be demanding on artists. How do you handle the pressures?

AS: By sifting through the crap and finding what works for me. That’s just the bottom line. And that’s with anything. If you are in college or on the job, you find the thing that speaks to you and use. The rest, you throw away.

TCP: In a Beyoncé, Rihanna, Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj kind of world, the industry is also very competitive. Where do you draw the line between what you will and won’t do to sell a record?

AS: I’m not going to be naked. And I draw the line when it doesn’t feel authentic anymore. So the truth of the matter is, if it felt authentic for me to be butt-naked on stage, then that’s what I would do, but it’s not authentic for me to do that or try to be something that I’m not. It’s much easier for me to be me.

TCP: Which contemporary artists do you listen to?

AS: I love Aloe Blacc. There are a lot of artists that a lot of people don’t know about that I love, like a girl by the name of Kimbra. I love her. I love KiKi Sheard and PJ Morton. I like Daniel Moore… and those are not big names, but they are amazing artists. I’m thankful for Spotify and YouTube for being able to explore them, check them out and even share them…. I post stuff about artists that I’m discovering on my Instagram page.   

TCP: You’ve performed with a lot of musicians and singers from Will Downing to Roy Ayers, Anthony Hamilton, Musiq SoulChild and others. Which collaboration was the most memorable?

AS: My collaboration with Will Downing. We actually got an award last year for our duet with SoulTrack.com. It was awesome. Will is just amazing.

TCP: Who would you like to work with in the future that you haven’t work with before?

AS: Anybody that wants to work with me. I’m ready.

TCP: What can fans expect from your performance Saturday night?

AS: They can expect an amazing show. This is my second time performing in Charlotte. First time we were with Anthony David. So this time, I’m going to be with Kindred. We are going to have a ball. I’m going to take my shoes off. We will have a ball.

Tickets to see Avery Sunshine and Kindred the Soul Family in Charlotte on August 23 are on sale at www.carolinatix.org.

 

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