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!”

Monday, December 12, 2011

Gospel Industry vs. R&B Industry

I've been involved with music one way or another since I was 5. Like many R&B singers, I began singing at church. I was blessed to be surrounded by many talented musicians and singers all my life, and I imagined working in that field as an adult. I loved the idea doing what I love for WHO I loved. However, to accomplish that was much harder than expected.

I discovered that the gospel industry did not fully represent the message conveyed in its style of music. From a naive place of reasoning, I thought that gospel artists and musicians would be welcoming, supportive, and all about the ministry. I know I was nuts for thinking that, but how could one sing about righteousness and be so unrighteous when it came to the reception of new artists? I've dealt with more judging, belittling, and backstabbing in the gospel realm more than I have as an R&B singer.

I can recall auditioning for a popular gospel singer who was gearing up for a tour. On the way there, I began listening to the "What's Going On", album, and all I could think about was, "What's REALLY about to go on if I get this gig?". Yes, it was an opportunity to visit places that I'd never seen and make some change while doing so. Yes, it would've been another notch on my 'vocal performance belt'. But, was it worth the gossip? Was it worth putting up with catty women and men, who I could never be myself around? Was it worth being judged for every move I make? Was it worth being around a bunch of people who had trouble about their own identity? After repeatedly asking myself those things, I decided to sabotage my audition by picking the most depressing song and singing it with no effort. I didn't want to let down the person that gave my the chance to audition, so I thought that was the easiest way out. When I walked out of the audition, I knew that I had done my very best to fail, and I was so relieved that the pressure of me changing me to accomodate others was null and void.

A few months later, I found myself at a rehearsal for another gospel performance. There was one particular woman who had given me a bit of trouble before, and she tried to do the same that night. Of course, I wanted to take her outside and punch her in the face, but I had no bail Instead, I was complimented by one of the greatest gospel composers of our time, and it was done so in front of her. That was the sweeter than any left hook that I would've landed. Although I received the victory in the end, I knew that this particular event would be my last performance as a gospel singer aside from my musical contribution to worship service on Sunday.
Some of you are reading this and shaking your head with the thought that I've allowed others to push me away from what I really wanted to do. That is not the case. I chose to stick with R&B because I expect to receive the backbiting and disrespect in this field. If I chose to come out of the closet as a lesbian woman (ain't happening b/c I LOVE ME SOME BLACK MEN!), I could, and I wouldn't have to live a double life to sell records. If I chose to work with a new sound, I wouldn't be accused of "taking the tradition out of the gospel". There are no restrictions, which can open the door for all kinds of garbage, but I am ready for it. In the gospel scene, I expected to be loved and accepted without prejudice or apprehension. That wasn't the case. I've shed more tears when dealing with church folk than I have with the secular world. I love Jesus, but I don't love the people who run the industry that supposedly praises HIM. Does my opinion make me heathen? I still believe that one day, I will accomplish the goal of completing a gospel album, but I need to gain a tougher skin first.

No comments:

Post a Comment