GIVING IT TO YOU
Anyone who's been on a dance floor in the past, say, quarter-century has probably heard the musical force that is Martha Wash's voice. Wash began her career as a back-up singer for '70s icon Sylvester; along with Izora Rhodes, they were Two Tons O' Fun. After being renamed The Weather Girls, the duo had its biggest hit with the disco tune 'It's Raining Men.' As a soloist, Wash has sung on such hits as Black Box's 'Everybody, Everybody,' C&C Music Factory's 'Gonna Make You Sweat ( Everybody Dance Now ) ' and 'Give It To You' ( from her own CD ) . Most recently, she released the single 'You Lift Me Up' from her own label, Purple Rose Records.
The dance diva will perform at Hydrate on October 29 ( However, many may be surprised by her appearance now that's she dropped about 75 pounds. ) She recently took some moments to tell Nightspots about a few of her favorite things.
Favorite childhood memory: I guess it's probably standing on a table while singing in church. It's when I started singing and started my career.
Favorite place where she's performed: I like to go to Italy. The people are so nice - and I like the food! [ Laughs ] I always have a nice time when I'm there. I like Florence and some of the smaller towns. I don't think I'll live there, though.
Favorite quality in a man: It has to be humor. It can sometimes carry you through tough times if you have a good sense of humor.
Favorite up-and-coming artist: I can't think of anyone off the top of my head. [ Nightspots, jokingly: You mean someone like Britney isn't at the top of your list? ] Uh ... no. Sorry! [ Laughs ]
Favorite decade: Let's see. I guess the '80s. I'm trying to be careful now... I'm not going back too far now. [ Laughs ] I really like the music from the late '70s and early '80s. [ NS: It couldn't be the fashion. ] I never tripped on the fashion until years later - but at the time, everybody thought they were looking good. You look back, though, and ask 'Hey, what was I thinking?'
As an aside, people are saying that Madonna is bringing back disco [ with her new CD, Confessions on a Dance Floor ] . I'm thinking that it never really left. People in the mainstream didn't know that. Disco music never really left; they just changed it to dance music and made the beats the little faster.
Favorite thing about Sylvester: It was probably rehearsals. In the early days, we used to have fun. We'd be there for hours learning songs and putting shows together. Prior to that time I hadn't really been in that type of environment, with bands and everything. That was my training ground for being in this business. As a person, he was cool. He'd have his moments, but he was cool.
Favorite female singer: Aretha Franklin. I prefer her older songs; I grew up on the old stuff. [ NS: Do you have a favorite Aretha song? ] No way; it's too hard to choose. I used to sing her songs in high school all the time. You can't pick just one - and that's a good thing.
Favorite male singer: There are a whole bunch, but I'd probably say Eddie Kendricks [ as a soloist and as part of The Temptations ] . I liked the pureness of his tenor. [ NS: I actually like Donny Hathaway. ] That was my second choice! He had such a soulfulness about him. I also like Marvin Gaye.
Favorite guilty pleasure: Oooh! [ Laughs ] I can't give you one... I guess it's shopping. I've learned how to order by catalog and that's a dangerous thing for me. Honey, don't put a catalog in front of me!