Honey Jam – Then & Now…Toronto at it’s best!!

Last week I attended an annual event called Honey Jam produced by PhemPhat Entertainment group.  This event has been happening every year since 1995 and showcases talented female artists from a variety of genres. PhemPhat is a non-profit organization which also provides educational and mentoring opportunities for artists as well as supports and promotes women charities such as the YWCA’s programs for women and girls.

A number of our own Toronto female artists have been apart of this great event over the years including: Jully Black, Tara Chase, Jemini (from G98.7), Kim Davis, Motion, Eternia, Michie Mee and so many more! 

I had the privilege to attend the event and get the backstage experience. 

When we arrived, some of the artists were already there.  I was standing to the side when Kim Davis came in.  I had to tell her my story.  See, my name is Kim David and seeing how people have a hard time believing my last name is a first name, they often call me Kim Davis so over the years, I’ve been asked a number of times “Are you the singer?”.  (Well, if they heard me sing, they would clearly not be asking that question.  I mean, I’m not bad, but I’m not Kim Davis!)  When I walked over to Kim, she greeted me with a hug and I told her my story and she said “I will never forget you Kim David.” – Love it!

Back to the matter at hand, as the artists arrived, they welcomed each other with warm smiles and hugs.  It was so nice to see these ladies get the chance to share a few moments together to reminisce and laugh about good times.

I was in awe of what I saw that night.  So much talent!  From rapping to singing and everything in between. They each sang a song representing a wide variety of influential ladies of the past. Motion represented Queen Latifah with her rendition of Ladies First.  She even nailed Mony Love’s part. Eternia rapped and surprised the crowd by bringing out Tara Chase. Everyone went nuts when she came out and tore it up.  The ladies had a spectacular night and Michie Mee hosted the event.

There are two performances that really struck a chord with me because these two performances were songs sung by our most recent losses.  Etta James and more recently Whitney Houston.  Kim Davis sang “I will always love you” and tore the place down.  No one could have ever guessed that a week later we would be hearing of Whitney’s unfortunate demise.

Jully Black broke it down with ‘Seven Day Fool’ and ‘Fool am I’.  Both songs sang by the late Etta James. 

It’s hard to believe that so many of our legends are leaving us but after watching these ladies of Honey Jam, I have hope in knowing that with this talent, Whitney, Etta and so many we’ve lost, that their legacy will live on and new legacies will be created.

We live in a digital age with autotune and other ways of enhancing a sound.  I’m not going to lie, I’ve sung many songs that have been digitally touched but  there is so much raw talent out there.  Not everything can be ‘autotuned’.  We need real music to come back.  We need to expose true talent!

Here is some footage of the Honey Jam performances.

Jully Black: http://youtu.be/GOTJih55v_o

Kim Davis – http://youtu.be/tZlzLQAk3sU

A summary of the evening: http://youtu.be/L7x-yiuJmAY

The Greatest Love of All – By the greatest singer of all…Whitney Houston

I don’t know where to start.  The headline “Whitney Houston dead at 48” seems surreal. 

As the hours pass, further details are revealed about the events leading up to this tragedy. Everyone is outpouring their respect and regards.  Pointing fingers of who was the cause of her tragic turn and the signs that were missed, reminiscing about where they were when they heard “Saving all my love” or what occurred when “How will I know” played on the airways, or how they attempted to hit that note in “I will always love you”.  We can all recall a time.  I remember when I was at my first sleep over, we watched videos and it was the first time I had seen “How will I know” and loved her big hair..lol.  My friends and I all sang and pretended to be her for just a few minutes.

For me, it feels like so many of my favourite artists are slipping through my fingers.  With the art of music and technology, we will always have these artists at a our fingertips and be able to share them with generations to come, but it still hurts.

My heart goes out to Whitney’s family.  To us, she was an amazing singer and someone we admired.  To her family, she was a daughter, a mother, a Queen and so much more.  May their hearts be light knowing that her memory will always live on and the amount of joy she brought to the hearts of millions.

To say Whitney Houston was a legend is an understatement.

Houston was the most awarded female artist of all time, according to Guinness World Records, with 2 Emmy Awards, 6 Grammy Awards, 30 Billboard Music Awards, 22 American Music Awards, among a total of 415 career awards as of 2010. She held the all-time record for the most American Music Awards of any single artist and shared the record with Michael Jackson for the most AMAs ever won in a single year with 8 wins in 1994. Houston won a record 11 Billboard Music Awards at its 4th ceremony in 1993. She also had the record for the most WMAs won in a single year, winning five Awards at the 6th World Music Awards in 1994. (source Wikipedia)

She achieved more than people can image but life isn’t about what we achieved, it’s about the lives we touch and the hearts we move.  With 415 career awards, there is no doubt that her fans and peers were touched by her soul. Whitney shared her talent and blessings with us all and I can only pray she knew how much she was loved. 

Though I don’t know all the details about her personal life.  It’s obvious that there was a sense of unhappiness in her life.  Many people don’t realize that though a person may appear to have everything, one can still feel alone and depressed.  Good fortune is not able to buy happiness.  Depression is real and we need to take heed to the non-verbal cries of our loved ones.  I’ve experienced the darkness of depression myself and never want anyone I know to deal with it on their own.

I pray that her mother, daughter, family and loved ones will remain strong and keep the memories of her life alive.  Always looking to the stars for the ones that shine brightest are our loved ones looking down on us.

Rest in Peace Whitney and your memory will always live on forever!

I will always love you: http://youtu.be/14ivtcelIoO