The Mary J Blige, Chill collaboration
Kevin Chill Heard | 12/24/2013, 11:55 a.m. | Updated on 12/24/2013, 12:10 p.m.
Smiling as though she has been waiting to personally tell us all about her holiday CD, she quickly gives us the 411.
“I did a song in French, for the people in France. I did a bilingual song with Marc Anthony, ‘Silent Night / Noche de Paz’ and I did a really classic Walt Disney song with Barbara Streisand, who I just love, which was a real blessing. I did songs like, ‘Mary, did you know,’ ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,’ ‘This Christmas (Donny Hathaway),’ ‘Little Drummer Boy’ and I did ‘Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ in big-band like Ella Fitzgerald. So you gotta get it just to hear that.”
She went on to describe the CD as “amazing,” letting us know that we can go online to order or download. “It’s produced by David Foster, and you know I’ve done songs with him before, like the Andrea Bocelli song and the Rod Stewart song.” she added.
“The thing I love about social media…” she said. “Is that you can get things out there like that. If you have access to the right people that know how to get the right social media press going you can have something big. This is why so many people now can be an overnight success, because YouTube is like… wow! People can learn how to do weaves on YouTube (she laughs!). People are making records and then jumping on to Pandora radio, it’s amazing!”
In her role as an angel in “Black Nativity,” I quoted to her that the film’s musical director Raphael Saadiq said that Mary J. Blige was New York City’s actual angel. Added to that, I noted the whole “her songs are the soundtrack to people’s lives” thing.
She admits that the love her fans have for her and her music is of major significance to her. “Yes, it humbles me,” said Mary. “It makes me know that there is a higher power moving me. Because when it’s just me, it’s awful! It’s not done right. But, when I understand that it’s God making me big like this, it’s beautiful and that’s a responsibility. Do you understand what I’m saying? It’s not like [a fake] ‘Oh thank you very much.’ It’s not just me, so I have to keep it together. I’m not perfect, so let me keep myself centered so I can try to walk some of the talk.
“The character I play in the film is named Platinum Fro,” she said. Her character sports a dazzling white afro. “That’s how it was in the script,” she remarked about the hair. “And I think the whole perspective came from the director, Kasi [Lemmons]. My character is an angel; and from her perspective that’s what an angel should look like. So I basically did what I was told to do (she said laughing).
Asked about real-life guardian angels in her career she said, “I don’t know of any guardian angels in my career; but in my life, My Aunt. I lived with her when I was a little kid. She died when I was about 28. I still believe she’s there. And maybe there is a couple of people there watching out for me, but they just haven’t revealed themselves to me yet.”