Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-09-01
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Monifah talks religion, engagement and Kristy McNichol
NUNN ON ONE: MUSIC Extended for the online edition of Windy City Times
by Jerry Nunn, Windy City Times
2013-08-26

This article shared 6081 times since Mon Aug 26, 2013
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


The artist known as Monifah released several albums in the '90s, most notably with Mo'hogany and the song "Touch It," using a sample of Laid Back's "White Horse."

Last year she joined several other R&B singers such as Angie Stone, Faith Evans and Syleena Johnson for a reality show entitled R&B Divas for TV One, where they made a Whitney Houston tribute album together and balanced their personal lives. She came out of the closet publicly on the show and is now recently engaged to her girlfriend, Terez.

Windy City Times caught up with her at the studio where she is making her new album before her trip to Chicago. She will be here this coming weekend as part of the African Festival of the Arts.

Windy City Times: Hi, Monifah. I heard you are in the studio recording and super-busy today.

Monifah: Well, thank goodness, yeah.

WCT: So you are grateful for that.

Monifah: Absolutely. This is the first studio album I have done in 13 years. It is very significant for me and exciting. I had left out the music industry as Monifah the artist. This is my first go-round again.

WCT: Are you using samples of other people on this album?

Monifah: No, not really. This is original, fresh and new.

WCT: I have to tell you that I wore out my cassette of "Touch It."

Monifah: Oh, I love it! Everybody loves it. I was performing that song for, like, three years after it came out. It was a blessing and my biggest song. It gave me a whole new audience than what I was geared towards as an R&B artist. It was awesome and spent 16 weeks at number one.

WCT: Did the song make you want to move in that direction with your music and be more risque?

Monifah: I don't know about risque but I just wanted to be me and I am all those things! [Laughs] My musical palette is broad. I grew up on jazz and all kinds of music. I love country. I just love music.

You will see the broadness on this new album but it won't be all over the place though, it will all make sense. You will be able to listen to it and hear it for what it is. I believe as artists we have the ability to tap into what we choose. We can be different people in different songs because that evokes emotions and thought or memories. I like to play. There is a sense of having different characters that will never feel the same musically or otherwise. I am playing a lot with that in this project. I am showing who Monifah is as a whole and all the ladies and some guys that she has inside of her.

WCT: You are from a musical family?

Monifah: Yes, my mom sang. Most of my family were vocalists. My uncle was a pianist. He didn't keep going with it but he was a prodigy as a kid. My grandmother from my mother's side played the guitar.

WCT: You are a New Yorker?

Monifah: Yes, I grew up in East Harlem.

WCT: I heard you had a crush on Kristy McNichol growing up.

Monifah: It was so funny because it didn't feel strange or anything. It just felt normal. I didn't even pay that much attention. I just liked her and thought she was cool. I liked Jo from [the TV show] Facts of Life, too. I liked her character. I have always been attracted to edgy chicks. I noticed they were all kind of tomboyish. I thought they were adorable. Who doesn't like Kristy McNichol?

WCT: She is coming in town the week after you are here.

Monifah: Wow.

WCT: When people like her come out of the closet it makes it easier for other people.

Monifah: That is the point. We are regular members of society living life like everyone else. I think people need to understand that. Who you love and are attracted to are individual things. They don't define who you are but they are a part of who you are.

WCT: Congratulations on your engagement.

Monifah: Thank you! It is so cool. All of my friends are getting married now. It is just a different level. We have been together a few years. Each step is different like moving in together and now we are engaged. It all feels different. It is weird but in a good way. We are more in love if that is possible. It is about commitment and doing the right thing for now. I don't believe in forever but I believe in if it works, it works. If it is going to keep going then it will.

WCT: You don't want to jinx it by saying forever.

Monifah: Yeah, because nothing is forever. Our lives aren't even forever. I never take that for granted. As long as we are loving each other, supporting each other and want to be here, that is how it is going to be.

WCT: Were you surprised that your reality show would be this big? There were almost 900,000 viewers tuning in on the first episode.

Monifah: I have to honestly say, Jerry, in my spirit I did. How it came about during the time in my life with just having made the decision to heal, live my best life, and stop using. I was ready and went totally in. I was clean in my spiritual, emotional and mental house. As soon as I made that decision it came just like that!

I knew there was a story. There are artists out there that people love. There are a handful of them that are doing the franchise now. People need to see that the story doesn't always end with fame. There are lessons in that story that we needed to share especially as women in the business. This is a boys' club. We are survivors and made it through. I knew it was going to be okay because of the timing in my life. I knew God wanted me to share and be transparent. I wanted to show that people are not alone in different areas as far as who I am in love with and my sexuality, my parenting, rebuilding my connection with my daughter, healing relationships and my drug addiction. People go through all of that and they can make it if they believe in themselves. They need to know that they are not the only ones going through it. I knew this was the right crew of women to make a show with.

WCT: You seem like a very spiritual person. Do you go to church regularly?

Monifah: I am not a churchgoer. I am more spiritual than I am religious. Religion is more men-driven. It is not about the spirit but about actions. It's about keeping up appearances to me. It is more about indoctrination than about connection to a higher power. It is a personal thing and understanding there is something greater than you. You are not the only thing that matters. It is not all about you. I think religion just keeps people in line. The powers that be just tell people how to feel. It is a control thing to me.

WCT: Amen. On Facebook you have pictures with so many celebrities. Is there one that you have met that means a lot to you?

