Sometimes I love my job. Specifically, I love doing interviews. Although my mama raised me to do the opposite, I love talking to strangers. Not every interview is a winner, but every now and then you encounter an artist who truly makes an impression on you. For example, I just got off the phone with up and coming jazz artist Esperanza Spalding, and I HAD to share her talent with all of you right away! She is so bright, bubbly, and intelligent. Her personality is genuine, and she’s definitely wise beyond her years. She is going places, mark my words.

I’ll feature the whole interview sometime later, but I’m just floating down from that happy-interview haze and had to share. Check her out on David Letterman — after her performance, he calls her “the coolest person we’ve ever had on the show.” And he just might be right about that!

I love her voice, and I love that she plays such an unconventional instrument. And you KNOW I had to ask her about her hair, right? She shocked me! No fancy products from pricey salons — she swears by olive oil and jojoba, and she says regular swimming in the ocean keeps her curls together and happy. Hey, obviously it works for her.

More to come about Esperanza later — I gotta jet to work right now! And before I forget, look out for upcoming interviews with Esperanza, Amanda Diva, and Janelle Monae! I’ve been workin’ overtime behind the scenes and interviewing some very fresh afrobellas. August will be a big month for interviews!

Click here to check out Esperanza’s MySpace. Thanks for the interview, Esperanza!

