Monday, April 25, 2011

Star Kitty Takes Flight...Yet Again

Erykah Badu. Jill Scott. Lauryn Hill. These influential neo-soul artists serve as the manifestation of a trail blazed by Joi (Follow her on twitter @JoiGilliam). As an artist, Joi has frequently not been fully credited for her colossal impact on not only the aforementioned genre of music but the industry as a whole, however the artist affectionately referred to as Tennessee Slim has remained relevant within music and broadened her scope of projects to, now, include ownership. Joi has teamed up with business and music partner Devon Lee, the other half of Hot, Heavy & Bad, to revamp the legendary Pal’s Lounge into one of Atlanta’s hot spots for live musical entertainment (located on Auburn Ave.; if you are in Atlanta, STOP BY)!

The alluring legend and chronic trendsetter is best known for her solo projects, including but not limited to Amoeba Cleansing Syndrome and Star Kitty’s Revenge, and plentiful Outkast features on classics such as “Happy Valentine’s Day”, “Ghetto Musick”, and “Movin’ Cool (The Afterparty)” from the motion picture Idlewild. The Nashville native and inaugural African American to model for Calvin Klein, continues to make noise in the music industry, most recently with her work on Big Krit’s new project “Return Of 4Eva”, which featured her sultry, distinguishable vocals on the hit single, “Shake It”. Joi’s latest work has reignited her buzz, just in time for the release of “HHB: Undercover”, her recently released mixtape of new funk and timeless covers, crossing all genres, available for download here.

Last week, I had the opportunity to speak with the musical pioneer about all that she has in the works.

JGQ: How did your work on the Big Krit project occur?

Joi: I got a call from DJ Wally Sparks asking if I would be interested in doing a song with Big Krit, and I said yes. When I heard the track, it immediately reminded me of everything good about southern hip-hop. I was impressed with how his track spoke of a knowledge of southern hip hop history. I was honored to be apart of something that bridges the gap between the new and classic.

JGQ: How do you feel about the general direction of music at the current moment?

Joi: I think the playing field has been leveled greatly by technology. It has its pros and its cons, undeniably; if you can figure out a personal template that works, you can have an awesome career full of limitless creative freedom.

JGQ: So, what can you tell me about the Hot, Heavy, & Bad project?

Joi: “HH&B: Undercover” is a collection of timeless covers from several genres of music, including rock, funk, classical, country, and others. It's free—even better, a gift. Ready for download at The mixtape was created to build buzz for Hot Heavy & Bad and showcase the production style of Flawless Beast Creations. Devon Lee and I comprise HH&B and, as a production collective, Flawless Beast Creations.

JGQ: What is the one thing that lovers of music should know about Joi?

Joi: I create thoughtfully, honestly, and purely. I'm a musical historian of sorts. It's reflected in my music. It makes for an immediate and undeniable connection with those who hear it. It's what humbles me and matters to me most in my art.

Special thanks to the lovely Joi for taking time out of her schedule to talk to Just GQ. Let’s support this legend through downloads and donations on her site! God Bless!

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