WOW! NINA NOW, DESTINY STONE FOREVER!

Photo Credit: Melanee Imagery

Nina Now audience members were not disappointed as young Destiny Stone embodied the late, great Nina Simone at Theater South, Sunday, July 15 exactly one week ago, in a soft launch reopening of the legendary Precious Cargo, redesigned by its original owner, Cequita Monique. In a red, turban-like head-wrap and beautifully multi-colored blue, red and white maxi-dress adorning her petite frame, Stone captured the ambience, essence, soul and truth of the legendary soul-tress. Skillfully and courageously belting out such powerful tunes as Mississippi Goddamn, Young, Gifted and Black, Four Women, Be My Husband and others in her one woman show, which she produced, directed and starred in.

 

The first half of Nina Now was all Nina. Video footage of the legendary singer, songwriter, musician and activist enhanced the spectacular show as Stone edu-tained and info-tained the audience with little tidbits and important facts about Ms. Simone, which she learned during her extensive study on the artist for her senior project at Catawba College in North Carolina. That added touch was genius. Had I lived in the early days of Nina Simone‘s time, I would’ve believed I was at a Nina Simone concert.

 

However, the second half of the concert was just as fabulous. The Now, in Nina Now was phenomenal, featuring all original works of Miss Destiny Stone. She wooed the packed house crowd with such tunes as Don’t Mind, Really Real, America and other songs from her albums. “I don’t mind if you don’t like what I say…” are the words she sang in harmony with the keys she so eloquently played on the baby grand that she allowed to accompany her raw, but smooth voice for the opening of the last half of the show. Nina had left the room and we were definitely in the now. Her voice, her presence and the music she played took the audience out of Mid-Town’s Theater South and into Destiny’s world. In the atmosphere we felt Nina, we felt Destiny. One audience member commented on how Destiny spoke from a place of love, song from a place of love in her music as to unite and not divide. Standing on the Shoulders was said to be a Grammy winner from one concert-goer.

 

An encore performance with Color Blind as the people’s choice sealed the night with Destiny. During the chit-chat, talk-back segment a new fan revealed that she actually enjoyed Destiny’s music more than the Nina segment. Go figure. Some asked how they could invest in and support Stone in her musical efforts and her activism through her music. She was graceful. She was real. She was transparent and simply encouraged the audience to buy her CDs. The performance was filled with good vibes and great work presented by a quality artist. She a professional entertainer and creative artist bound for super star status in her own right; brave to attempt such artist, let alone exceed the expectation of the crowd.

With the success of the one-woman show, I am looking forward to Nina Now and the “young, gifted and black”, Destiny Stone going global.

For more about Destiny Stone visit:

Destinystonemusic.com
ninanow.org

 

Live Rich Die Poor

2674275C-3C41-45F8-8635-17AD63F1BE7DThe prolific writing of Ann Wallace took theater goers into the life of the incomparable Zora Neale Hurston during Women’s History Month. Wallace embodied the unsung literary heroine as she read the words she wove together over an 18 year period. The project on Hurston’s life and work is an awesome phenomenon like no other.  Wallace, the playwright of the one woman show, intertwined her original words seamlessly with only a small percentage of  Hurston’s work.  It was like Zora, Langston, and Harlem were there at Theatre South. The vivid images Mrs. Wallace’s words illustrates takes us to Zora’s hometown, to some of to the many places she had been, to see some of the many things she had done, and to Harlem, the “heaven on earth” melting pot for Black creatives of the arts at the time of the “Black Renaissance”.  The most resonating thing perhaps, might be the treatment of and disregard for women in those times that are still prevalent today. As an audience member you might leave curious, wanting to know how much influence Hurston had on Hughes’ work, wondering what if she had received the high standard of illustrious, literary fame she more than well deserved, and how the love and treatment or mistreatment from the only family you have can build you up, or break you down. Throughout the reading “Jump at the Sun” is what  a young Zora remembered her mother saying to her often. She held on to those words, and became who she became. The quote seemed to connect with the  theme/title “Live Rich Die Poor”, meaning you cannot take anything on this side of life with you to death, so live life to the fullest degree that you can, in its entirety, happily, free, and unapologetically. The playwright’s message was alive and thought provoking.  Wallace has crafted a “must-experience” that will enrich the love for theatre and literature in all.

