I remember how us black folks used to say “(s)he sound black!” when we were introduced to a Caucasian singer with a soulful voice. We never realized how absolutely ignorant that was to say but in some of our defense, it was only natural for us to react in such a way because we were pleasantly surprised that a non-black person could belt notes so soulful and with so much feeling.
According to Wikipedia, Rhythm & Blues (R&B) is a genre of popular African-American music that originated in the 1940s. The term was originally used by record companies to describe recordings marketed predominantly to urban African-Americans, at a time when “urbane, rocking, jazz based music with a heavy, insistent beat” was becoming more popular.

 

 

 

Today, R&B’s popularity has reached its’ highest peak with the help by some of today’s biggest entertainers, and guess what….NONE of them are black. I think it’s safe to say that R&B is no longer a “black thing”. In fact, our talented white entertainers are proving that soul has no color.

teena-marie-robbery-cover

I  want to dedicate this post to the late great Teena Marie. I was a kid when I discovered that she was white when my mother brought home her classic album Robbery. I was truly amazed because her music exudes a passionate soul that I thought only a black woman could vocalize. Her singing skills were impeccable, to say the least. I loved how her African-American fans embraced her & “adopted” her as their blue-eyed sister of soul. Since my discovery of Teena, I hold on to that memory when I’m introduced to a Caucasian R&B singer. At this day in age, when urban culture is becoming widely popular & accepted, the development of R&B singers goes far & beyond the kid from the projects now. The love of urban culture & the birth of R&B singers are also developed in predominantly white neighborhoods.

 

 

How do you feel about white artists labeled as R&B singers?

I’m not talking about an actual garden.

I’m referring to your spiritual garden, your emotional garden, and your mental garden.

You ever wonder why you feel less of a person or unhappy when you give your all, but everything you give doesn’t get reciprocated?

You ever feel the need to be “Superwoman” in all aspects of your life so that you can be liked, loved, and appreciated by others?

Do you ever compare your life to others and feel down because you haven’t reached the success that they have?

If you’ve experienced any or all these things, well honey…you are  using your water  for other people’s gardens to bloom while your garden withers.  You use so much water that you don’t leave enough for your own garden.

You have to realize that you are just as special and important as anyone else. You have a purpose in life and when you fill your cup with self-care, self- awareness, and self-love, your cup will overflow with blessings.

Your garden nourishes your soul when you water it. As your garden blooms, so does your spirit, which leaves you to look at life with a more positive outlook.

Take care of YOU first, because who’s going to look out for you better than yourself?

We get so used to watering the gardens of others that we forget that we planted the seeds for ours. We neglect our garden to make sure everyone else’s bloom. How will you ever know how beautiful your garden could be if you don’t take care of it?

From this moment on, I want you to take a look at your garden and see what needs to be done. Are there self-defeating weeds you need to pull? What about self-doubting buds that didn’t make it? Or those pesky low self-esteem stems with missing petals? Remove them all, water it, and turn your garden into a beautiful bed of flowers and roses like you know it could be.

I’ve been following Joonie for some time and I must say…I am impressed with his current release Contrast. The 13-track album features music that is timeless, grown-up, soulful, jazzy, sexy, intelligent and makes you want to fall in love. Contrast is his follow-up album to his 2010 release, Acoustic Love. One of my favorite tracks from Contrast is “Official”. Take a listen below. Click album cover to purchase TODAY! You can thank me later 😉

 

 

 

Click cover to purchase from iTunes

 

Calvin “Joonie” Gary, Jr., better known by his stage name ‘Joonie’ is an American singer, songwriter, arranger, producer and self-taught musician, specializing in Soul, R&B and Popular Music. His sound, lyrics and musicianship are often compared to the great R&B vocalists of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s who emoted smooth vocals across infectious rhythms and melodies. He has been credited for writing, arranging, producing and playing instrumentals for artists including, Elliot Yamin, Ruben Studdard, Tweet, Nappy Roots, Angie Stone and Mos Def.