Contemporary R&B vocalist Lalah Hathaway has created a catalogue of music that spans two decades. It’s fitting that her latest project Where It All Begins â€”her sixth solo album and second for Stax Recordsâ€”was released in October, which is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It is a subject that Hathaway speaks about often.Â In fact, she previously served as a national ambassador for the Circle of Promise, a campaign created by Susan G. Komen for the Cure to educate, empower and mobilize the African-American community in the fight against breast cancer.
Hathaway was charged withÂ educating women, particularly Black women, about breast cancer. â€śAt that time I had more than a few girlfriends who were dealing with breast cancer issues,â€ť she says, noting the number of African American women diagnosed with breast cancer is rising at an alarming rate. â€śAfrican American women are the last to be diagnosed and the first to die.â€ť
For Hathaway, although sheâ€™s no longer an official ambassador, the work continues. â€śWhich is really talking to women and opening a dialogue about breast cancer; it is an important dialogue that so many women are afraid to have,â€ť she adds. â€śI talk to them about it at my shows and encourage them to tell others to check their breasts. I believe in each one, teach one.â€ť
Hathaway is a trained pianist and graduate of the Berkley School of Music. Her self-titled debut album was released in 1990. Still, the 42-year-old songstress is mostly recalled as the daughter of late soul singer legend, Donny Hathaway. Itâ€™s not surprising that she is connected to her fatherâ€™s music. Where It All Begins features a remake of her fatherâ€™s song, “You Were Meant For Me.”
â€śI wanted to find my own way to honor my father,â€ť says Hathaway in response to the long anticipated wait among friends and fans. â€śI wanted to make sure I was ready to do it and that the conditions were right. I picked that song because of the tempo, hue, and color. It really fits perfectly with this body of work.â€ť
Hathaway says her inspiration for this album is that after 21 years into the game, â€śI feel like I am still on the cusp. I feel like I am still just cresting the top of the hill. I am just getting my stride.â€ť
She shares how she had dreams at 17-years-old of playing Carnegie Hall and the Meadowlands and how sheâ€™d almost given up hope, wrapping up her dreams in a blanket and putting them away. â€śThen Prince called and asked me to open up for him during his (Welcome 2 AmericaÂ Tour in 2010) concert at the Meadowlands arena,” she recalls. “That reenergized me.â€ť Now she is back to where it all began when she first set out to conquer the worldâ€™s stages and share her soulful voice.
Between October 25 and November 27, more than 127,000 global Facebook fans will have an opportunity to share Hathawayâ€™s music and receive a signed CD. In partnership with Fairwave Media, the tech-savvy musician has created a custom mobile app that allows fans to listen to a featured track on the album, comment about it, and share it with four of their friends. To learn more, go to Faceboook.com/LalaHathaway or visit LalahHathaway.com on your mobile device.