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TMCNet:  Lalah Hathaway, the First Daughter of Soul, reflects on music today

[February 14, 2013]

Lalah Hathaway, the First Daughter of Soul, reflects on music today

Feb 14, 2013 (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution - McClatchy-Tribune News Service via COMTEX) -- She's often referred to as the First Daughter of Soul, a title that was initially bestowed upon her because of her impeccable birthright.

As the daughter of soul maestro Donny Hathaway, Lalah Hathaway has always contended with a massive shadow.

But for more than two decades, the astute, passionate and insightful Hathaway has carved her own impressive path to success.

The Southern California-based Hathaway says she gets to Atlanta a couple of times a year because she has some family in town _ "Actually, most folks have a little family in Atlanta," she joked recently _ and is looking forward to a return where she can perform her repertoire of songs ranging from 1990's "Heaven Knows" to 2011's "You Were Meant for Me." And don't forget her myriad collaborations with acts including Grover Washington Jr., Take 6, Marcus Miller and, last year, the Robert Glasper Experiment, with whom she recently played some dates in Japan.

The engaging Hathaway, 44, talked last month about her plans for the next year and why she's ready to shine a laser light on fans waving smartphones at her during her show.

Q: How would you describe your live show Is it an intimate affair A: It's a small setup, but we have an entire live complement of musicians. We like to do as much of the past 20 years of my career as possible.

Q: So I saw your tweet asking people to stop recording your shows on their smartphones. It really is out of control, isn't it A: It is out of control, and it really speaks to a lack of respect for the art and the time of the people making the art. It speaks to the fact that people feel entitled to your intellectual property. When I was 15 and wanted the "Jesus Christ Superstar" soundtrack, I had to beg my mom for it and we had to get in the car and go get it, and once I had it, I had to take care of it so I could listen to it. We live in a world now where kids say, "I want that," and it appears on their phone, and I don't think they appreciate it.

I tell people, if you're at my concert and you're looking at me through your iPhone, you've already missed it. You're not living in the moment. I don't care if people get to see (my concerts) online, but I care about having a relationship with the audience. I want to sing to you, not your Samsung Galaxy III.

It's astounding how disrespectful people can be. They use a flash! I've decided I'm going to get a laser light, and when I see people with their flash on, I'm going to flash them. I wish people would realize that the moment is five times sweeter if you engage yourself in it.

Q: Your last album was a couple of years ago. Are you working on something new A: I'll have a live record this year or next. We'll get into it in the next couple of months. I do things at my own pace and really do follow my path. I'm trying to get on that Rihanna schedule where I make a record more often.

Q: Are there any up-and-coming artists out there you'd like to work with A: In terms of new artists, even with me being a musician for the last 18,000 years, I don't listen to the radio as much as you might think. I'm not necessarily stimulated by what I hear in 2013.

Even satellite _ it's what I have in my car _ I listen to a lot of The Foxxhole and Heart & Soul, but even for black soul music, there are only two stations. The rest are people cussing at me, and it's kind of a drag. There's a whole phenomenon of music right now that I think of as "24-hour fitness music." It's not really music, just a combination of sounds. It sounds like mechanics put it together. Ultimately I'm interested in the combination of rhythm, melody and harmony, particularly in soul music.

___ (c)2013 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Atlanta, Ga.) Visit The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Atlanta, Ga.) at www.ajc.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

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