Love, Peace, and Mofo'n Soul

Posted by ~Meik on , , ,
The Hippest Trip in America has come to a screeching halt.. well at least for me and several other writers for SoulTrain.com.



What happened Meik?

I'm glad you asked. Last week, BET Networks announced they had purchased Soul Train which signaled the end of a chapter for me and my fellow writers.



I started writing for Soul Train in 2011--Daron Jones from 112 was my very first interview. I recall sitting in his studio freaking out and sweating profusely, fumbling and not even knowing how to record the dang interview. He made it fun and I got through it and it was just what I needed to ignite my writing career for the next 5 years.

I always watched Soul Train growing up (and hell still do..if a rerun comes on--I'm glued to the television as if this is the first time I've seen the episode with the dancers, performances, scramble board, and the oh so cool Don Cornelius). I knew one thing from watching this show was that I wanted to be a dancer and go down the Soul Train line popping as hard as I can on stilettos wearing a sports bra and leggings like Rosie Perez with long hair to swing around hitting folks in the face like Cheryl Song.



I wanted to be in the audience watching the performers up close and personal..and if I couldn't do that, I wanted to be just like Don Cornelius and do allllll the interviews!



I guess in a way I got my wish. I could never have imagined that me..MEIK.. would have the opportunity to write for an iconic brand...a legend..I can't even put into words what this meant to me. I never would have thought that my ride with Soul Train would come to an abrupt end in 2016 and I'd be sitting here mourning like a close relative passed away. So instead of me sniffing and snotting I thought I'd write about a few memorable interviews and opportunities that I had thanks to Soul Train. From red carpets, to sneaking to do interviews in my car at work, to forming long lasting relationships and friendships. Soul Train has been so much fun! So here we go:



1. I interviewed my elderly bae in 2013 and if you follow me on social media then you already know this is Billy Dee Williams. The moment my phone rang and he said Hello.. I think I slid to the floor.. that man's voice is still so smooth and suave and I tried my hardest to come up with more questions just to keep hearing him talk. The best part..was he was so impressed that I knew about his jazz album that he released in the early 60s. Even better was the follow up email from his publicist saying they loved the article.

2. I covered my first Red Carpet in 2012 in Atlanta--listen y'all... all my life I have wanted to be on somebody's red carpet doing interviews and thanks to Soul Train..that dream came true multiple times. This first time was very shaky, but luckily I had my homie that runs the Sound-Savvy blog close by and showing me the ropes. I got to meet and chat with several artists and luckily I left just in time because I do believe they started shooting at the awards that evening lawd. This is why we can't have nice things.

3. 2012 I also dragged Tevin Campbell out of his hiding place in to do an exclusive interview..and it's so funny it's coming full circle because he's finally releasing new music this week and guess who has an interview?! Tevin was one of the most humble people to talk to, I just wanted him to sing Can weeeeee talllllk?! But anyhoo..

4. Joe Jackson, La Toya Jackson, Jackie Jackson--Y'all know I LOVE MY MOFO'N JACKSONS! Being able to interview these three were definitely highlights for me. When the Jacksons launched the Unity Tour--I drove my arse to Atlanta with a 101 temp to sit out in the blazing sun to write a review. As for Joe Jackson, I'm kicking myself in the butt for forgetting to hit record during most of the interview..I was just sooooo drawn into what he was saying and the fact of THIS IS MICHAEL N'EM DEDDYYYYYY on this phone!

5. Big. Daddy. Kane. I don't need to say anything else.

6. L.C. Cooke--Sam Cooke's younger brother. This was absolutely one of my favorite interviews. Why? I love Sam Cooke duhhhh but seriously--I worked on this interview for years to set this up. His nephew told me LC was on his death bed, and I had just about given up hope when I got a message from his publicist to set it up. Mr. Cooke had so many amazing memories and recall everything just like it happened a year ago. I was so happy he finally released his album that got shelved after Sam's death.

7. Meeting Ron Isley lawwwd.. that was an experience I will never forget. Mr. Biggs was totally not Mr. Biggs at all and was so very humble and gracious. Through that meeting I found one of the folks that travels with him used to work for Jackie Wilson. Ya'll know I love me some Jackie Wilson so I was alllllllllll in for this convo.

8. Covering the Steve Harvey Neighborhood Awards was huge to me. I covered it for two years in Atlanta. I thought that I'd never get to be on a red carpet again thanks to my nerve damage, but when I tell you my leg and I worked that carpet on out in 2014 and was stronger and could last longer in 2015 bishhhhhhh I was soooo happy! I got kisses on the face from Shemar Moore.. and really that's all that needs to be said.



9. Writing for Soul Train also allowed me to reconnect with Case who was my very first celeb interview back in 199--err ya'll don't need to know the exact year. I was so excited to hear he was still putting out new music!

10. Covering Funk Fest and some other concerts and events allowed me to come face to face with some amazing artists--like MC Lyte, Tamar Braxton, Uncle Luke, Jodeci, Mint Condition, 2 Live Crew, Ginuwine, Noel Gourdin, Dennis Edwards, Otis Williams, Eric Roberson, Jeff Redd, Hi Five, H-Town, Glenn Lewis, Jon B, Keke Palmer, Big Bub, Me'lissa Morgan, Anthony Hamilton..the list goes on and on.

One of the things I loved about Soul Train is that I could tell the stories of those artists that were around in a time when the internet wasn't popping. I wanted to tell their stories so that folks today would know where the music hails from. I wanted to give these legends their flowers now..not later when it won't matter.

Now I didn't always chat with music folks, but I also chatted with some entertainment industry folks from Mr. Eddie Ray, to Devon Franklin, Orlando Jones to Bentley Kyle Evans and hearing their stories about their journey to success was inspiring.

During my tenure with Soul Train I also learned a lot about myself. Every interview was an opportunity to absorb and grow, every interaction was a chance to learn a lesson to carry me through to the next time, and as my writing improved, so did my interviewing skills (when I tell you it was painful in the first year chile..). More importantly, I learned that this is what I love. Not just writing and interviewing, but actually being excited to share these stories with y'all and hope that you too can take away something more than just ooooh they got a new song, or oooooh they have a new show. There is a lesson in everything but y'all don't hear me tho!

So while my ride with Soul Train may have pulled into the train depot for a stop.. I'm hoping BET revives the website to keep the brand alive. If not, I know that I can at least say I am grateful to have had the opportunity to write for such a legendary brand that has been around for years.


Thank you Soul Train. Thank you to all of the artists and everyone I interviewed, all of the publicists and managers..hell just anyone who contributed to my ride on Soul Train. I appreciate you more than you know!

As for my next move: "It's gonna be a stone gas, honey!" stay tuned.



~Meik

7 comments:

DTP said...
April 10, 2016 at 10:45 PM

Good job!
~DTP

Corey King said...
April 10, 2016 at 11:47 PM

When door closes lady, another and even greater down opens...be blessed my friend!

~Meik said...
April 11, 2016 at 11:32 AM

Thank you guys!

Al-Lateef Farmer said...
April 11, 2016 at 3:44 PM

Funny, I never looked at it as it was over, just a break. However, reliving these moments give a sense of beautiful finality.

Zakiya Bell-Rogers said...
April 12, 2016 at 8:33 PM

You are so funny and keep the attention. But your elderly bae. I almost lost it

Zakiya Bell-Rogers said...
April 12, 2016 at 8:33 PM

You are so funny and keep the attention. But your elderly bae. I almost lost it

~Meik said...
April 13, 2016 at 11:00 PM

Thank ya'll for reading :)

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