Learn more about the  essential, timely, and timeless work, “Live Rich Die Poor” and where you can catch it here https://www.eventbrite.com/e/memphis-fringe-live-rich-die-poor-by-ann-wallace-tickets-44308409646. 

The only suggestion is that you get there fast. Seats fill up quickly for this one of a kind work. The anticipation of the one woman show is much needed in a time when women like Ann Wallace have something of importance to say. “Hear Her Speak.”

All Things Destiny

You’ve had good Friday, Super Saturday and Happy Easter Sunday! Get ready for Great  Monday!….

All things Destiny coming Monday, 4/2/18. Learn more about the dynamic Destiny Stone, her magical March in Memphis, her mark on the Bluff City as she profoundly and energetically moved the masses, her Nina Now Project and the Black Girl Movement. Ready or not here/hear she comes….. See below

28377782_894672780702809_3201512226083017970_n

Singer/Songwriter Destiny Stone took Memphis by storm the last week of March with her soulful lyrics, powerhouse vocals, and positive messages. She began her mighty March week at the Girls on Fire Writing Conference, hosted by Love Girls Magazine on the campus of  The University of Memphis. There she shared her journey as a singer/songwriter and inspired  100 young middle and high school girls from the Mid-South to write, learn and express themselves. The 20 year old beauty performed “Power”  as well as a couple of other selections from her must have ,grammy worthy album Journey, which is available on itunes, Spotify, and CDbaby.

 

Her next phase of inspiration was a visit to Belle Forest Community School, where she facilitated the “Little Women Write Too Workshop“. The masses of fourth and fifth graders were moved with her opening selection  “Black Girl“. From that point on workshop goers were motivated and catapulted by her lyrics and music. A young Miss Destiny Stone engaged the crowd of about 200 little girls as they sang the lyrics she taught them on the spot. The workshop theme was to “Empower, Encourage and Enlighten” our girls. In addition to those three E’s, an energetic Stone entertained and engaged the young workshop participants.

Like “Black Girl”, “I‘m Gonna Love Myself”  was another selection Destiny sung that inspired self love. The lyrics made reference to Stone comparing herself, in a sense to several popular singers but made it clear she loves herself no matter what. “I know I’m not Beyonce” she sings slightly and smooth over the melodic tune “but that don’t mean a thing cause I can make my lemonade out of the songs I sing” she continues.

Then she facilitates the lesson at hand and gets the girls writing. The blue print for song writing activity begins… Little Women Write Too Workshop goers are asked a series of questions to start their writing process. They respond with a multitude of answers.

“Hey young little woman writer, did you know that writing is a very positive way to express yourself and ignite change? Well, answer the following questions and fill in the blanks to start your journey as a songwriter just like Alessia Cara, SZA, Jill Scott, Alicia Keys, India Arie and Destiny Stone” was the query to start the workshop.

As she was busy taking The Bluff City by storm, Speak To Me caught up with the energetic, super talented Destiny Stones as she profoundly and energetically moved the masses, and asked some of the same questions as well as questions about her Nina Now Project and the Black Girl Movement.

STM: What do you aspire to be when you grow up?

Destiny Stone: I aspire to be a touring and performing singer songwriter

 

STM: Do you prefer, rap, R&B, gospel or pop musician?

Destiny Stone: I prefer R&B and gospel music.

 

STM: Who is your favorite Artist and why?

Destiny Stone: India Arie is my favorite artist because she does not try to fit into mainstream, she writes her own songs, and she writes music about all types of things…not just love songs.

 

STM: What is your favorite song and why?

Destiny Stone: My favorite song is “Talk to Her” by India Arie because of the lyrical composition. Also, it’s catchy and easy to understand but is still creative.

STM: What do you like more than anything?

Destiny Stone: I like writing music more than anything!

