Debuting her highly anticipated freshman project, Frankie Parker is excited about her new-found reception as one of Chicago’s premier R&B singers/songwriters. With such songs as, “Divine Destiny”, “Divorce Party”, and “Hot Pot of Grits”, Frankie Parker combines vulnerability, life lessons, and most importantly love to create “Breezy”. Her currently released single, “Peace, Love, and Wine” was rotated on Chicago’s WVAZ 102.7 FM radio station and has received rave accolades. “This is a hit- an ultimate steppers’ cut”, says V103’s DJ Eric E.T. Taylor. Frankie Parker’s mature lyrics and derivatively vintage voice serves as a promising concoction for a music career full of success and longevity.

“Breezy” is a melodic diary that depicts the emotional changes one faces when dealing with marriage and its challenges. She combines her love for the old school R&B, hip-hop, and spoken word to create a fresh, yet familiar sound. Frankie Parker patterns this musically, semi-biographical journey after one of her favorite albums, entitled, “Here My Dear”, written by Marvin Gaye. “I consider my album to be the long-awaited response to “Hear My Dear”. Maybe when people listen to my project, it will prompt them to take a listen to what I consider as Marvin’s ‘hidden gem’”. Writing nine out of the ten songs on the “Breezy” project, Frankie paints vivid pictures, giving the listener an opportunity to envision themselves as the various characters written in each song. “Hot Pot of Grits”, has brought smiles to women and fear to men. After listening to “Grits”, DJ Neva from New Jersey City, New Jersey stated that “Grits” has, “Actual lyrics that actually have significance. Thank you.” DJ Chuckfresh from Des Moines, Iowa described the single as “smooth and also funny”. “Hot Pot of Grits” was voted as the 2010 number one single for independent artists on the “Marvell Gable Radio Show”. “Breezy” is scheduled to be released during the first quarter of 2012.

Although Frankie Parker is a talented songwriter, she has a natural niche for captivating her audience through her stage performances. Since the age of 4, she has been performing in front of a crowd. She’s performed at the House of Blues, The Grand Ole’ Opry, Close Up II, Northern Illinois University, The Green Dolphin, Little Black Pearl and many other Chicagoland venues. She’s opened for Montel Jordan, Shai, rapper Sweet Juices, the Stellar Awards, and others. In 2011, she took first prize at the Femme Fatale M.C. Music Competition. She creates an experience that allows the viewer to feel every note she sings. “Her show was awesome. She did her [thing] [for sure]…I’m feelin’ this joint”, says Philadelphia’s own DJ Russ.

Frankie Parker’s musical odyssey began at an early age. According to her parents, as a toddler, she taught herself how to change the albums on the turntable. At 5, she recorded her first album with a local community choir. After being involved with the school chorus, band, and several community choirs, she decided to pursue a degree in vocal performance at Columbia College- Chicago. Although she has yet to complete her education, she has applied all that she’s learned to her craft. Frankie has also trained at A&A Music Academy, studying vocal performance there, as well.

Frankie Parker is expected to have a large impact on the urban music scene in Chicago, and eventually the world. She is dedicated to perfecting her craft and continuing to write songs with substance and soul. When asked where she sees herself in five years, she confidently says, “I see myself on tour, with my band, and creating music for myself and others…You know, living the good life!”

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

An Evening With Carl Thomas

Last night, I had the pleasure of attending "The Experience With Carl Thomas" at the DuSable Museum. I must admit that when the idea for going to the event was initially introduced to me, I was a bit apprehensive about going because I felt that I wouldn't appreciate it as much as someone who was a loyal fan or avid listener. Don't get me wrong. I do believe that Carl Thomas is very talented, but I can't say that I knew much about his musical journey.
For those of you who are unaware of the functions of "The Experience", let me just brief you on how the event works. The artists are interviewed by Dedry Jones, and the style of the interview is similar to that of James Lipton's on "Inside the Actors' Studio". This format gives the audience the opportunity to learn unknown facts about the artist. After the interview, the audience is treated with a brief performance by the artist.
This was the perfect setting for me to grow as a fan because I was able to see Carl Thomas from a personal aspect.I was able to see the man beyond "Summer Rain", "Emotional", and all the other songs that received heavy rotation on the radio. In his short, 30+ years on this this planet, he has been through a lot. Many of the friends he made through his career have passed on,(Heavy D, Notorious B.I.G., TuPac, Gerald Lavert etc.). He tragically lost his brother during his tenure at Bad Boy Records. He was raised in the projects, with very little money but lots of love. He's been through more than any us will ever experience in our lifetime. I guess that's why he's been blessed in his craft. Sometimes, we have to struggle a bit so that we are humble enough to receive what the LORD has for us. Boy, did that hit home! It seems like lately, I've been catching hell from everywhere, and that only means that I'm moving closer to my reward. Come on reward!
So, it's official! I am a Carl Thomas fan. If you get a chance, check out his latest cd "Conquer"; the title says it all!

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