Many of us have seen a caterpillar, whether live or in the children’s book, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”. In school, we learn of the caterpillar’s life cycle and amazing transformation. Mahoganee has been called “Lauryn Hill with a twist of Minnie Riperton and a cup of Janis Joplin”. At a live show, you might catch Mahoganee drop a rhyme during her intro. Possessing a 5 Octave vocal range, she can deliver the notes of “Lovin’ You” with precision.
Mahoganee shared how she was inspired to create her cd, “The Chrysalis Stage”. “When I came up with the name, I was living in DC. A majority of the lyrics happened after we had moved to Beaufort, SC. Moving to Beaufort, SC, there was something spiritual going on that I still can not explain. I let the journey lyrically take me where it went, nothing was pre-conceived. I think once I gave the album that name, the Universe said, “Ok, you want to give the album that name, “The Chyrsalis Stage”, this is what we are going to put you through.”
“Black Butterfly” is a very moving, inspirational song from Mahoganee’s cd. “The chrysalis is the stage where the butterfly is in the cocoon. (On the cover) you can see the wings of the butterfly already formed. It’s about to come out and spread its wings. I’ve always loved butterflies, the meaning, and applied to it my life. When I came up with the name, I knew that every song had to be a part of a journey. “Black Butterfly” actually came first. When I heard the music, the lyrics just came literally in almost fifteen minutes. Even though the lyrics came that fast, it took about a year to realize what I created. Once I performed it, the emotional tsunami that I got from people, I realized that this had nothing to do with me. It literally was GOD sent. I think my mother sent it to me, because my mother passed away in 2005. Whenever ever I perform it live, I feel her as if she has her arms around me.”
Mahoganee is very family centered. Her husband is her producer and she even enlisted the help of her 14-yr-old nephew, who she refers to as a musical genius, to work on the song, “Choices”. Based off his feelings, Mahoganee helped him to write the song based on his life. “At the end of the song, you actually hear him talking to his grandfather about making the right choices.”
Mahoganee’s love of music is closely shadowed by philanthropy. Her company, Responsible ARTistry, which is a part of the Napoleon Hill Foundation, stemmed from a compliment her husband. The Responsible Artistry Campaign features various artists who give back to the community. “Our mission is to be responsible artists and put a spotlight on those that make a choice to do good. Those that use their art, talent, craft to make the world a better place.”
Currently residing in Atlanta, GA, Mahoganee will be featuring monthly at Mark Squared, while working on a new cd. What do you get when you mix Thelonious Monk, Mozart, Beethoven, Nina Simone , and Angela Davis? Sounds like a seriously, funky classic to me, but stay tuned to Mahoganee to find out! You can visit Mahoganee’s web site and follow Mahoganee on Twitter.
The January Mellow Mix Podcast feature Mahoganee’s “Black Butterfly”. It is available as a free download.