Tweet Exclusive interview
Flashmag in the column arts and entertainment shine its lights this month, on Charlene Keys aka “Tweet”one of the most talented R&B singer, guitarist and songwriter of her generation, beautiful, kind hearted and firm she spoke to us towards this few lines about her person, her career , and gave us her opinion on some current topics…
Flashmag: Hello Tweet can you present yourself to the public and readers of Flashmag, if must of us already know the musician, we would like to know more about your background, your family, education, and so for?
Tweet: My name is Tweet. I am the youngest of 5 from Rochester New York and I grew up in the church around music constantly.
Flashmag: why did you choose to be named Tweet? What brought you to music? Why did you choose to be a Singer? In the genesis of your career what artists inspired you the most? Who were your artists’models? Beside your voice and the guitar, what instrument do you also enjoy play ?
Tweet: The name Tweet is a nickname given to me by my father but I'm not sure why. Music has always been a part of my life so the choice to become a singer was very natural. The artists that influenced me were, in the beginning, quartet groups like The Gospel Keynotes, Williams Brothers to Commission, The Clark Sisters and also Aretha Franklin and Whitney Houston to name a few. Besides my voice and some guitar I also play the drums.
Flashmag: in the early nineties you’re part of the girls bands “Sugah”with whom you will move around meeting emerging Talent like Timbaland, Ginuwine, or Missy Elliot while perfecting your craft in music; unfortunately the breakthrough will not come easily what memory did you keep from this period of your life and what experience did you earn ?
Tweet: Being a part of Sugah will always be a very important part of my life. I learned a good deal about myself and the meaning of what true sisterhood is. I gained friendship of two talented women whom I miss dearly. I really came into my craft in this time of my life. I also learned a lot about the business from DeVante whom I really think is a musical genius. One of the most important things I learned from him was to be consistent and not to spend so much time listening to other artists or what's on the radio..... That's how you keep your originality.
Flashmag: after quitting Sugah in 1999 you will move back to your parents’house and your daughter in Panorama city Florida, before having a second chance with Missy Elliot with whom you‘ll perform in the Album Addictive many think as well as us that, that was your real breakthrough, Missy Elliot can be considered as your guardian angel she believed in your talent when things were going bad what can you say about that? Is it true that she convinced you to do vocals in her upcoming album while you were about to commit suicide?
Tweet: In 1999 the group sort of disbanded and left us all wondering what to do next. I went back to my parents and things weren't working out for me at all. Couldn't find a job.... I was just not happy. While contemplating suicide because of these conditions a phone call from Missy came and she asked me to come to LA to do songs for her SO ADDICTIVE album. That was God using Missy as an instrument that's why I called her my guardian angel. Missy always believed in my talent from the first time we met in 1994 and she still does to this day.
Flashmag: can you tell us what your feelings were when for the first time you had to perform on a major event when and where it was?
Tweet: I remember one of my earlier performances being in NYC on the same bill as India Arie and I performed MOTEL along with OOPS. Performing for the first time I was nervous and excited at the same time. Nervous because I never thought I would be a solo artist and excited because it was really happening.
Flashmag: the 2000’s will open a new era of success for you since you’ll record your first solo album in April 2002 “Southern Hummingbirds”which will enter at the number 3 on the top 200 of the billboard, when before that on march your single “oops oh my”will top the Hip-hop and R&B charts did you felt that at last your talent was getting recognizance of you pairs? Since from then you will be featuring in several albums: Madonna's American Life The Remixes Single, Monica's After the Storm, Mark Ronson's Here Comes the Fuzz, Angie Stone's Stone Love, and the late Aaliyah's posthumous hit single, "Miss You"?
Tweet: Once SOUTHERN HUMMINGBIRD came out I felt as if I had accomplished something I had been trying so long to do. It was an achievement not just for me but for Sugah as well. We had tried for so many years and this just made all that time worth it.
