Grammy nominated and multi-platinum powerhouse vocalist Miki Howard arrived on the music scene in 1979 as a member of the group Side Effect and after a brief tenure, she went on to have a successful solo career with her 1986 debut album Come Share My Love featuring the top 5 title track song. She followed that with her 1987 sophomore album Love Confessions which produced two more top 5 hits "Baby, Be Mine" and "That's What Love Is" with the late Gerald Levert. Her 1989 self-titled third album proved to be an even bigger commercial success which includes her first No. 1 hit "Ain't Nuthin' in the World" and top 5 hits "Love Under New Management" and "Until You Come Back to Me (That's What I'm Gonna Do)". In 1992, Howard released her fourth album Femme Fatale featuring her second No. 1 hit "Ain't Nobody Like You". In the same year, she portrayed Billie Holiday in the Spike Lee-directed Malcolm X biopic starring Denzel Washington and Angela Bassett. Howard then went on to record and release the critically acclaimed 1993 Billie Holiday cover album Miki Sings Billie: A Tribute to Billie Holiday and starred in the John Singleton-directed Poetic Justice alongside Janet Jackson and Tupac Shakur. Can't Count Me Out (1997), Three Wishes (2001), Pillow Talk (2006), Private Collection (2008), I Choose to Be Happy (2015) albums followed.
RnBJunkieOfficial caught up with Miki Howard to discuss her most personal album yet MEHA, available on streaming platforms.
TERRANCE: Talk to us about what inspired the title of your new album MEHA and the concept behind it.
MIKI HOWARD: Well, you know, everybody loves to call everybody a queen and some people are definitely queens but I'm a sister type *laughs*. I really have a cherished relationship with my sisters and this album is in sort of memory of them, because I lost three of my sisters, so that's why I titled it Meha. It means sister.
TERRANCE: So, give us some background on the singles that are out now, starting with "Throw It Away".
MIKI HOWARD: "Throw It Away" is an Abbey Lincoln song in tribute to Abby Lincoln because she was such an amazing writer and I think her songs are so relevant today. It's about living your life and giving your love and doing the best you can everyday.
TERRANCE: "Number One Fan".
MIKI HOWARD: It's a song that I have had for about ten years written by a wonderful writer by the name of Rovella Williams and I could never find the right time or person to do the song. I tried to give it away and everything and then one day, it kept rolling around in my head. I said, I might as well go ahead and do it because, you know, when you feel down and you feel like what you're doing is in vain and nobody really gets you and all of those things. This is a song that will lift you up in terms of really knowing who your number one fan is and I think it's God. Also, it's a song I play for my children.
TERRANCE: What more can you tell us about the album?
MIKI HOWARD: I can tell you that the lyrics to these songs are amazing and very poignant and relevant to what's going on in our lives. I just love these songs and you have to get it to hear it.
TERRANCE: This year marked the 35th anniversary of the Love Confessions album. What do you remember the most about those recording sessions?
MIKI HOWARD: Wow. Well, I was on tour really hard at that time because "Come Share My Love" was out and I just toured a lot. I was only recording on Tuesday's, Wednesday's and Thursday's.
TERRANCE: Who are some artists you're listening to at the moment?
MIKI HOWARD: Whoever comes on the radio *laughs*. I have a lot of personal favorites. Everyone from H.E.R. to India.Arie. I just love music, so it's kind of all over the place.
TERRANCE: Are there any upcoming shows you can tell us about?
MIKI HOWARD: Well, I will be in Detroit on January 15th or something like that. On January 30th and 31st, I'll be in Chicago at the City Winery and February, I'll be in D.C. So yeah, I'll be around and you can catch me out.
TERRANCE: When you're not working in entertainment, what do you enjoy the most?
MIKI HOWARD: Hanging out with my grandkids and my children and getting on their nerves *laughs*. That's it. I don't do very much.
TERRANCE: What do you hope listeners take away from the Meha experience?
MIKI HOWARD: I hope that they remember that Love is God and God is Love and that they find their feelings are not only their own and that we suffer and feel the same good and bad things and that God loves them.
TERRANCE: Any final words you would like to leave with your fans, followers and the readers?
MIKI HOWARD: I love you guys and thank you for coming to my shows and everything. I really appreciate it.
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