It is the spring of the year and each morning we can hear melodious songbirds singing throughout the day. Baltimore, however, has another type of songbird, in the form of Jewel Adgerson. Tuesday, May 27, 2014 afforded this writer the opportunity to interview Ms. Adgerson about her many talents, gifts and aspirations. Here is the Q&A which resulted.
Q1. How do you describe what you do?
A. I would consider myself a healer and a giver of life. I connect mostly with music that speaks to my heart and soul. Therefore, I only sing songs (no matter what the genre) that have a message that will speak to people’s hearts and encourage their spirits.
Q2. When, why and how did you get started?
A, I have been singing since I was a little girl. It is ingrained in me; it is a part of my DNA. My mother and father sang in churches so I knew most of their songs from a very young age. After a while my sister and I would sing in front of church congregations as well. My sister and I would harmonize for fun in our spare time; it was just what we did.
Throughout high school I sang in a Chamber Choir (10-12 people) and what was called an Honors Chorale (larger group). I participated in All-County and All-State Choruses singing all types of music ranging from Spirituals to German selections. I had so much fun doing it!
Just a few months ago, in December 2013, I began singing publicly again. I went through several years of depression after having my son (just months before I graduated from Morgan State University with a degree in Electrical Engineering), and I did not sing in front of audiences. But when you know that God has given you a gift to share with the world, you cannot sit on it for too long. I am very glad that I have opened up again because it has been so refreshing for me and those who see me perform.
Q3. Who influenced/influences you the most?
A. My mother! She is an amazing woman. She has always been a dreamer in my eyes. She has taught me that I should go after what I want in life and never let anyone slow me down. I value her because she is authentic. Even in her struggles she still manages to rise above it all! She tells me often that she is proud of me and I am her hero because of all that I have accomplished thus far in life. But she is truly mine!
Q4. Where have you performed?
A. I typically perform at open mics in the DMV area. I have performed and/or spotlighted many times at 5 Seasons on Warm Wednesdays (Guilford Ave.), 3rd Eye Thursdays (2107 North Charles St), and 1 Eclectic Heart of Words (3311 Rhode Island Avenue Mount Rainier, MD). I had the amazing opportunity to feature on Freedom Writer’s (@poet_freedomwriter) first CD, 'More than Spoken Word', where I wrote an original hook for the poem called No Hope. I have also collaborated with the ambassador of poetry in Baltimore, Aquil Mizan, and featured with a local violinist, Noah Stone. Most recently, we performed in a play with Mo’Horns called the Prophet & the Prostitute put on by Pastor Alexander Butler and Perfect Order Church (www.lov3works.com). It was probably one of my best musical experiences yet.
This past weekend (05/25/14) I performed at Midnight Kings Hookah Lounge for
The Sound of Sunday. It’s every last Sunday of the month from 6-9pm. I was accompanied by the amazing guitarist, Quinton Randall.
Q5. What's next for you?
A. I am working on writing original songs for my first EP. I have a few concepts laid out and I will be collaborating with some amazing writers, poets, and producers in the coming months. I am hoping to have a final product by the end of the year, so let’s keep our fingers crossed!
Q6. Where do you see yourself five years from now?
A. Since I have several passions, I see myself doing many things. In the next five years I will be a full-time entrepreneur. I have always believed that our gifts make room for us and bring us before great men and women so I know that I will be financially free, living off of my gifts. I see myself having 2-3 albums completed, a solid fan base and traveling the world to perform with major artists and doing solo performances as well. I always write down the artists that I want to work with and I believe that I will have that opportunity to work with many of them in the coming years. Outside of music, I also have aspiration to become a life/business coach. I have always been a motivator, encourager, and a teacher so that would be putting some of my other gifts to work as well.
Q7. What challenges did you experience in your area of the arts and how do you get beyond them?
A. In my opinion, no matter what your art form, the challenge is always being confident in who you are as a person and an artist. There are lots of people in the DMV area who sing and write their own music and do it well. At this stage for me, I usually do covers because I have not finished my original music yet. There are times where I think to myself, “I wish I had my own music completed so that I could blow these people away”. But I have to remind myself that everything I sing, no matter who it is by, is sung from my heart and it shows in my delivery. I embody each song that I sing and that is what sets me apart from anyone else.
Q8. How do you want to be remembered?
A. That’s a powerful question. I want to be remembered for a few things:
a. A woman who knew her worth and exuded humble greatness
b. A motivator to millions
c. An advocate for authenticity
d. A visionary
Q9. What advice would you give to the next generation?
A. Do what you love and love what you do! Live your truth and do not allow society to put you in a box. God gave each person unique gifts and the best thing we can do is use them to their maximum potential. That’s what living life is all about. The world is waiting on YOU!
Q10. How can people get in touch with you?
A. Instagram: @msjewel318
Jewel will be performing Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 8:00pm with artist Aquil Mizan at Baltimore's Peace and a Cup of Joe, 713 W. Pratt Street.
Thank Jewel Adgerson for the opportunity to shed some light on your talent!