Who Doesn’t Love Choklate?
When gifted singer Choklate emerged onto the scene, the world’s soundtrack became more soulful, real, and stimulating. She is as sweet as candy apples and as refreshing as cold water on a hot summer’s day. Her dedication, commitment, and respect she has for music is undeniable and her ability to convey that message is effortless. And with her sophomore album about to drop, her star is only going to get brighter. Nu-Soul sat down with Choklate for another round of girl talk as she opened up about what’s new in her life, the inner child that lives within us all, and what it takes to be creatively free.
Nu-Soul: What makes you different from other singers?
Choklate: I get weary with this question because I feel like you have to point out what makes you better. For me, my music comes from a real genuine place. I try to find a way lyrically to express moments that often times don’t have words: like having the blues about something that is good. Lately, my motto has been my complaints are someone else’s dreams. If the average person stopped and thought about their life and supposed they were in a third world country, they would realize someone is dreaming about what they are complaining about. So, I try to creatively talk about things other than love… like a regular human experience. You may not find as many love songs on my record. You may find something like a song about not knowing where your head is or procrastinating. Songs about love are so massive and important in this genre but commercial music doesn’t address them appropriately.
Nu-Soul: I know that your creative freedom and expression are very important to you. Do you want to take the chance of going to major and compromising that or do you wish to remain indie?
Choklate: I am really torn with that because it’s hard to keep up the level of execution and stay visible on an indie label. The other day the manager that I am working with asked me to get with a producer and work on a single and I have never been put in that position. I have always made the music and picked the single that was most appropriate from the music that was complied at the end of the project. I was petrified because it didn’t feel organic to sit down and think about a single and collaborate with someone who is completely commercially driven. That is one thing that every artist has to deal with. It’s a terrifically hard thing to turn down. The industry doesn’t run the game as far as the audience goes but with resources, they do. I would love to not have to work as hard to make things happen. I would love to go and live life and write music instead of being a business woman and trying to fit music and life in between that.
Nu-Soul: I was listening to Slum Village the other day and Baatin said, “When you fall in love with the music you never grow.” What do you think of that?
Choklate: It’s true the moment you fall in love with music….it’s as if your life stops. Some people are just infatuated with it. There is a difference. Some people fall in love to where they are so consumed where days, hours, and months pass in creating, they don’t know time is going like it is. The other day I thought about the time and effort I put in it and I really stopped and evaluated myself because music had kidnapped me from real life. Before music, I was saving up money to get a house and now I think about what mic I am going to buy. It’s like a black hole so that’s very true statement, but you have to be careful to still live life.
Nu-Soul: Why do you think it’s so important for adults to maintain that inner child?
Choklate: Cause life is a hot mess. I am afraid of forgetting how to enjoy life and losing my ability to be really stupid and silly. I don’t want to ever lose that. I remember people would tell me how I used to make them laugh and how I would just have a good time. I brought people together and I think children do that without thinking about it. They accidentally make you smile. They bring joy to a room and we all have it in us but when we become adults I think we subconsciously turn it off. I don’t know how or why. It just does. Life gets unhappy and I don’t think you have to schedule time to have fun and let your hair down. Life doesn’t have to be like that.
Nu-Soul: How are you able to remain so humble and wise in this business?
Choklate: My mother raised me in the church and I am the baby to seven kids with fifty some nieces and nephews. I used to look around when people were having challenging times. I did make silly decisions but I have always been observant of life and people around me. I can’t say it’s me that’s so wise. I am who I am because God said I am going to make her this way. We all have the same canvas it just depends on how you chose to view and see life because that is who people meet and see. I submit myself to the heavens and things around me. There are days when I don’t know and I need guidance. So it may seem that way but there is always times when someone doesn’t feel so positive or wise. But that is what life is. I’m living the same kind of life everyone else is living. The wisdom you hear is in everybody.
Nu-Soul: If you had a fan that was deaf, and you had to write down colors for them to explain your music, what would they be?
Choklate: I would just say all of them but that is a cheap way out. A dusty fall green, a branch like mauve, fire hydrant red, the red in the trees when you cut it down… I would take them around and point to the colors. I wouldn’t just write it down. Royal brilliant colored blues, mustard colored yellow, this is fun! I think that’s about it…I am sure I am missing one or two.
Nu-Soul: What is up next?
Choklate: The new album should be ready for everyone’s consumption spring 09. I had to take some time and relax and come across music I like and spend time with it. I hope people will like it but even if they don’t, I am proud of what I am turning into. I just wrote about my life. I don’t have a title yet but I have no idea, we might call it blah. (Laughing). Vitamin and I are doing a mixtape and he says we are doing it in a way that has never been done before. He doesn’t often say that but it’s exciting to me and things I am coming up with are straight from the heart. That will probably come out in a couple of months. The record will be a progression of me but the mixtape will have a whole other kick. I think we are going to have it for download. But for now, I’m just living life and writing music that people can relate to. I never really know…