BLACK LILY: A WOMEN IN MUSIC SERIES was an artist development showcase that was established in 1999 by critically acclaimed duo, the Jazzyfatnastees. Founders Mercedes Martinez and Tracey Moore created the series to support female vocalists and musicians who were being shut out of existing jam sessions around the country. The first series took place weekly at the Wetlands in New York (1999) and later became a weekly series at the Five Spot in Philadelphia (2000-2005).
I remember reading about Black Lily during the late 2000s after the endeavor had ended. I regretted never being able to be a part of it or what it stood for those six years. However, I remember thinking that I would love to create a similar space if I ever got the chance. Of course, my space would cater to Black women artists to allow them to thrive and create in a safe space.
Well, I’m years away from having that physical space, but I am learning to translate my creative endeavors to cyberspace. With this in mind, I have decided to devote more of my time to my Mixcloud account to showcase Black women music artists. I am starting a regular series called CSP: The Black Swan Collective.
The Collective is something I started years ago in an attempt to bring more attention to Black female artists of all media whom I felt deserved more shine than they got. It’s been rough going and I have managed to make one or two converts with some of these artists, but the show will focus on music. I will not stop writing and blogging about writers, actors, filmmakers, comic book artists and others, but I realize that I can create a space for music in a way that I can’t with other art endeavors.
I won’t restrict selections to genre. I hope to include Black women in all genres of music. This allows me to create playlists without regard to theme as I like to do with special occasions. I may also include more mainstream artists I feel still encompass the spirit of the Collective because this show is all about love and sistahood.
I am partly prompted to do this after my Galentine’s Day playlist. My interest in rap is revitalized and I hope to discover more Black women still showing ‘em how its done. I also want to put my microphone to good use. I got it for a guest appearance on Nerdgasm Noire Network, so now I need to look at it as an investment. To be honest, I probably should have been doing radio all along, so I may as well do something close to my heart and within my interests.
I may start this show in March or April. However, I want to have a few playlists ready and scheduled in order to keep a consistent show. I aim to do every two weeks. Even though I am digging in my own recent finds to start the show, I will also accept submissions and suggestions from others. If there are some Black women artists out there who are up and coming or have been paying their dues for years and need all the support they can get, hit me up.
If I am not mistaken, Mixcloud pays royalties to artists. I have a modest following with 12 listens to some mixes if I’m lucky, but the people who do listen tend to enjoy. Hopefully my network can snowball and I can lend more exposure (and royalties) to some incredible artists who want to grow their audience.