The positive energy and good vibes were in full effect on July 2oth at SOB’s, thanks to Natalie Stewart’s two-hour performance. You may better know her as The Floacist, half of the now-defunct dynamic duo, Floetry. With her musical partner Marsha Ambrosious (the Songstress), Floetry exploded onto the music scene in 2002 from London by way of Philly with their debut album Floetic, followed by the 2005 release Flo’Ology. But by 2006, the group had broken up, leaving us all to wonder what had gone wrong? The question was like the elephant in the room as we waited for the Floacist to start her set.
But the unease in the air quickly dissipated as the Floacist glided onto the stage, flashed her distinct smile, and greeted the crowd. She offered up a performance of “Breathe,” a track off her first solo Floetic Soul (2010), as a clearing and a healing. Afterward, she revealed a working framework for her show by stating, “I’m supposed to say these things onstage to sell things, but I’m in such a place in life where I’m just in such a space of submission that I can’t try for those things. I’m just so happy with who’s in the room, because I know that everyone who’s in the room is supposed to be in the room and they’re in the room because they chose to be in the room… I feel so full I don’t feel like I have to chase a thing.”
After performing a few singles off of her latest release, Rise of the Phoenix Mermaid (“Feel Good”, “Try Something New (I Do)”, “Good Love”) the Floacist set the record straight by expressing her love and appreciation for the Floetry experience and the wonderful music that came out of that fruitful collaboration. “I know most of you know me through Floetry right? We can celebrate when I say that because I love Floetry. That’s my baby. It’s one of the most beautiful experiences I’ve ever had in my life.”
Proving that her singing abilities are on par with her spoken word/rap stylings, the Floacist invited audience members to sing along as she performed several songs “strictly for the Floetry heads. ” A Floetry jam slam ensued, featuring a medley of well-known tunes like “Floetic”, “Headache”, “Fun”, “Sunshine” and “Ms. Stress.” The Floacist let her passion for wordplay shine on her amped up performance of “Subliminal”, followed by “Getting Late.” Her sensual, ephereal performance of the song commanded the attention of everyone in the house from beginning to end.
After giving thanks for indulging her trip down Floetry memory lane, the Floacist refocused her performance on her new music. The evening’s highpoint came as she performed several songs from Rise of the Phoenix Mermaid that not only showcased some of her personal mantras and meditations, but also her Jamaican roots. The Floacist performed the hooks of several songs – “Grandma”, “Broken Heart”, and “The Stand” over and over to ensure the message in the music was received by the audience. It was a powerful closing to a stellar performance. To be there was to take in the magic messages, but the written words are powerful and empowering on their own. So breathe, read, and take in the message…
“Grandma” – Children, children. Yes mama. Where have you been to? Grandmama. How was she keeping? Safe and sound. What did she teach you? Turn it all around.
“Broken Heart” – You never die from no broken heart, no matter how hard you cry. You never die from no broken heart, no matter how it feels inside. You pick it up, let it out, move it up, get it out, these days will pass you by.You never die from no broken heart. Don’ try. Don’t try. You can love ’em, but you got to love yourself, love.
“The Stand” – Believe in yourself or who’s gonna? Dream for yourself for who’s gonna? Do your yourself or who’s gonna, when you know you gotta prove it to yourself so you gotta. Make a change in your range if you want it.