Flashmag: what do you think about the black music today in the industry do you think it’s going in the right direction it's hard now to tell what is black music and pop music don’t you think the soul music in losing its soul with the new orientation it’s taking?
Tweet: I think music today is suffering because a lot of the wrong people are running the business. Granted the biggest word in the phrase MUSIC BUSINESS is BUSINESS but we've lost the love for the craft, the MUSIC. The industry is full of gimmicks and get rich quick solutions when back in the day you had to work for perfection and most importantly be talented. It's hard to distinguish between the different types of music because there's no originality anymore, again no love for the art of MUSIC. Soul music will never lose its soul because real musician and artist still exist. I think the people that truly appreciate soul music will always support it therefore REAL MUSIC will never die.
Flashmag: in 2005 you struck again with a new opus on the vibes with it’s me again an album which will establish you as a permanent talent in the R&B scene, since it will be well acclaimed by the public and art critics through the United states, Canada and Europe. ( Swedish Albums Chart 50th place, UK Albums Chart 158th place, US billboard charts 17 place and number 2 on the Hip-hop and R&B charts). Looking back at this opus what can you say, about what is the one of maturity?
Tweet: IT'S ME AGAIN was more mature for me because it was a new chapter in my life. Although I had to compromise a lot in the making of this album I feel like it was a great body of work.
Flashmag: On April 26 and April 27, 2008, you joined Joy Denalane, Bilal, and Dwele to perform with The Dresden Soul Symphony in DresdenGermany, reinterpreting soul hits and combining them with classical music. An album The Dresden Soul Symphony and DVD were later released on October 24, 2008. What can you tell us about this experience of mixing classical with urban music genre like R&B?
Tweet: I felt really honored to be a part of the Dresden Soul Symphony. Joy Denalane asked for me and I was more than excited to do it. The experience was one I hope to do again and I still get goose bumps when I watch the DVD. Mixing classical with urban music was just magical.
Flashmag: a life without cause is a life without effect what do you stand for? How do you expect to contribute in the edification of a better world?
Tweet: I stand for living my life according to the will of God..... according to His purpose and to spread the love of God across the globe be it through my music or just living right. Simple ... my tag line is "I DONT CARE ABOUT BEING RELEVENT, I ONLY CARE ABOUT BEING RIGHT WITH / IN GOD"
Flashmag: personally is Tweet Married or dating right now? How does your love life affect your career is it compatible? Besides how being a mother did influence your career and the woman you‘re now?
Tweet: I am neither married nor dating, but I have a desire to be married for sure. My love life directly affects my career because the ups and downs of being in love supplies me with those incredible songs. My songs are like pages from my diary. I always say whoever dates me need to know they may be the subject of a few songs good or bad.
Flashmag: since 2008 you been working for the release of you third Album your effort were undermined by several leaks of the Album “love Tweet”it’s unclear now when your new album will be released we were waiting to see this year, to no avail, but some source are setting the date for the spring 2012 we don’t know either if the album will be based on the material of “love Tweet”which the release was postponed, nor under which label it will be released can you give us more information? When is the next album scheduled to be released and under which label?
Tweet: Yes in 2008 I was working towards releasing LOVE TWEET but due to the passing of Jerald Busby and other things I was not successful at it. Now I am revamping the album which is still titled LOVE, TWEET and thanks to James Dubose and the Dubose Music Group it will be released in 2012 for sure.
Flashmag: what is your schedule for the upcoming months some dates, to write down?
Tweet: My schedule for the upcoming months? I'll be in LA finishing the album which is 80% complete now and preparing for the release.
Flashmag: to close the debate a word for your fans and readers of Flashmag?
Tweet: To all my fans and readers thanks for all the love and support. Look forward to the LOVE TWEET 2012..... IT'LL BE WORTH THE WAIT.
Flashmag: Tweet we thank you for the time you took to answer our questions trustworthily.
Interview realized by Hubert Marlin Jr.