Monifah: I would say Chaka Khan. I loved her as a kid. When I was 5 years old I thought I was Chaka Khan! I had my hair all out wild. Doing the tribute to her at The Trumpet Awards this year was a big deal to me.

WCT: How did you get involved with the African Festival?

Monifah: They called my manager. Syleena is an Illinois native so I think it came through that way.

I think it is great to be on a bill with two artists that I respect such as Brandy and Syleena. Syleena is my sister in soul. I have known Brandy since the '90s. I am looking forward to gracing the same stage and watching them do their thing. I am really excited!

Look for Monifah and Syleena Johnson Saturday, Aug. 31, at 6:30 p.m. on the main stage for 2013 African Festival of the Arts. (In addition, Brandy will perform Monday, Sept. 2.) More information can be found at africanfestivalchicago.com .


This article shared 6081 times since Mon Aug 26, 2013
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Pitchfork Music Festival returns and turns 15 in 2021 2021-09-17
- Pitchfork Music Festival turned 15 years old in Chicago this year after being cancelled last year because of the pandemic. This lively celebration of eclectic music continued in the same spot (Union Park) with the usual ...


Gay News

'Andersonville Homecoming' Sept. 24-26; line-up, vendors, safety protocols announced 2021-09-15
--From a press release - CHICAGO (Sept. 15, 2021) — The Andersonville Chamber of Commerce (ACC) is pleased to announce the full entertainment line-up and vendors for Andersonville Homecoming--a three-night, two-day outdoor festival featuring ...


Gay News

Students urged to apply for Musical Theatre Awards 2021-09-14
- Broadway in Chicago is inviting high schools across Illinois to participate in the 11th Annual Illinois High School Musical Theatre Awards. These awards celebrate excellence in high school theater throughout the state. Beginning Thursday, Sept. 16, ...


Gay News

CAIC announces 2021 Collaborative Works Festival, immigration, migration in song 2021-09-13
--From a press release - CHICAGO— Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago (CAIC) begins its eleventh anniversary season with its annual Collaborative Works Festival, held in venues around Chicago from October 6—9, 2021. The 2021 Collaborative ...


Gay News

MUSIC Lil Nas X wins top award at MTV VMAs 2021-09-13
- The MTV VMA Awards took place Sept. 12—and an LGBTQ+ artist took home one of the night's top awards. Lil Nas X won Video of the Year for "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)," besting Cardi ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Boy Meets Boy,' Jennifer Hudson, 'SVU,' tennis honor, ABBA 2021-09-12
- Ariztical Entertainment is releasing the German movie Boy Meets Boy on DVD and VOD on Oct. 26. According to a press release, the plot of the 70-minute movie is as follows: "Harry has been partying for ...


Gay News

Pride Fest will extend to Oct. 3; headliners include Kristine W and Mya 2021-09-12
- Mya, Shangela, VINCINT, Crystal Waters, Kristine W, Brooke Eden and St. Panther are among the headliners for Chicago Pride Fest now taking place over three days, Oct. 1-3, in Chicago's LGBTQ+ landmark Northalsted/Lake View district. The ...


Gay News

THEATER 'Dear Mom, I'm Gay!' on Oct. 1-2 2021-09-11
- Dear Mom, I'm Gay!—a workshop of a new musical by David Dilsizian—is running at The Jarvis Square Theater, 1439 W. Jarvis Ave. It will take place at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 1; and 2 and ...


Gay News

ARC Music Festival debuts in Chicago over Labor Day Weekend 2021-09-11
- Replacing North Coast Music Festival's usual spot in Union Park, ARC Music Festival launched Sept. 4-5. North Coast was forced to move to SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview, Illinois, that same weekend to a stadium that was ...


Gay News

MUSIC 'Global Citizen Live' to run Sept. 25-26 2021-09-09
- International advocacy organization Global Citizen announced the expansion of "Global Citizen Live" to include Los Angeles and London with an outdoor event in L.A., which is presented by Verizon, and headlined by Stevie Wonder with Adam ...


Gay News

'Close-Up with Carmen' Sept. 9 at Center on Halsted 2021-09-08
- 'Close-Up with Carmen'—about the intersection of drag and opera—will take place Thursday, Sept. 9, at 6 p.m. at the Hoover-Leppen Theatre at Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St. During this event, participants will discuss cross-dressi ...


Gay News

Britney Spears' dad petitions to end conservatorship 2021-09-08
- In a huge win for pop star Britney Spears, her father and the conservator of her estate, Jamie Spears, filed a petition to end the arrangement on Sept. 7, media outlets reported. Jamie cited his daughter's ...


Gay News

Footwork dancers to be featured Sept. 10 in Art on theMART event 2021-09-05
- "Dance Down by The River"—an evening of Chicago dance and music—is coming to the Riverwalk in conjunction with Art on theMART thanks to a Chicago Presents grant awarded by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and ...


Gay News

MUSIC Upcoming 'Carmen' featuring queer lead, male drag 2021-09-05
- On Sept. 16 and 18 at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph St., Chicago audiences will have the rare opportunity to hear two world-class dramatic mezzo-sopranos debut new roles opposite one another ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Idol' alums, Zendaya, Gaga, 'Queer As Folk,' women rappers 2021-09-05
- American Idol alum David Archuleta said that God urged him to come out as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, NBC News noted. The Nashville resident told Today.com he wasn't sure if the community would embrace ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.