Algebra: Personal Testimony

When you hear the name Algebra, the first thing you think of is mathematics. Ironically there are no textbooks or classroom instructions that could help one balance the equations of Kedar Entertainment’s newest protégé, ALGEBRA. Groomed by Kedar Massenberg himself, the man behind Erykah Badu, India.Arie and Joe, Algebra is poised to add melodic sounds and a new life to R&B music.

After lending her singing voice as a background singer for the likes of Bilal and Monica, Algebra is ready to have a voice of her own; a calculated move that will allow her to disclose her identity as well as bringing her very own distinctive voice to the music scene under the new revamped Kedar Entertainment Group.

When mainstream success seems to be more about the right hair, nails and make -up, Algebra’s soulful sound will assert her presence to the music scene and help her penetrate the heart and soul of many with her debut album, “Purpose,” by offering a true personal musical testimony about life and experiences.

Singersroom: What made you want to pursue a music career?

Algebra: I didn’t at first; it was something that kind of happened. My parents are musicians; my great great grandparents are musicians as well. I kind of wanted to do the other side of things, the theatrical side more than anything and it just kind of slowly [evolved] to singing. It just kept going from there.

Singersroom: Before you started your career you did a couple of open mics?

Algebra: I only did a couple in Atlanta, there’s like one or two; I started doing those because I couldn’t do cover songs because I couldn’t remember the words. I just kind of picked up a guitar and started singing my own songs because if I was trying to sing anybody else’s songs I [would have forgotten them]. I would go out of town and go to other open mics [for the pleasure of it.]

Singersroom: You mentioned that you play the guitar; do you play any other instruments?

Algebra: Just that and my voice.

Singersroom: How did you and Kedar Massenburg connect?

Algebra: I was signed to Motown, we had a meeting, then we left, I rode with him and the rest is history.

Singersroom: You have worked with the like of Bilal, Monica, and Erykah Badu, how was that learning experience?

Algebra: I worked with a lot of artists doing background work. When you do anything in art you become magnetic to other artists. We just try to work for each other and work with each other. Whether it is writing for each other, doing background, or when we hang out with people and meet others through networking. It was a good experience going on tour with different people. You can learn and get a chance to teach a little bit. It’s a very good experience.

Singersroom: What have you learned from the artists that you have worked with?

Algebra: Patience and focus more than anything.

Singersroom: What makes your music unique in reference to what’s already out there?

Algebra: Nothing, I think everyone is the same. One common thing that artists have is the passion for singing and writing music. There are different levels of passion but we share the same thing. Everybody wants to tell their story or want to tell somebody else’s story in their own way.

Singersroom: As the first artist to be released on the revamped Kedar Entertainment Group, how do you assume your new role?

Algebra: I feel good about it; I am excited about the possibilities of things to come.

Singersroom: Is it hard for you to follow in the footstep of artists like Erykah Badu and India.Arie who were your predecessors at Kedar Entertainment?

Algebra: Not at all, there’s this passion that all artists have and as far as legacy goes, we ought to leave it on the hunt, not necessarily for anyone else to follow but to learn from it or stay away from it. I think that the legacy part of that is a very good thing. I have some good company. I have no complaint about it.

AlgebraSingersroom: How have you been promoting your new album?

Algebra: Right now I am on tour with Brian McKnight and Joe. [Everything] is going extremely well; great people are on this tour.

Singersroom: How does it feel to be the only woman on tour with Brian McKnight and Joe?

Algebra: Both of them are cool. Joe is probably the coolest person that you’ll ever meet and Brian is like an older brother/young father figure that you want to soak up everything from. Two men that are clearly the blue print of their art and it’s a good thing.

Singersroom: How is the public response?

Algebra: They respond pretty well! They don’t know me at first, but mid-way through the first song they are bobbing their heads. That’s good enough for me.

Singersroom: Which singers inspire you?

Algebra: My favorite artist is Nina Simone; for her music, her intellect and songwriting. Besides that, I like everybody.

Singersroom: So what is your favorite song of Nina Simone?

Algebra: ‘Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood.’

Singersroom: Do you think that sometimes people might not understand you?

Algebra: It’s relatable, the songs are very relatable. One thing about Nina – she had such a classical background but she did everything…. she’s like a greater Aretha.

Singersroom: What motivates you?

Algebra: Life itself; I am going to be here for a little while so I want to make the most of it, do everything I can.

Singersroom: In the song ‘You Do It For Me’ you say, ” Thinking bout rings and switchin up my whole lifestyle…U make it so easy for me , that I wanna do the same for you, you are simply perfect for me and I must say this sincerely everything I do, I do it for you? So does this mean you have found that special someone?

Algebra: That’s the perfect idea, which is possible. I think everyone wants a person that makes them feel special, without really worrying about anything. You do things for people to make them happy but not expecting anything back in return. I mean this is really, really what it all falls down to.

Singersroom: So you have found that special person?

Algebra: Valerie – what are you trying to find out (laughter)?

Singersroom: Nothing, we just want to know if you have found that special person that’s all.

Algebra: Yes, I have someone (laughter).

Singersroom: You have collaborated with award–winning songwriter and producer Brian Michael Cox on ‘What happened,’ tell us about the collaboration.

Algebra: Brian is my brother; he is one of those producers who’s a real musician. He’s a jazz pianist, he’s classical, he’s really dope. I told him when we started working together I don’t want anything that you give to everybody else, even though he’s a hit maker. I wanted him to do something that moves him even more than before. We talked about it and a couple of days later he called me with the record. We communicate very well!

Singersroom: What else can we expect from you?

Algebra: The album is coming out at the end of June and many more things to come. —— By: Interview By Valerie Varasse


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