Fatin and Aja relive their favorite ESSENCE Festival moments.
The singing couple, Kindred The Family Soul has played ESSENCE Festival a couple times so we had to ask them what were some of their favorite moments. Having been on the bill in 2006 when we had to move the festival from New Orleans to Houston because of Hurricane Katrina, we knew they would have something inspirational to share.
Fatin Dantzler: Well I know right off the top, my favorite moment performing at the ESSENCE Festival is when it moved to Houston and we were on the festival bill and Chris Brown missed his flight or didn’t perform so we got to play the Main Stage to fill in for him and that was magnificent and it was just a beautiful thing that we were ready, prepared and they asked us and we reveled in that moment. That’s definitely mine.
Aja Graydon: Steve Harvey said ‘You don’t have to get ready if you stay ready.’ He looked at us and that was his response to the situation.
Fatin Dantzler: Yeah, because he saw it happening and he said ‘See how God works?’ So that was really really really awesome.
Aja Graydon: I want to agree with him because that was one of my favorite ones, but my favorite one was the very first time we performed at ESSENCE [Festival]. We got booked to do ESSENCE [Festival] and I was literally waiting on my daughter to be born. I remember talking to her in my stomach saying ‘C’mon girl, now! This is a big opportunity for mama. You got to go on and get born!’ [LAUGHS] And she came June 17. She was two weeks old and she came right with us to New Orleans and we brought the whole family to look after her and we did the gig. She was itty-bitty.
That’s an awesome story. So what were your favorite moments or did you just enjoy being part of the experience?
Aja Graydon: A bunch of favorite moments. Probably Charlie Wilson.
Fatin Dantzler: Frankie Beverly
Aja Graydon: Oh God! Just seeing a bunch of people perform.
Fatin Dantzler: Seeing Luther and Beyoncé. Gosh! We’ve seen a lot of people perform.
Aja Graydon: There are so many great performances during ESSENCE Festival its kind of hard to say which one is the best.
Fatin Dantzler: How can you pick the best of the best of the best?
Aja Graydon: But I want to say that I love Charlie Wilson. Like, his performance was so amazing. At his age and what he’s done and been through. He’s on level 10 from the moment that he gets on stage to the moment he gets off. His show is always dynamic. His performance is like R&B 101. You can’t say you’re an R&B singer and say that you haven’t seen Charlie Wilson perform. He’s off the chain.
The R&B couple has a new album A Couple Friends coming out June 10. You can pre-order the album here.