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LoveIsDope says:
August 5, 2008, 11:46 am
Bella! You are in my head. LOL I just put up a post on my blog about this young lady. Love her to pieces! I seriously listen to her album everyday.
bella says:
August 5, 2008, 11:52 am
So funny! I NEVER blog anything this quickly -- I called her at 11, we talked for like 25 minutes, and I just had to shout about her right away. She was super genuine, funny, smart, and very real about her age, talent, and how much growing she has to do. And she's already amazing, so I can just imagine. Team Esperanza, LOL! Love her. And your post was beautiful, LoveIsDope! I'm gonna have to check out her performance when she hits town.
Cendrine says:
August 5, 2008, 12:13 pm
Thanks for putting me on to her Afrobella, I never heard of her before today. But I luv her voice.
Vanessa says:
August 5, 2008, 12:25 pm
I saw her perform at my school once..very talented. although when i saw her her hair was straightened, and since that was the first time i'd seen her, i didn't know about all her curls (looks better natural IMO). but she was very good and i loved it
y. says:
August 5, 2008, 12:58 pm
thanks for writing about Esperanza and including the video. She's great. Oh, and I love the hair too.
Mrs.Mckinzie says:
August 5, 2008, 1:12 pm
When does her cd drop? I need music that is easy on the mind these days.My taste in music has really changed over the last few months,and this is where I am at this point in my life.Maturity is a wonderful thing.
tanya says:
August 5, 2008, 2:52 pm
The NY Times did a little piece on her (you know the features where they hang out with up-and-comers for a night). All I can say is I wanted there to be more on this cool chick. She's apparently the youngest faculty member at Berklee College of Music. Madness! Can't wait to read your interview!
isch says:
August 5, 2008, 2:55 pm
love her - have to look her up! funny thing about the ocean thing - it's really true! my curls are always so much nicer after a dip in nature! there's just something about the water that makes my hair come out SO much better than anything i can fandangle myself...
Asma says:
August 5, 2008, 4:04 pm
Love, love, love that! Keep up the beautiful work Afrobella : )
heyhey says:
August 5, 2008, 4:31 pm
No sh!t, I just went online to by her album (via link of our local public radio station). She's the truth, and she seems like an artist with such a bright and wonderful light to shine on the wonder. Did you see the interview on of all places? Good stuff. I think has tracks from her first(?) album (which was recorded on European label?). Can't wait for your interview!
heyhey says:
August 5, 2008, 4:33 pm
"*buy* her album" "shine on the *world*". GAH, typo-tastic.
Starr says:
August 5, 2008, 5:03 pm
LOL at you not talking to strangers but doing it anyway. I was sorta like that as a child--really friendly and now, I'm a journalist too (shrugs). But anyway, this woman is fierce and I loooooover her afro. Wow. Didn't you post something about her before? She's Cape Verdian right? I looooove this music. Am I wrong or does it have kind of a samba flair?
Bianca says:
August 5, 2008, 7:28 pm
Thank you Afrobella! You've introduced my ears to something so beautiful and refreshing. I'll be purchasing her CD today!!! Not to mention I LOVE LOVE LOVE her look. I've finally freed myself of becoming a "product junkie". LOL I swear by aloe vera gel, vegetable glycerin, essential oils and shikakai bar! It's good to now that other natural beauties like Esperanza are doing the same!
Bebroma says:
August 5, 2008, 8:54 pm
See, this is why I love this blog!! Thank you for introducing me to her music. It's so nice to see beautiful music being made. She can make that upright bass do some stuff!! She also looks absolutely adorable next to it, the bass being a perfect foil for her compact, feminine self, but that's beside the point. She reminds me of Ayo, for some reason. I am definitely going to treat myself to her CD in the future. She seems so genuine and talented. I can easily see how she would be a joy to interview.
LoveIsDope says:
August 5, 2008, 9:38 pm
Bella, Thank you for the kind words, lady!
Simone says:
August 6, 2008, 12:35 am
Thanks so much Bella...never heard of her before. Can't wait to you have my girl Janelle's interview up. Love her!
tracey in Ohio says:
August 6, 2008, 9:40 am
Cant believe you posted about E.Spalding - I discovered her on ITunes while working a couple of weeks ago. I had to stop what I was doing & track her down on Amazon where it had a nice video clip interview. She's on my "next to buy" list. I love her voice & I love that she plays the stand-up. Very cool; can't wait to own the CD!
Diane says:
August 6, 2008, 12:54 pm
Funny, I was just listening to previews of her music on Amazon yesterday and loved it. I'm about to go download now...
Autumn says:
August 6, 2008, 6:34 pm
I like her a lot, she's very unique, and her hair is sooo big and fluffy! :)
ChocolateOrchid says:
August 6, 2008, 7:13 pm
Okay. First let me say that I am in love w/her BAA!! It's awesome! Can't wait til mine gets long enough to flow like that. Anyhoo, I checked out her myspace page and I must say that I am loving her sound! Thanks for putting her out there. Her CD is definitely on my "to buy" list!
Tamz says:
August 6, 2008, 7:21 pm
Thanks for this Bella! I enjoyed reading her biography and I can't wait to read your interview with her! Whoever above said she reminds you of Ayo, I agree.
Nina says:
August 6, 2008, 11:52 pm
Glad to see that you got an interview with her...been following her story for sometime now--she's from my hometown. I absolutely love Ms. Spalding! Her style and her sound are both very unique. It is also quite refreshing that she isn't playing the piano and is showing our youth that there are other instrument that are just as cool. So dope to see her blazing her own path at such a young age... And people think that funky, people of color can't come out of Oregon :)
kia from LA says:
August 7, 2008, 12:12 am
Been reading your blog for a few months now. I have gotten so much advice and information from your site, and this has to be the best yet. I ran and bought Esperanza CD today, and I love it. Personally love the song, "Fall In," and "She got to you". But really the entire album is great, and i never say that! Keep up the fantastic work Bella. And you're "One cool chick too!
Tamra says:
August 7, 2008, 9:48 am
Thanks for getting me hooked--she is awesome! [Kinda like what happened with that Starbucks Green Tea Frappucino--you have me hooked and I'm now having to have one at least every other day...]
bella says:
August 7, 2008, 11:43 am
Tamra -- that green tea frap is THE DEVIL!!! Oh, now I want one.... damn you Starbucks!
bella says:
August 7, 2008, 11:48 am
Starr - nope this is my first post on Esperanza. My Cape Verdean bella was Fantcha Mendez. Good memory though, that post was a while ago!
Nyiia says:
August 8, 2008, 12:35 pm
What a beautiful beautiful girl, so natural! When I see her I get an image of island girls on beaches having fun and running through the sand. Afrobella, I'm still waiting for your post on Aloepecia, cmon girl!
Bklyn DreamZ says:
August 18, 2008, 1:29 pm
I know this is late but I read this post, watched the vid, visited her myspace and fell in love lol. Her album is apart or my nightly 'get ready for bed' regimen. I LOVE 'Precious.' THANKS FOR PUTTIN ME ON BELLA!
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