782 Words

Jully Black is back

The singer, songwriter and ‘eTalk’ diva does it all without breaking a sweat

Supplied photo
Jully Black Supplied photo

Jully Black is not known for keeping her opinions to herself.

The outspoken Toronto-born musician was the youngest of nine children and had to shout to be heard. Driven and unafraid, the 28-year-old Black backs up her refreshing frankness with immense talent.

Blessed with a powerful, soaring voice and songwriting skills to match, Black has made a big name for herself in the Canadian music scene and is a widely respected R&B star.

Aside from her gold-selling 2005 debut This is Me — which spawned the ubiquitous summer single "Sweat of Your Brow" — Black has also composed songs for artists like Destiny's Child and Nas. On the side, Black has developed a TV career as a commentator and correspondent for CTV's eTalk Daily.

Black's interviews are must-see television, because unlike all of her peers, she possesses an infectious energy and snags great clips from celebs — often getting them to duet with her and break out into song. On the red carpet for events like the Emmys and Grammys, she attracts reluctant stars to drop by for screen time. "I'm 6'1" in heels," she says. "There's no way they're going to pass this black woman in heels that's sexy and voluptuous on the red carpet."

We caught up with Black to discuss her upbringing, why her music is intently bling-free and why she loves to blog.

Your first album was released last year, yet you've been performing for over ten years now as a songwriter, performer, right?

Yes, you see Kardinal, Socrates, we all met at summer music camp in 1994. We weren't who we are now; basically we didn't have aliases.

Tell me about your upbringing. What was it like being brought up in the tough area of Jane and Finch? Was it a nice community to grow up in, despite how the media portrays it?

Of course, of course. The thing of an eight year old being able to run next door, to run up the street to grab something for your mom is over because of crime and all that stuff. But we were able to go to the mall by ourselves at young ages. We were able to create music and dance. The school is there, and the library is there. I remember back in the day—‘cause we didn't have computers—we'd go to the library to listen to music. It's still a community where there's a lot of growth going on. I'm proud of being from there, I lived there for eighteen years and it basically made me who I am today.

Read the full 782 word post

Support independent Canadian arts coverage

Rodney Daw / Air Farce Productions Inc.
815 Words

Looking back at 25 years of Air Farce on TV

Air Farce founding member Don Ferguson shares the behind-the-scenes story about how the troupe made the leap from radio to TV.

Air Farce Productions Inc.
243 Words

Photo Gallery: Air Farce in pictures 1971-2017

A visual history of Canada’s iconic comedy troupe Air Farce, which celebrates its 45th anniversary in 2018.

Supplied photo
589 Words

Conductor Alex Prior shares his best of Edmonton

We checked in with the ESO’s chief conductor, and asked him about Edmonton’s arts and culture scene.

Supplied photo
Visual Arts
376 Words

Art Gallery of Ontario members frustrated by Infinity Mirrors exhibit ticketing

Overwhelming demand for Yayoi Kasuma’s upcoming March exhibition leads to long online queues for advance tickets.

Supplied photo
552 Words

Jenn Grant shares her top Halifax cultural spots

Folk-pop singer-songwriter about to tour again in support of her latest album, Paradise.

Supplied photo
851 Words

Meet Joe Stone, record label owner and producer

Disco, drugs and women fueled the success of Miami-based label TK Records. His son now keeps his late father’s musical legacy alive in the digital age.