A few weekends ago, on a random Saturday afternoon, I stumbled upon these ladies performing in a bar/restaurant in Brooklyn, NY. They were only beginning their sound check, and I already had goosebumps and my eyes were filled with tears. A passerby would have suspected that their classically beautiful voices were escaping the mouths of very well-seasoned performers who were at least midway through their career. In reality, Lady Moon (Ngonda Badila) and Kia Sleet are young girls just at the start of something good – really, really good.
In late 2009, Kia Sleet dropped everything and relocated to New York City from the Midwest to pursue a career in music. With no job leads and knowing no one in the city, Sleet quickly learned how to survive on the streets of Gotham the hard way. Having to sleep on couches, in hotels, cars, and eat at soup kitchens motivated Sleet to work extra hard to make sure her relocation was not in vain. Writing and producing her own material, Sleet is greatly influenced by artists of yesterday. For inspiration, she channels the likes of Marvin Gaye (who she considers her idol), The Beatles, Minnie Riperton, Aretha Franklin, Fleetwood Mac, and Chaka Khan. Sleet also enjoys “drawing faces, blogging about other independent artists, and giving makeovers” (she is a woman with many gifts). In September she will begin performing with her band “Kia Sleet and the Josephines,” so watch out for them! If you are in New York City, try to make it to a show.
Check out Kia Sleet’s links:
Lady Moon, also known as Ngonda Badila, is a singer/songwriter born in Paris, France and raised in a performing arts company founded and direct by her parents Andre Elombe and Pamela Badila. Lady grew up dancing, acting, singing, and writting poetry. At the age of 12, the Badila family of nine moved to Hudson N.Y. to become a family-based and communty-oriented theater and dance company. In Hudson, N.Y. Lady experienced the dynamics of community outreach through music as a tool for bringing people together and changing the world. Some of her influences are Frank Sinatra, Nate King Cole, Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, Chaka Khan, Etta James, Josephine Baker, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Michael Jackson, Eryka Badu, and Mariah Carey. Lady is currently a member of several bands including Black N Gold, Male Room, Kia Sleet The Josephines, and Lady Moon and The Eclipse, which is a collective of independent musicians who collaborate on music composed by Lady Moon. The other members of Lady Moon and The Eclipse are Arlen Hart on the Keyboard, Emma Alabaster on the stand up base, Kia Sleet on BB vocals, and Milandou Badila (Lady’s twin) on percussion.
They are still looking for a drummer!!! Perhaps you all can help with suggestions of drummers in the area?!
Lady Moon’s links:
The two met in February while working at The Downtown Community Center in Tribeca and quickly became close friends, roommates and eventually bandmates. Already they are picking up gigs all over New York City.
In September Lady Moon and the Eclipse will release their single “Rain,” and come October they will begin a 40 day Kickstarter to raise money for a full album. Also in September, Kia Sleet and The Josephines will release their single “You Don’t Know,” along with a music video.