Some of the city's top female artists, including Ebony Eyez, Unladylike and June 5th, are gearing up to perform at tonight's "Divas of Da Lou" showcase at the Ambassador. Aloha Mischeaux, who earned national attention with her top 24 appearance on American Idol in 2005, is also among the scheduled performers. We caught up with Aloha at Anex Recording Studios in Brentwood to discuss some of her experiences in "the biz." Look for a longer interview in the April 15 issue of the RFT.
Calvin Cox: What was it like to be on a show as big as Idol at such a young age? Aloha Mischeaux: I learned a lot about the business. When I was younger, I had stars in my eyes - but now I can see things for what they are. I learned that American Idol, and this dream that I had, it's not just a dream; it's a business. I can say that it changed my train of thought - in a good way, because it prepared me for what I'm getting myself into now. And it was fun being on T.V.!
What has been your most memorable career moment to date? When I made the song "Crybaby" with Bradd Young. From that moment on, I knew I'd found my voice. From there it's been history; history with him and I, and history with me growing as an artist and learning how to write songs for myself.
What has been the biggest obstacle you've faced? So far, my biggest obstacle has been stepping out of my box. My grandma raised me, so I've always been, kind of like, innocent. To this day, sometimes it's hard for me to write the kinds of things I know real women want to hear; there's things I'm scared to say to people. I've been a part of the church all my life, and I direct the choir -- right now I'm trying to get to a point where I'm comfortable with myself as woman, not just as a choir member or my grandmother's baby.
I definitely remember that you had a sort of "good girl" image on Idol. Speaking of that, what was up with the flowers in your hair? Did that hold any special significance? It never really was because my name's Aloha; people think it's weird that that wasn't the reason. I liked Billie Holiday when I was young, and I remember seeing "Lady Sings the Blues" and I just liked how it looked. When I was on Idol, sometimes I didn't want to wear a flower, but it became kind of a gimmick, so they always wanted me to.
What makes your music unique? It's unique because it's familiar. Right now, a lot of music has become kind of "mechanical," but we're really bringing the feeling back into the music. It might remind you of Aaliyah, or Mariah or Brandy - but I still have my own voice.