It’s has been a whirlwind since we landed in Aruba and basically, everyone could be found at the Soul Beach Music Festival taking in the sounds of Grammy Award-winner H.E.R. and soul veteran, Charlie Wilson. Singing a string of her songs including her hits “Focus” and “Best Part” and a new track from her upcoming full-length album, she captivated the audience with her Purple Rain rendition and Lauryn Hill “Ex-Factor” cover. But we definitely took notice when she ripped into a wicked reggae segment including dancehall classics “Action” and “Bam Bam”. When asked about her island influences, she stated, “I was only exposed to it while being in New York. It’s everywhere! In the streets, in the stores, I love it.” She represented well for the Caribean massive and had everyone signing her songs from beginning to end. H.E.R. delivered a show with artistry, musicality and wicked vibes. You already know, I’m all for it and that’s how I roll.
As for Charlie Wilson…if you haven’t seen Charlie live lately, I guarantee you will leave his concert with an extra pep-in-your-step. His high-intensity choreographed production is an all-around event spectacular. Charlie is seriously living his best life on that stage with his dancers. From the dance moves (my man was doing The Hype, y’all) to the LED clothing, Gap Band classics and his list of hits – Wilson did not come to play. I would definitely say that he has been the most electrifying artist to hit the stage thus far.
In the press pit, we were able to hear from comedians Deon Cole from Blackish and Aida Rodriguez who were both part of the Comedy Concert on Friday night.
Cole is busy with a slew of projects coming our way. He will, of course, be reprising his recurring roles as Charlie Telphy in both Black-ish and Grown-ish. Then there was the recent announcement of another spinoff show called Mixed-ish about the life of Rainbow growing up in the 1980s. However, the stand out announcement was that Cole will be starting work on shooting his own Netflix stand-up comedy special as he heads out of Aruba. Now that’s going to be something to mark our calendars accordingly for.
Cole mentee Aida Rodriquez has a pretty packed schedule as well. As an Afro-Latina, she has become the first to have two comedy shows streaming simultaneously on two different providers – HBO and Showtime. She too has her Netflix special which was produced by fellow comedian Tiffany Haddish called Tiffany Haddish Presents: They Ready that will be coming our way. As a woman in comedy, she stated that it’s hard and not an easy road. However, because she is surrounded by great mentors and people, she is destined to do great things as she progresses with her career. She’s hilarious and I fully agree, well said.
So ladies and gents, I am basically running on fumes right now. As you can imagine, I need a good nap to recharge. I will also have a review of H.E.R.’s concert for you over on Soultracks.com very soon. I will share the links when they become available.
Remember to follow me on Instagram and Facebook and follow my people Caribbean Vibrations (whom I am having a ball on this awesome trip with) on their Instagram as well for more Aruba vibes!
See y’all soon…