Many times friends and readers ask me questions regarding the difficulty of choosing subjects for weekly posts. Well, it was difficult when I started. The reason was not because I simply ran out of musicians. I will never fall short of subjects for each week. In fact, in a given week I might be able to choose between four or five different entertainers. Of course, I have a broad pool of choices because I am not cornered by categories like musical genres or geographical origins. However, as time has gone by I have made several contacts with label representatives, public relations specialists, and others who supply a steady stream of artist information. Moreover, I’m always reading entertainment news from other media outlets, and listening to music from artists all over the world.
There are many other sources of information found on programming from television and radio. This weeks’ featured musician is an example of finding an interesting subject for a post without really searching. There I was, channel surfing one afternoon and came upon a show on Ion Life called Renovate My Wardrobe. I am an occasional viewer of shows on the network, but this time I saw a vibrant young woman with a magnetic personality and had to see the entire show. The featured guest was Canadian singing sensation Jully Black.
I’ll be honest with all of you, I never heard of Jully Black before that show. Nevertheless, I made it a point to find out about this delightful young woman as soon as the show ended. For those of you reading today who do not live in Canada, and like me are unfamiliar with Jully Black, please allow me to share what I learned.
Jullyann Inderia Gordon (Jully Black) was born November 8, 1977. Black is the youngest of seven children and grew up in the Jane and Finch area of Toronto, Ontario. After her parents divorced when Black was young, she was raised in a strict Pentecostal household by her single mother, Aretha. At the age of 21, Black was discovered by Warner/Chappel Publishing who immediately signed her. Shortly after, she was courted by Universal Music Canada where she was offered a deal to help propel her career. Black capitalized on these opportunities, which saw her garnish her first Juno Award nomination in 1997 and continue to be nominated almost every year thereafter as well as having the opportunities to collaborate with and/or write for other well-known artists such as Nas, Destiny’s Child, Sean Paul, Kardinal Official, and many others.
Jully Black is a true Canadian Icon. Named as one of ‘The 25 Greatest Canadian Singers Ever’, (CBC Music) she has been dubbed ‘Canada’s Queen of R&B Soul’ by her fans and peers. As a platinum selling recording artist, her music career has yielded multiple singles reaching the Top 10 pop, R&B and dance music charts. She was even hand selected to sing for the Queen of England.
The show, Renovate My Wardrobe, gave me just a small taste of the talent of Jully Black. It was not until I downloaded a couple of her albums that I fully came to appreciate her vocal and songwriting abilities. Her 2007 album Revival, is an all around powerhouse presentation that exposes Jully’s diverse musical origins as she moves effortlessly from reggae to pop to dance and R&B. When I went back and listened to 2005 album This is Me, I knew why she earned the title of Canada’s Queen of R&B Soul.
As I continued viewing Renovate My Wardrobe, it was apparent that as the two gentlemen went about their work of retooling Jully’s wardrobe, they were being drawn to her via her dynamic personality. The amazing thing about Jully Black is that she is very open to suggestions about her wardrobe. An entertainer true, but such a likable person. I learned more about Jully Black from Renovate My Wardrobe than I could ever learn from just an article or a plain interview. I feel as if I was invited into her home, into her closet, and exposed to the artist away from the stage and bright lights. There was no doubt that Jully Black was an entertainer, but this program helped me to see the person behind all the music. There is a certain comfort level when someone is in their own home; even when in front of a large television audience.
Jully Black is very busy in other entertainment ventures. As host and media correspondent for CTV’s etalk, Jully was chosen to interview global megastars such as Jay-Z, Oprah Winfrey, and former president Bill Clinton. She has appeared in films, television, and in theatre. Like many other artists, Jully Black also gives of her time and energy for others worldwide. Her passion for philanthropy has taken her to the shantytowns of Bangladesh to the villages of South Africa, and all across Canada. As a woman of faith, she champions important causes such as ending sex trafficking, cancer, HIV/AIDS and is a vocal advocate for the LGBT community. Jully believes in using her career to create a world where all people are celebrated.
Today, Jully Black continues to tour Canada relentlessly and is currently working on new music. With the recent launch of her own record label Jully Black Entertainment Inc., she is gearing up to drop her 5th studio album Jully Black The LP. The album will be released as a joint venture with Atlanta based record label “The Officials Music Group” founded by super producer YoungPete Alexander. I have heard her latest single “Fever”. It is being played on radio stations across Canada and the US, and has garnered critical acclaim as far away as Australia, across Europe and in Japan.
I hope all of you take the time to listen to Jully Black and experience one of the finest entertainers of our day. I’m glad I happened to see Renovate My Wardrobe while channel surfing and got introduced to such a wonderful artist. Jully Black has made a lot of music, and there will be more in the near future. I love where she is in her career. She is about to release album number five, has years of live performance experience, and knows who she is as an artist. Jully Black knows what she can do musically, and understands her limitations. I expect a fine album. Yes Jully, it was a pleasure to meet you!