Self-portrait by Brenda Nicole Moorer
Vocalist/actor Brenda Nicole Moorer may be young, but she’s been a force in Atlanta’s artistic community for more than a decade. A former member of the Youth Ensemble of Atlanta and a graduate of both the DeKalb School of the Arts and SCAD’s Master of Arts Program, Moorer started singing professionally at the age of 16. Since then, she’s graced the stage alongside locally based musical luminaries like Russell Gunn, Julie Dexter and Khari Cabral Simmons, among many others. In 2011, she dropped her debut solo album, the jazz/folk-centric “Songbird,” and in 2015, she released the acclaimed full-length follow-up, “Brand New Heart.” She’s also worked with Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre and garnered spots acting in TV shows like “Greenleaf,” “Star,” “American Soul” and more. On top that, she found the time to serve as the creator and artistic director of Touch x Agree, a nonprofit music organization dedicated to creating space for emerging musicians.
Fast-forward to the COVID-19-tinted landscape of 2020 and, although too many artists are seeing gigs disappear, it appears that some of Moorer’s most game-changing work is about to see the light of day. For one: She’s playing a role in the upcoming Aretha Franklin biopic, “Respect,” which stars Jennifer Hudson and is slated to hit theaters this December. And two: This summer, she’s unveiling her brand-new jazz album, “Marrow,” which she co-wrote with ATL’s own Kenny Banks Jr. and guitarist Trevor Wolford. To get more details, we recently checked in with Moorer, and she schooled us about what she’s got on tap.
As coronavirus rips through the land and folks find themselves unable to shop for their favorite magazines, we thought now would be a great time to offer some help.
To that end, for a limited time, we’re offering a FREE download of the recently relaunched and redesigned edition of Slo*Mo Magazine. If you haven’t checked out this issue, which celebrates 20 years of soul music in Atlanta, here’s your chance to download and read it for free, pretty much as we presented it exclusively in print.
So, get your download via the following link: Slo-Mo_1_FreeDownload
The temperature is rising in the streets of the ATL, which means it’s that time of year again — time for your homies at Slo*Mo magazine to unleash our annual Summer of Soul special. For 2019, we’re filling this edition with our selections for the best soul-flavored music, events, people and other goodies to check out this summer. And, no lie, we’ve packed more warm-weather niceness than ever in this year’s Summer of Soul. So, check out this year’s contents below and start scheduling a few months of super-dopeness in the city (and beyond).
For most folks, the coming of summer means the start of some serious, sun-soaked downtime — chill-tastic stints at festivals, cookouts, beaches, etc. But for Atlanta’s community of music makers (just like other creative cats from across the nation), the coming of summer signals the beginning of what could be their busiest time of year.
Raphael Saadiq plays this year’s ONE Musicfest, going down September 7 + 8.
Every Sunday starting June 2: Chaka Khan Hacienda — DJ Ree de la Vega’s off-the-wall disco/house/reggae- fueled day party, Chaka Khan Hacienda, kicks off its 2019 summer stint. Expect the usual funky sounds from some of the city’s best turntable jocks, along with tasty rotating food pop-ups and vendors selling dope gear and merch. Free. 5 p.m. 8arm, 710 Ponce De Leon Avenue NE. http://www.instagram.com/chakakhanhacienda.
House singer/dancer Cortney LaFloy
Cortney LaFloy — “No Time” + “Crossroads”
Since debuting on the scene in 2014 with hit track “Dance4You,” singer/dancer Cortney LaFloy has become one of the most consistent voices for house music coming out of Atlanta. She’s been dropping new cuts on an almost annual basis, and her latest single — “No Time” (written by LaFloy and produced by Rick Lenoir) — was released just a few months ago, along with a slew of remixes. We’ve even caught wind of yet another single, titled “Crossroads,” that she recently dropped. So, make no mistake, she’s been putting in work.
Mereba opens for J.I.D. June 19 + 20 at Center Stage.
Check out our picks (below) for Atlanta’s best music-centric happenings for the month of June:
Take a quick glance at the high concept behind the band Gangstagrass — bluegrass meets rap — and the first word that may come to mind is “novelty.” But when you actually listen to group’s music, it becomes evident that members Rench, Dan Whitener, Landry McMeans, R-Son The Voice of Reason and Dolio The Sleuth are creating material that is anything but throwaway. Their sound succeeds by blending the best elements of hip-hop and string music — and by showing the sonic link between the genres … which shouldn’t be a surprise since both are from the African-American musical experience. Catch them live in the ATL on May 2. $12-$15. 8 p.m. City Winery, 650 North Avenue, Ponce City Market. http://www.citywinery.com.
House music singer Cortney LaFloy visits Mo Audio — Atlanta’s soul music and culture podcast — to talk about her latest single “No Time” and more!
India.Arie — “Worthy”
One of the most (hell, perhaps THE most) prolific and influential artists to rise from the Atlanta soul scene, India.Arie returns to the world’s collective earholes in February with her eighth studio album, “Worthy.” And, taking a listen to the 10-track project’s first two singles — “That Magic” and “What If” — it’s apparent that “Worthy” is a return to the straightforward and soulful sound she made famous on early albums like “Acoustic Soul” and “Voyage to India.” That said, she could release a country-rap album, and we’d be down to snag a copy. In other words: Go buy it.
More info: soulbird.com.