“Where It All Begins,” the sixth solo album by contemporary R&B artist Lalah Hathaway, is available in all major music outlets today.
For Hathaway, “Where It All Begins,” the follow-up to 2008’s highly successful “Self Portrait,” marks Hathaway’s second release on the legendary Stax label, which was the recording home for such R&B icons as the Staples Singers, Isaac Hayes, Sam & Dave and Rufus Thomas. “It’s a love letter to my parents,” Hathaway said during a recent teleconference.
Hathaway, who is known for her impressive pedigree as the daughter of the prolific singer/songwriter Donny Hathaway, collaborates with a number of talented writers and producers. The first single from the album, an up-tempo tune titled, “If You Want To,” is written by Jonathan Richmond and Terrence Lilly along with Rahsaan Patterson, a dynamic artist in his own right. This synthesized dance track, now in rotation on Urban Adult stations, is a definite departure from the smooth jazz vibe that we have come to expect from Hathaway.
The album also includes, “Strong Woman,” written and produced by Philadelphians Andre Harris and Vidal Davis. Known professionally as Dre & Vidal, this sought after duo is among the contemporary creators of the Philly Sound.
“I met them at Usher’s wedding, and we all sat outside and said, ‘You know what? We’ve got to work together,’” Hathaway recalled. “I just called them up — all these guys, I called them and said, ‘Would you like to work on my project?’
“Strong Woman,” is described as a “cautionary tale, urging lotharios to step up to the plate and stop taking their devoted female lovers for granted,” — which suggests that Hathaway could possibly be the subject of the song. “I don’t think so. I think it was written when I got it,” she said. “But it’s one of those songs that for me, it’s for every woman. It’s for my mother. It’s for my Aunt Ann. It’s for all my best girlfriends. So it works for everybody.”
After the satisfying performance of her inaugural project on the Stax label, Hathaway feels that she has found a musical home. “It’s a really great place for artists to create art,” she said. “I’m really honored to be associated with the Stax brand that stands for so much in terms of soul music and the story of African Americans as artists in this country and becoming empowered.”
Hathaway will perform new material from “Where It All Begins,” as well as familiar favorites when she comes to the intimate World Café Live, 3025 Walnut Street, for one show only at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 24. For tickets and information call (215) 222-1400, or visit http://tickets.worldcafelive.com.