N.Y.C. for the IMA's was endlessly fun for so many reasons. Though NoteSpeak did not end up winning the award in our category, that went to Stephan Emmer's 'Soil' featuring Ursula Rucker, it was worth it to show up and represent. If someone else was gonna win, Ursula would be my choice! But that was still to come.
The evening before, in the Empire Hotel bar at the meet and greet there were masses of artists from all over the world vying for a photo op. I stood in line with my great old friend, designer Pablo Porfirio waiting to get our wristbands. Everyone was dressed to impress and it was a happy moment when we saw one of Pablo’s designs being worn.
This little, bouncy, crazy young woman, with shades of blue and purple snaking through her bangs wearing a black and blue satin bomber jacket with flowers embroidered up the arms and around the back, was near us in line and was working it the same way I was; trying to get to know as many people as fast as possible. She introduced herself as Talya La Lia with a bright smile.
Talya was attending the IMA’s with her brother producer Daniel Zaidenstadt, a friendly, impish, hipster with a pointy goatee, and told me that she was nominated in the category Rap/HipHop for her song “Drowning”.
I congratulated her on the nomination and added,
'Oh and your jacket rocks!’
‘ My friend made it for me,’ she replied with a wide grin.
Then went on to announce,
‘I KNOW what you’re thinking, no-one imagines this little white girl from Israel is gonna rap, but that’s what I do.’
I liked them both immediately and once we made it through the line, through a few drinks, and loads of friendly chatter with everyone we passed; we all piled into a cab to go meet up with another great old friend of mine- Frederic Ozaneaux, his girlfriend, the utterly gorgeous, utterly talented artist, Nikky Schiro, Fred's niece Marion and their group for a late dinner.
As we sped downtown Talya and I got serious for a minute and started talking, racism (Started off 'cause some clueless guy had stuck his paws in my hair outside the hotel.), politics, how we ended up living where we do (she's in Barcelona now), and as we passed Lincoln Center she exclaimed,
‘I can’t believe that I’m opening the show tomorrow right in there!’
‘Wait- what??!’ I yelled, tremendously excited for her, practice on me!
She obliged, I recited some spoken word and we were bosom buddies by the time we arrived at the restaurant where Daniel and I bonded over philosophy.
I admonished Talya and Daniel to get an early evening so she’d be on point for the show and they reluctantly made their way back to their Airbnb while I did NOT take my own advice, after all, I wasn’t performing. ;) Partying until dawn felt like the right choice as the twenty-six years since I had last hung with these guys had seemingly been mysteriously erased...
Meeting Talya and Daniel the next morning I told them
‘You guys made the best decision to leave early ‘cause I got just a couple of hours sleep.’
‘You mighta saved our lives inviting us out to dinner; 'cause when we got back to our room, the ceiling had fallen in crushing my laptop as well as my hard drive and soaking the place.’ Daniel replied.
They showed me some scary looking photos, told me they’d slept less than I had, but Daniel reveled in the fact that, at least, he was able to get them into a 5-star hotel.
Notespeak’s category was in the first group so I was up front to see Talya open the show and she BROUGHT it to the battle, she looked even tinier up there spittin’ with the rest of the (male) rappers, and she absolutely killed it.
We kept close the rest of the day as we completed interviews (and yeah yes I actually misplaced my voice somewhere during that long night before), continued collecting contacts, and took advantage of photo ops.
Towards the end, Talya collected her award for "Drowning".
I made friends with a bunch of interesting artists including:
Amiss O.mega who picked up the Best Song award for his "Diva Look" Feat. Snoop Dogg and...
the soft-spoken and kind Brazilian musician Nelsinho Serra who took home the award for Best Debut Album. Talented artists like Demetrius, Carol Ann Brevard, Wordsmith Music, (Best Rap/Hip Hop Album), my dirty martini buddy the sublimely cool AlliCat, the enthusiastic and so sweet Delra Harris (Best Contemporary Christian Album) who picked up a feather from my fan and stuck it in his pocket for good luck- (go see his website, it's an experience!)...
...and so many more, too many to list here. Then there's the man responsible for organizing it all IMA Director Martin Folkman and his wife Jude, who are as sweet as sweet can be.
The weekend was so joyous; surrounded by creative, kindred spirits celebrating one another. Plenty of collaborative efforts will be born of it too, maybe even one with me. Wait for it!
The day after it was time to get to the airport for the plane to Denver and the Conference on World Affairs...
More on that wonderous seven days beginning next week- in a 2 part series.
Until then Beauties!