lalah-hathaway2If coming from music royalty wasn’t enough (her father is the late Donny Hathaway), R&B/Soul siren Lalah Hathaway evokes a personality so down to earth and welcoming, one might think that she was the woman you casually spoke to in passing because you get the distinct feeling that you know her from somewhere. So often, we put celebrities on a pedestal and assume that they possess a certain air but Ms. Hathaway who released her 5th album, Self Portrait last summer, is no different than her fans or anyone else for that matter. During our conversation she was on her way out of the door of her house and as any woman with a full plate, she misplaced her keys. Jokingly, she reversed the interview and challenged our readers to answer her one and only question, “Where are my keys?”

Not only has fame not altered her since of humor but she continues to remain true to herself. Lalah cites time as the change in her music. As a woman who is constantly growing and learning new things, “the essence of what I do is maturing with me as a woman”, states Lalah. Self Portrait was not only written in it’s entirety by this lyrical visionary but it is an extremely personal record, allowing her to tackle passionate and heartfelt topics. Affairs of the heart, and words of encouragement are common themes of the album as Lalah receives what she considers the best feedback ever. Regardless of the amount of sells this album generates, “It’s really successful to me in so many ways already, because it is what I intended it to be”, is Lalah’s thoughts. If an 82 year old lady asks her what they can expect from this album, Lalah’s reply is simple, “Soul music”. As one to shy away from describing her music, she uses the blanket term Soul because Soul music encompasses so much. Although she doesn’t mind telling you what type of music is in store for you when listening to one of her albums, she prefers to leave any interpretations up to the listeners. According to Lalah, ” The movie you watch, the art you view and the music that moves you really reflects your life. I tend not to lean to heavy on telling people what they are because it’s really up to their experience”. In life we pull inspiration from many things, to Lalah inspiration is a funny thing because it can come from anywhere. It can come from the kids next door on skateboards or it can be from the trash. She describes herself as one of those people who are inspired by anything. Inspiration can also come from artists that she is influenced by. She’s been listening to music, watching movies and laughing at comedy all of her life.. “I grew up in the 70’s in Chicago when radio was so vivid, there was such a plethora of people; from country to R & B to classical music”, Lalah says of her musical influences.

In addition to belting out a great studio album, Ms. Hathaway is an excellent live performer as well, a quality that is present in many seasoned artists. When going to a Lalah Hathaway concert, expect to hear a lot of songs, songs you probably didn’t know she sang or even originally recorded. You can expect a great live show of live music. Lalah agrees that great live shows are often hard to come by, and prides herself in delivering a show that isn’t pre-recorded. To add to her authentic artistry, she performs without wearing shoes. As a simple performer, she prefers to command the stage by pleasing her audience. She really wants people to feel like they are floating on air.

As a woman who takes pride in her craft, her world does not revolve around performing.  When not performing or recording in the studio, Lalah is a serious gamer. She is really into XBOX 360. She plays every game that she can get her hands on and really enjoys the online Live experience. She recently purchased Mortal Combat Hawaiian, which she plans to tackle very soon along with Guitar Hero. Her passion for video games explains her love for Best Buy, which she considers her favorite place to shop. When asked what she would do with $10,000 her response was not the typical response that you would hear from a woman.  She wouldn’t go to Neiman Marcus or any other department store (not that she doesn’t shop their too), she would spend the entire amount at Best Buy stocking up on music, electronics and more video games.  If that’s not staying grounded, I don’t know what is.