Kalamu ya Salaam's information blog

A bunch of young women, a truly gigantic bunch, see music as hopefully (cross their heart and hope to die) a road to fame and fortune. They be striving for that big hit that will lift them into the stratosphere of success. Most of them can sing. A few of them also have that thing, the elusive distinctiveness that makes them irresistible or, at the very least, makes new audience listeners and viewers curious enough to want to hear more.

Montreal, Canada-born of Haitian parents, Dominique Fils-Aimé is on the brink of firmly grasping the elusive brass ring. She both writes sharp new work as well as innovatively captures old material.

Some of her conceptions, without instruments, just over-dubbed voice, are both intriguing and truly creative. To think, relatively speaking, she is just getting started; if she can keep it up, keep exploring the crevices and creases that line out ageless expressions with a wonderful touch of the modern; if she can keep pushing the envelope, she will be a force with which to reckon.

And by the way, her visual presentation does not have even a hint of sex kitten trying to make it mainly on physical attributes, you know, bodily curves and promises of being easy to possess. In this age of weaves, braids, and long hair down to the butt, this child got nerve to show up with most of her hair shorn off: a brazen, bald-head look that is attractive in her own, healthily, steadfast way.

Plus she sings about the moments between ecstasy and ordinary, the moments that populate the majority of our days, but in the singing makes us appreciate anew all the day-to-day things we are, the things, on both the upful and the down-low, that we do regardless of what tales we tell others, as well as tell ourselves.

I don’t follow most of today’s popular female vocalists. In most cases I think they are wasting the talents that so many of them obviously have. They may really want to be taken seriously as artists, but that’s a hell of a row to hoe, so instead, whether consciously or not, they are striving for popularity, which is itself, too often, a long, long ways from seriousness.

Check out Dominique Fils-Aimé. She knows that being young, Black, and female in the music business ought not be synonymous with being just another pretty face and/or sexy body. As we used to say, back in the day, “this sista is for real!”




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