June 2, 2011
By: Christine Nicco/TRT Special
Toronto-born singer/actress Deborah Cox is comfortable performing in practically any venue-nightclubs, concert halls, and even on Broadway. This brilliant artist has even garnered accolades from Perez Hilton and earned a Grammy nomination in 2008. This year, she returns to Boston and will dazzle millions from the Boston Pride stage on June 11.
In the midst of an intense rehearsal schedule, Deborah took some time to catch-up with TRT to answer our questions about her impressive run and upcoming performance. This is an exclusive you don’t want to miss.
Before returning to the R&B world, you starred in Elton John’s and Tim Rice’s Broadway production of Aida. What was that Broadway experience like for you and how did it enhance your development as an artist?
Performing the lead role in Aida on Broadway was like a dream come true. I have always had a passion for live theater since I was a child. Most people don’t realize how disciplined you must be as an artist when performing on Broadway. It is a daily routine of taking care of your body, mind and soul, and I grew as both an artist and a woman during that period of time. I look forward to returning again with the role of ‘Josephine’ and bringing the stories of Josephine Baker to life on stage.
You broke back into the R&B scene with your album, The Promise in 2008. Why was it important for you to concentrate on R&B again?
The Promise is near and dear to my heart because it was the first album released from my own record company, Deco Recording Group. I can’t say that I have ever left R&B, it has always been a genre of music I love and although I may take some time to record dance mixes or get involved in other projects, R&B is always at the root of the music I create.
What makes The Promise unique to you? Is there a specific message behind the album’s meaning? The Promise is the name of the title track that I sang with John Legend on piano. On a personal note, I often think of my children as I am singing The Promise because I will never take my role as a mother for granted and no matter how crazy this business gets, my family will always be my top priority.
You had, perhaps, the best all-star team of collaborators who worked with you on this album such as John Legend, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Big Jim Wright, Shep Crawford, Devo Springsteen and the Avila Brothers, each of whom have assisted various high-profile artists such as Alicia Keys, Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston, Luther Vandross, etc. Describe your experience working with them. I have been blessed to meet and collaborate with so many talented artists over the years. It’s always inspiring to work with those who have created the classics and have a true knowledge of how true music is created. Many of them have become like family to me.
Aside from entertaining people with your amazing vocals, what purpose do you hope to accomplish with your music?
It is always great to entertain, but I always hope that with each performance I have been able to empower the crowd to feel free to express themselves and be proud of who they are, regardless of what friends or society may be throwing at them. Confidence is key, and I hope they leave with a deeper a sense of pride.
This year, you will be headlining the stage at Boston Pride. What can fans expect from your performance?
I’m excited to be back in Boston again! As always, come ready to have a good time and I expect to see those hands waving and those feet dancing!
Boston Pride’s theme is: Equality. No More. No Less. What does that statement mean to you? How is that relevant to your music and/or performance?
We are all human. And we are all born the same way with the same make-up. That being said-be you-there is only one you. I think everyone should have the freedom and support to live the life they choose and it is not our place to judge one another.
Boston Pride week takes place from June 3-12. To learn more about Boston Pride’s entertainment line-up, check out the Official Boston Pride Guide, inserted in this edition of TRT. You can catch-up with Deborah too by visiting www.deborahcox.com.