Yesterday, I was flipping through channels and stumbled upon a new show on BET. Now, I generally do not watch BET at all (mainly because it is not a channel that supports the Black community with its shows), so when I came upon the show it was the last episode. Produced in Atlanta by Peachtree TV, Welcome to Dreamland was a six-episode series that followed two music producers, Drummer Boy and Jazze Pha, as they cultivated singers as well as competing to get their chosen artists to win a recording contract. In the finale, the two competitors, Leaf and Khia, represented the opposite sides of the R&B music industry.
Leaf is a proud Christian, wears her hair natural, has her own unique, soulful voice, actually plays instruments on stage and her own fashion style reminiscent of the 80s retro look. She is everything that mainstream culture wants to kill off.
On the other hand, Kia is the perfect fit for mainstream culture...yes, she can sing, but just as her performance last night, which included her stripping into a vixen outfit, singing with Mario and having a choir, she is over-hyped. She is the same as all the other barbie doll/supermodel singers who use their body to sell their music out now; it is nothing new. Leaf did not have the same vocal abilities as Kia, but what Leaf brought was originality, individuality, and simplicity with her guitar, live band and tastefully dancing backup dancers. Unlike Leaf, I noticed that Kia was using a backing track on her performance (no wonder her singing sounded better live).
In the end, Leaf was the winner, showing that one does not need to fit into what the music industry expects to be the better artist! Can't wait for Leaf's album!
Leaf's Myspace Page: http://www.myspace.com/leafsmusic