On Thursday May 12th 38 year-old singer/songwriter/musician Amel Larrieux hit Washington D.C.’s Park at Fourteenth. I’m a huge Amel Larrieux fan (with and without Groove Theory) so I can’t give you a non-biased experience on her performance. After performing with her live band (her daughter played the keyboard), I had the opportunity to interview Amel. Speaking with her was like speaking to one of my favorite girlfriends or hilarious Auntie on their VERY best day. One-on-one she exudes this unexplainable lightness. It was loud as hell in the “champagne room” (what I call the VIP room at Park), but in my mind for those few minutes, I was sipping a cup of tea, smoking something (very legal), and taking it all in. Perhaps she had taken a positive pill or is this how she is post performance all the time? Whatever it was, it was contagious. Check our conversation:
Concept around her latest album title, ‘Ice Cream Every Day’: “The title is really about a metaphor…something that I’m searching for everyday. Ice cream. It’s something that can give me that little joy, that little spark for that fire every day. And it started off with me saying ‘Oh, I want ice cream every day. I wish that I could just have ice cream every day.’ And my husband was like that’s a great album title. But it’s also like you live, you work, you have kids, you die. So you want to find that little thing that makes you bright and joyful.”
“The album recording process has been pretty organic, we’ve taken awhile since our last album and we’ve been lucky to have the luxury to be able to do that…but it’s because we want to make it organic in that it would come out the way that it should. And to reflect where we are in our musical journey. I can really nurture myself as an artist, instead of rushing and putting something out there that sounds like something that is already on the radio. I’m allowed to have time and I’m on the road a lot. This album is very much where I am in my life right now. I’m 38; almost 40. I’m breaking out – I feel like I’m REALLY becoming a woman now. My children are older so now I’m looking at me and I want to have fun. I want to dance. I grew up on Earth, Wind and Fire, Bob Marley. I wanna be UP. I wanna be free. I wanna be uninhibited. And that’s what this album is loosely based on.”
About President Obama and the current political climate: “I read Obama’s books before he was president. I believe in him. I don’t care what anyone else says. I know that he is true to his words and that’s all I have to say.” Amel might as well have ended that sentence with ‘Straight Like That’ because when I mentioned Obama, she had this serious look in her eye. It was unrehearsed and she meant it.
For all things Amel Larrieux visit www.amellarrieux.com. Special thanks to Beny Blaq Entertainment for the exclusive interview.