Help us celebrate the
encore appearance of Philly soul sister Alma
Horton (a.k.a. Lady Alma)
as we drop a special "Extra" Garage 416
event. In addition to her classic floor shakers like "Count
On Me", Hold It Down" by 4Hero and "Happiness"
by King Britt's Sylk 130 which blew-up the last Garage 416, Alma
will be singing her new single "Lies" on Diaspora Records
and her soon to be released single "In The City" on
King Street Records! This special presentation will also feature
Dave Campbell on the second floor of Una Mas spinning a
mixture of classic house, soul, funk, disco, and R&B. The
first floor will feature our regular format with the Garage 416
favourites Blueprint and Moreno. Plus, we'll have
live afro-percussions by iDrum.
Firmly ensconced as true force amid Philadelphia's thriving music
scene is Sylk 130's Alma Horton, one of the most celebrated
vocal talents emerging from the City of Brotherly Love Introduced
to captive audiences worldwide via King Britt's acclaimed
1998 LP, When The Funk Hits the Fan, Lady Alma now stands
on the threshold of solo stardom. Her debut single, "Count
On Me" on Diaspora Records, bowed to enthusiastic
reviews at the 2001 Miami Winter Music Conference, and thanks
to nightclub demand, buzz is brewing for "Hold It Down",
her infectiously funky contribution to "Creating Patterns",
the recently-released LP from pioneering UK outfit 4Hero.
year was an especially rewarding one for Alma: she dazzled audiences
nationwide with a white-hot string of successful shows, including
opening for Moby and David Morales in Acapulco,
Mexico; Mos Def in Austin, Texas and The Roots and
Jaguar Wright in Philly and New York City. She bested over
80 contestants to win first place in the 2001 Absoult Jam Session,
an eight-week, cross-genre artist's competition. And, after wowing
standing-room-only crowds everywhere from Los Angeles and Toronto
to Atlanta and London, she's currently a Best Female Vocalist
nominee at the 2001 Philadelphia City Paper awards.
among OkayPlayer's Black Lily all-stars, Alma is Renaissance woman
of the realest kind, with a vocal range as vast and fluid as the
music she embraces - gospel, R&B, house, acid jazz and of
course, soul. An appreciative editor at Mixer magazine declared
that "finally hearing 'Happiness' [from King Britt's Sylk
130 Re-Members Only] made the hair on the back of my neck stand
up." Alma's distinctive voice, described by a recent profile
in Philadelphia Weekly, is "like a roller coaster, dipping,
then racing to the top. She can scat like Louie Armstrong, then
hit a note once thought to be the exclusive domain of Chaka Khan.
From chillin' with friends in the light dance track 'House Party,'
to the love story that is 'The Way', Horton's lyrics incorporate
her life experiences."
And what a
life it's been. Born in San Diego, Alma found her voice at the
age of three, performing with an adult church choir. By the time
she was 10, Alma had already toured the country coast to coast,
a firm foundation for the extensive musical and vocal instruction
gleaned from celebrated Philadelphia institutions such as the
Girard Academic Music Program, Settlement Music School and the
renowned Freedom Theater, where she also studied theater and dance.
"The best part of that type of creative environment was learning
and grasping musical theory, but not just the stodgy kind,"
Alma says of her formal-yet-informal training. "We were reading
notes and writing songs, but also being taught to be individuals,
to find our own unique selves in music. And I learned that, where
others walk straight, I'd rather zig-zag. I don't want to be boxed
songwriter and arranger of the highest caliber, Alma's had many
an opportunity to put her philosophy into practice over the years,
having collaborated with some of music's most progressive artists:
rocker G. Love ("Music Is Love"), renowned poetess
Ursula Rucker ("Spring"), drum'n' bass forerunners
4Hero ("Hold It Down" and "Somethin' But
Nothin'") and, of course, King Britt and the Sylk
130 collective ("When The Funk Hits the Fan," "Last
Night A DJ Saved My Life," "Happiness" and "Give
It All You Got"). Remarkably, the only thing these acts appear
to have in common is Lady Alma's searing, soaring vocal blessing.
Both she and her music have a contagious energy that resonates
long after the song's over.
22, and standing on a stage at Drexel University," Alma says,
describing her "ah-ha" moment -- the minute she knew
she was on her chosen path. "The reaction from people in
the crowd, people who didn't know me, was overwhelming. They clapped
for me like I was the number-one artist on Billboard, and that
adoration, that feeling
I knew this was something that
I needed to do." With an innate love of all things creative,
the support of a loving, musically-inclined family and influences
like Walter Hawkins & The Hawkins Family, Billie Holiday and
Jimi Hendrix, as the wind in her sails, she's been flying since.
ecstatic about being able to work with so many great people on
so many great songs," Alma says. "You can't have a closed
mind in music. If your mind's closed, you're not going to grow.
Music's not just one petal, it's an entire flower with many petals,
many seeds, made up of many sounds and inspirations. Growth comes
from inspiration, but in order to be inspired, you have to first
Horton set Garage 416 afire with her funk & soul and electrifying
stage presence in her last appearance; do not miss it as she does