This week I was invited to be featured in a local newspaper based off of my blog! Velocity does a feature called, “What I’m Into,” which is a pop culture piece. Erin Keane, a Velocity staff writer who follows my PamNewman.Tumblr.com blog contacted me and requested an interview & photo shoot. Being a nerd is totally paying off, y’all. In order to prepare, I did what most fly women would do: I got my hair did.
My hairstylist knows I’m a musician, which she thinks is kind of cool. She still always asks if I have gotten a real job yet or not. She also doesn’t listen to rock music but she’s supportive of me while I’m in her chair. The conversation rolled into music when another client of hers mentioned Beyonce’s performance at the Billboard awards, which I thought was pretty cool. It turned out that my hairstylist and her client had some Hater’s Ball level hate for Black Female performers. According to them, Beyonce is too uppity and her new song sucks, Rihanna is a ho and Nicki Minaj has a fake butt.
They were sure to let me know they do enjoy some music: Lady Gaga is a genius! Katy Perry is the best performer of the 21st century-- and so cute too! Pink’s music has gotten so much better in the past couple of years. And then they dropped the creme de la creme of “What the fuck,” on me: Ke$ha is among the best artists out there right now. Holy shit, did these girls just totally diss a bunch of Black pop musicians such as Beyonce and Rihanna and give the green light to a bitch with a dollar sign in place of a letter?
I couldn’t handle that level of tomfoolery. So in the interest of my own interests, I asked them what they thought about Janelle Monae. Everyone loves Janelle Monae! Right? My hairstylist and her other client reached deep, deep down into the Hater’s equivalent of Mordor and brought out the most sour, vintage, hatingest of all haterade for my girl, Janelle. “Why’s she always wearing the same outfit?” “Her hair looks like a cone!” “I saw her perform at that awards show and she was just screaming! What’s up with that?” “She is just too rock.” I tried explaining what I had read and seen in Janelle Monae’s interviews. Her outfit is her “uniform,” and is an homage to the working class. She’s been in Vogue! Stevie Wonder knows all the lyrics to her most recent album! In my opinion, her songwriting is topical and far more interesting and complex than what Madonna... I mean... Lady Gaga recently released (BURN!). All of my Janelle fangirling fell on ears filled with Hateration Brand Wax. I just shut up and let her finish doing my hair.
What ties all of this together is I had already completed the interview portion of the Velocity article by the time I was getting my hair styled by Haters INC. I listed Madame Monae as the musical artist who I’m most into right now. Then the actual photo-shoot started in the morning. The morning is an unusual and bizarre time of day which is not only made for sleeping! McDonalds is actually serving breakfast while the sun is out and people are grumpier than usual. I got up, freshened my hair, drank an energy drink, put on some super-cute makeup and I was even cognitive enough to create a short video!
Alas, I got too caught up in the fancy lights and the skilled staff photographer’s creative processes to take another video. The shoot involved me going back to the Rudyard Kipling. That place really is one of my favorite places in Louisville. So we get there at 9 in the morning. I say hi and thank you to Ken, the guy who runs the Rudyard Kipling. The photographer set up his lights and other equipment while I took my makeup out and acted like I didn’t already look awesome. You know, sometimes ya gotta diva it up a little bit.
The photographer was very nice and made me feel comfortable. He did a great job of creating a space where it was less like he was a guy with an instrument capable of stealing my soul and more like a professional photographer who wanted to do a great job of capturing my energy. I felt a little creepy giving him the paparazzi treatment and taking lots of pictures of my own. Thus, the only thing I took a picture of was my mic on a house mic stand. He thought it would be a great idea for me to actually be singing, so I got on stage in front of the photographer and my mom and sang along with “Violet,” by Hole while the photographer caught shots of me doing cool stuff.
All in all it was a really cool experience. I’m also totally appreciative that the folks at Velocity think I’m cool.
Keeping it Awesome Every Day,
Your Rockstar in Training: