January 13, 2011 at 6:04 pm , by Louise Sloan
In a post a few months ago, I briefly mentioned our new friend Nelson, a Brooklyn neighbor who happens to be an up-and-coming r&b/reggae/hip-hop artist going by the stage name “Cherry L.” The other LHJ ladies and I were astounded when my mommy-blog post was basically mobbed by adoring Cherry L fans. “Who exactly IS this guy?” we wondered. So we invited Cherry L to stop by the Ladies’ Lounge and tell us a bit of his story.
LHJ: Nelson, you do seem to be quite the ladies’ man.
Cherry L: [laughing] Yes, I do love the ladies.
LHJ: In your native St. Lucia, looks like you’re pretty much a rock star. You’ve had top radio hits there with “Turn Me Loose” and “Like That,” won the Best New Artist award, and—according to the Youtube videos of your live concerts—you’ve played to packed venues with screaming women in the front row trying to get their hands on you. When did you come to the U.S. and what’s the reception been here?
Cherry L: I came to New York in 2008, and that first year, I was the only reggae artist to win one of the biggest hip-hop showcases in New York, called Faces in the Crowd. I’ve been performing at various clubs and bars around the city and people love the Caribbean element I bring to my shows.
LHJ: Your lyrics sometimes get raunchy but there are none of the demeaning expletives about women that so many other hip-hop artists use to sound cool. Why not?
Cherry L: It comes from the way I was brought up. I love my mom, who is a music teacher, and Read more
November 4, 2010 at 1:06 pm , by Louise Sloan
I just read the most amazing blog post, written by a midwestern mom, a cop’s wife, whose 5-year-old-boy wanted to dress up for Halloween as Daphne, from Scooby Doo, just like his best friend, who’s a girl. That’s him in the picture. Now, if you can’t wear something silly and fun on Halloween, when you’re five, when can you? But as Cop’s Wife discovered, you can’t, not ever, no sir, not if you’re a boy. She and her son ran into schoolyard bullies, bent on enforcing sex-stereotypical costume choices. Only it wasn’t her son’s classmates who were the bullies, not yet–it was the other moms, whose faces twisted in disgust at seeing a preschooler wear the “wrong” Halloween costume. And we wonder why we have such bad bullying problems in our middle schools and high schools, where any kid who’s different–too fat, too skinny, too smart, too slow, too effeminate, not the dominant race, too poor, not dressed in the right labels–gets harassed and pounded? Where do those mean kids get their ideas from? Hello, mirror!
My little boy, age 4, loves to dress up, too, especially in his tutu-like black tulle skirt. Like Cop’s Wife’s kid, he happens to have some close friends who are girls, and they’re into the princess thing, and really, what is not fun about a tutu? He’s also obsessed with our good friend Nelson, aka “Cherry L,” who lives in the neighborhood and happens to be an amazing reggae/dancehall/hiphop singer. My boy currently refuses to wear anything but jeans, because that’s what Nelson wears. But sometimes he likes to mix it up: Here’s my main man in dinosaur pjs and the tulle skirt, doing his rendition of one of Nelson’s rap songs, “You Check It.” Pretty hardcore/masculine, don’t you think, swaying tulle aside?
For Halloween, though, no tutus–he wanted to be a cop. I was relieved, frankly. And I got to crossdress, as an escaped convict, complete with beard. Since I’m a girl, no one cared. But what if my son had really, really wanted to be a princess? What should I have done? Read Cop’s Wife’s blog and then post your comments/thoughts below.
September 1, 2010 at 9:09 pm , by Louise Sloan
It was a rockin’ end-of-summer for my 4-year-old son, Scott (that’s him at right in his electric guitar shirt), and me. Week before last was Scott’s music camp, where director Jeremy Zmuda brought in a different band every day (bluegrass, Caribbean, Brazilian, Bulgarian), shot the video for his new kids’ album, Use Your Words, and recorded a CD of the campers singing and playing instruments along with all the special guests. Right after camp, we hopped in a rental car and drove the six hours to Grandma’s house, blasting Jeremy’s catchy tunes with good-behavior-encouraging lyrics and belting out the cool world-music songs Scott learned at camp (thanks to the CD, I got to learn them, too). We were so busy singing that we only got to one of the videos I’d brought to entertain Scott with on the long drive, and both of us had fun.
Same story on the way back home this past Monday. We have a new friend in the neighborhood, Nelson Serieux (stage name Cherry L, photo at left), who gave us a homemade CD. I had low expectations—sure, aspiring singer/songwriter, how cute. Then we popped the CD into the car stereo Monday and I was blown away. The man should be selling out arenas. Every song was top-40 infectious—kind of reggae/pop/r&b/hip-hop fusion—and Scott couldn’t get enough, so we spent nearly 6 hours singing along with Nelson, the videos and car games forgotten. Scott’s fave was “Please Stay” (“I don’t want to see you go-oh-oh” belted Scott), which we probably replayed at least 25 times (glad I liked it, since I can’t get it out of my head). I had my own favorites, like crossover-hit-sounding “Candy” and the more dancehall-style “Turn Me Loose,” best breakup song I’ve heard in awhile (I’m a single mom, what can I say?). Best of all, Nelson is someone Scott knows, so I took the teachable-moment opportunity and told Scott if he practiced, maybe he could do that, too. When we got home and checked out some of the Cherry L videos on YouTube, Scott said, admiringly, “Nelson had to practice a lot to sing like that.” Lesson absorbed, ding!
Well, he’s no Scott Sloan, but Joe Jonas and his brothers (screeeeeeam!!) and Demi Lovato are back at music camp themselves this Friday, September 3, when Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam premieres on the Disney Channel (8 pm ET/PT). For the occasion, Radio Disney shared some exclusive data with Ladies’ Lounge on the impact of music in the lives of kids and moms. Basically, it’s what Scott and I have been living this past week: Kids love music, it’s a great way for moms and their kids to connect, and it benefits kids creatively and intellectually. More specifics after the jump. Read more