STM: When you write your music, what are you thinking about?

Destiny Stone: I’m thinking about writing a song that captures however I feel at the moment. I am thinking about transferring my emotions into something that people can feel when they listen to my song.

STM: What inspires your writing and you to write music?

Destiny Stone: Different events or emotions inspire me to write. For example, when people were giving Colin Kaepernick so much flack for his silent protest, I wrote a song about it called One Knee. Another time I was inspired is when my professor challenged me to write a song about the beauty and joy of being black in America and that’s why I wrote “ Black Girl”.

STM: Yes! Black Girl! We’ll get back to that music that has become a movement later.

STM:How hard is it to manage your music career, college and performances?

Destiny Stone: It’s he’s challenging at times. I have to prioritize and sometimes say no to my friends. However, having people around who understand the goals I’m trying to reach helps.

STM: What makes a song a song Ms. Stone?

Destiny Stone: The lyrics and melody make a song a song. Whether it’s about being happy or sad, it’s still a song.

STM: Do you ever get nervous? If so, how do you overcome it?

Destiny Stone: Yes, all the time! But I overcome it by praying before performances and putting that nervous energy into my singing and playing.

STM: Do you ever get discouraged? If so, how do you deal with it?

Destiny Stone: Yes sometimes I get discouraged and feel like the work I do is in vain. But I deal with it by the grace of God. Whenever I get to those low moments or feel discouraged, God always has a way of reminding me that the music I write and share is touching people and that the gift He gave me is not for myself but for His glory and His people.

STM: What are you studying in college?

Destiny Stone: Is it hard? I’m studying Popular Music and Worship Arts and I won’t say it’s hard because I have a passion for these things. Sometimes it’s a lot of work, but the subjects themselves aren’t hard for me cause they interest me.

STM: What’s your hook/catch phrase/attention getter?

Destiny Stone: Straight to the point. I like to write songs that use metaphors and similes. but not too deep that you don’t get the message the first time.

STM: You are definitely God-gifted and God-filled. When did you realize your were more than talented and so unique? I mean what 20 year old studies and revitalizes Nina Simone?

Destiny Stone: Thanks so much. I’ve been told I’m an old soul.

STM: I see you old school millennial. Please tell me more about your Nina Now Project and what inspired you to do the massive, well needed, project. Also about the Black Girl Movement.

Destiny Stone: Nina Now began as my senior project. Even though I’m a junior, i was able to do my project early to commemorate what would have been her 85th birthday in February 2018. It’s about educating people about Nina Simone and sharing her music. I also sing some of my music too. I’m inspired by her boldness during the Civil Rights movement and the range of topics she tackled in her music from love to being misunderstood

Black Girl came about after one of my professors challenged me to write a real good song about being black in America. I was thinking about the little girls I’ve seen and heard singing along with my other music and I wanted to write a song for them. I also dedicate the song to those young ladies who are in college or own businesses and are coming up with new innovations. The song is also dedicated to older black women who have paved the way and gone before me. I hope this song makes black girls young and old feel glorious.

Interesting. You have mentioned your professors a couple of times. Where do you attend school.

Catawba College in North Carolina.

Now is there a reason why you chose this school.

 

Yes it is a perfoming arts college that offered my major and offered me the most scholarship money.laughing

 

 

STM: Last question: There’s another artist with the Name of Destiny Stone. Do you think your styles are similar? What sets you apart from her?

Destiny Stone: I think her main instrument is guitar and think my style is more soulful.

After her visit with Belle Forest scholars, the hardest working young lady in the industry stunned a diverse audience with a live performance on the Thacker Mountain Radio Show, MBP 89.5 in Oxford Mississippi. A couple of days later, Saturday afternoon Ms. Stone moved the crowd at the Book Lovers Appreciation/Life Center Community Fest. This was her last stop in the Mid-South. We look forward to embracing this rising star, that is destined to be great!

Find out more about Nina Now here: https://squareup.com/store/destiny-stone

https://www.salisburypost.com/2018/02/18/2-18-catawba-students-offer-nina-now-feb-23-24/

.