She got style, class and sass
She’s the one everyone turns around for
She looks like a dive,walks like a bride
She’s got the voice to make you go ooh
From the Bronx, she goes by the name of Traedonya,The Bride Of New Funk Hip Hopera.
With such a distinctive title, indeed, Traedonya makes the difference her skills as a vocalist.
She’s been building up her career, evolving along times, without losing focus on her vision and ambitions.
Today, she’s about to release her debut EP, titled Four Portraits, with My Favorite Guy as the main track.
You can pre-order it here.
This project is blend of Funk, Soul and along a Hip Hop beat, the recipe of a jazzy an soulful R&B vibe.
The vocals (lead and back, by Traedonya) gives body to the melodic composition, draws the shapes and shades to the song, and life to the passionate lyrics.
She’s been in the music industry for over a decade, making music, loyal to the 80’s-90’s, early 00’s times.
Highlights in her career are for example her first single, « Do the Boogaloo, » on his own Tuff City in 1986, or her single « Beloved, » released in 2003 by Prohibition.
Now that she’s back with a debut EP, let’s discover who she is, what is Hip Hopera to her, and the keys to build a career longevity.
Congratulations on your career so far.
I’ve been listening your music and you’ve definitely got great tunes! Top 3 favorite tracks My Favorite Guy, Another Lie, and Family Affair.
Now I’d like to get to know you more, so let’s chat:
1) I know about Neo Soul, Nu Disco, and I heard about Rap Opera and this musical film called Carmen: Hip Hopera, with Beyoncé, Mos Def, Wyclef. But this is the first time I hear about New Funk Hip Opera.
How do you define it? Did this movie back in 2001 inspire your music?
Actually, I never got to see that movie until years later after it’s release.
Thank you so much for checking me out! When my single « Beloved » circulated throughout Europe, while I was touring the song received a good deal of press.
European press are the ones that coined my sound HipOpera.
I love the mantra and decided to run with it, it’s so suiting for what I do as far as my vocal styling is concerned.
2) Some would choose the title Queen, or Lady, but you chose the title Bride. Why is that?
The bride is the one that comes to deliver and fascinate, at the gathering all eyes are on her.
The « ohhhhs and the ahhhhhs » are what the bride delivers, it’s her show, her moment when she steps on the scene and I’m certainly that bride when I step to the mic, I deliver.
3) Back in the early 2000’s, outstanding vocalists were the most appealing artists. From Whitney Houston, to Beyoncé to Alicia Keys. Music trends evolve and so do our favorite artists and vocalist, with the challenge to save their own musical identity.
As you imply the vocals signature, what’s your opinion on the position of vocalist in the current musical landscape?
I guess it depends on what the listener is into. I think that there are some cool vocalists floating around here and there.
Seems like a lot of « so so » vocalists are all over the place though, since audio equipment has become a lot more accessible.
In saying that, the vocalists that I actually do like, stick out more for me, because there are a lot of frauds running around talking about they are « singers », doing all the studio vocal acrobatics.
A lot of these folks that simply have access to equipment don’t take the art of music, serious.
I take my craft serious, it’s not a game for me. I ride for it.
I love authentic, officials vocals, I love full soulful vocals like myself, of course, Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes and a few others.
Sadly, there are some cornball vocalists out here winning right now though, that have no style and don’t respect the game.
4) Along your career, how did you adapt your craft to this evolving musical industry?
It’s so funny that you ask that, because I’m always tripping out on the ins and outs of the ever changing new media industry.
In studying the artist that I grew up on and the folks that I heard through the speakers in my house, I realize that the only ones that last are the ones that adapt and keep moving and adjusting, while remaining their true self.
Longevity, is a grind and real task, in itself, everyone is not built to adapt for longevity.
I believe that it’s a conscious decision, that has to be made. Adapting to this evolving industry has not been easy.
I realize though, that part of a performers longevity, comes with some adaptations and according to the greats that have come before this era of music, it’s very true.
The people that I grew up listening to had so much less to work with than we do now, but they always adapted to the advancing technologies and changes. They had to, in order to keep going, to keep their career.
The most important thing to me, is staying true to myself as far as my actual sound is concerned.
Traveling and moving around has actually helped me adjust to the changes in the music industry.
5) How did you grow yourself, how did you evolve as a person and as a musician in these past 10 years?
For me, my trajectory has never been easy.
Growing up around folks with different economic foundations, the haves and the have nots so to speak, I respect it all.
It’s always a constant learning process for me, I’m always learning, always wanting to learn more.
I get down for my craft, I’ve gone with and without material things on this journey, in support of my music.
Over the last 10 years I’ve learned a lot more of the behind the scenes stuff. I’m more hands on with the product.
6) A 20 year career, what has been the highlight for you, the time of your career that makes you the proudest?
I have several successes in my career that I’m proud of.
I’m always proud when I’m able to run around and do what I do, coming where I come from. I’m proud of the stamps in my passport, I’m thankful.
7) Today you’re back with a new project, ‘Four Portraits’. What can you tell us about these four portraits? What do they mean to you?
I’m a huge sports fan, even a bigger fan of the stories and journeys of the people that work so hard to become these world figures that we love and adore.
Each of these Icons on the « Four Portraits » have propelled our culture in the areas of civil and human rights, the advancement of women, educational programs for the youth, religious and certainly political arenas, have all been at the forefront for these superstar athletes and humanitarians.
These sports figures aren’t just making money and taking photographs, but they have each, added lots of beauty to the full spectrum of American and International levels, they have each given a great deal back.
My Four Portraits project celebrates Icons Jim Brown, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Pele’, Derek Jeter and one big big surprise as a bonus feature.
8) Tell us about your creative process for My Favourite Guy.
The tune « My Favourite Guy » is a tune written about baseball legend Derek Jeter.
Derek Jeter has been a great part of the lives of people that started watching his games as a youth and have grown with him, well into their adulthood.
« My Favourite Guy » is a love song, really. Kind of like a long distance relationship, being celebrated when you actually get to see one another, it’s like « wow! ».
My business partner, A.K Smithford and friend, music writer Philip Jenoure of Extreme Entertainment are co-writers of the tune.
I wanted the tune to flow in a way where the backing vocals had that « disco » feel, I wanted them big and melodic, while the leads stay more solid and raw.
9) How do you imagine yourself playing this new song live at a concert?
Funny you ask that, we are putting the stage show together right now, it’s pretty interesting, stay tuned.
10) From this new project, what’s your vision for the continuation of your career?
Well, part of the release for the Ep are the visuals that will be release alongside the tune.
The « Four Portraits » project, is something so different for me and no one has done anything like this as of yet.
I’m interested in seeing where the project will take me, because this is not only something new for me, but the concept is something new to the industry as well. I’m excited!
Right now we are getting the set done for my stage show and raising the remaining funds for the portable stage.
A lot of blood sweat and tears are in this new « Four Portrait » project, I hope people enjoy it!
Thank you for such an interesting conversation Traedonya!