Live

Live: Res at Inside The Artists’s Studio, DC

by Winston "Stone" Ford

Res 1 at BB&P 12-3-09

Photos by Tashir Lee.

To some Res is one of the best singer songwriters in Modern R&B. To others, she’s not yet a household name. However, to a small group of fans in Washington, DC last week, Res was the center of the world.

Fans packed the Langston room of Busboys and Poets to hear an acoustic performance and a Q&A with DC’s DJ Stylus Inside the Artists’ Studio, modeled after actors’ show on Bravo, sold out quickly, and the finale in the series was one of the best yet.

Res 4 at BB&P 12-3-09

The setting was an intimate stage: Res starts off timid and slightly nervous but instantly gains control of the crowd. She’s almost shocked when people know her songs. The setlist included a mix of tracks from her classic How I Do, and her latest, Black Girls Rock. Her latest, seem more personal and focused than her previous efforts: Res took the guitar to play a song, Let You Go on a left handed guitar. “I’m too cute to cry all day, ” the lyrics go, “I wish you weren’t such a fucking waste of time.”

To some Res is one of the best singer songwriters in Modern R&B. To others, she’s not yet a household name. However, to a small group of fans in Washington, DC last week, Res was the center of the world.

In several songs Res rails against the industry that never was comfortable with her. On the Idle Warship track “LA Famous,” she talks about her frustrations with the handling of her image and the lack of promotion for her album.

And that was the bulk of her post performance discussion. Why did she not get the play that other stars received?

Res 5 at BB&P 12-3-09

Discovered by Hank Shocklee, Res was on a world-wind path to stardom. The favorite in backrooms of the record label, her album, How I Do was greenlit and funded. Unfortunately, being a multi-dimensional Black woman causes issues for the label. “I’m a buffet type of chick,” she says about her music. “They didn’t know what department it should be marketed to.”

The discussion was intimate and candid. In response to a question about Nas’ verse on the track “Ice King she says “I didn’t like what he did” to gasps in the audience¬† “but truthfully everything ain’t for me to like”. She then goes on to tell the story about how she nervously approached him at Baja Fresh in LA. Came to the first show in LA.

Res and Stylus at BB&P 12-3-09

Her Second album was never released, and was mirred in label drama. Frustrated, Res asked to leave and never got another deal. But don’t fret–the past 8 years Res has been living life, traveling the world and living on the beach in LA. However, due to public demand, she decided to release her latest album, the free Black Girls Rock.

All in all, Inside the Artists’ Studio was a great way for fans to connect with their favorite artist on a more personal level. At the end of the night, Res and Stylus took questions from the audience. “I personally believe people are ready to see Black people do different shit,” she says in response to one question, and its true.A few questions and several marriage proposals later, I can say that everybody in the room that night was ready for some “different shit.” Are you?

Res 2 at BB&P 12-3-09


  • http://picturesonsilence.com jconda

    Wonderful words, beautifully honest pics.

    It boggles my mind when I try to comprehend why record labels act as though they can’t market something different. It’s like with any other product isn’t it? Different is good. It’s not like the girl is making Avant-garde improvisational jazz that only 10 people in the universe will “get”. She makes honest, rock/soul. What’s so difficult about that?

    All right…I’ll fall back and save it for another post…

  • Neil

    Big fan of Res, I should have gone to this. Nice write-up and pix though.

  • ATune

    How I Do was the bomb. I saw her at the black cat a few years ago. I must say she looks a little different – but speaking as a woman who just pulled a solange I wont go there.

    She was great when I saw her then – and her music was just real.

    But her promotion was definitely whack. Hope she gets another bite at the apple.

  • http://www.vibeconductor.com/blog DJStylus

    Between Res and N’Dambi, I’m surprised this fanboy was able to be cogent enough to conduct a decent interview. What the whole InAS series showed though is that genuine people can create genuine art and thrive.

    Can’t wait for what we do with the series in 2010.

    Thanks for helping to share it with folks, fam.

  • ResIsA1

    Res is the shit. I picked up How I Do randomly at TowerRecords when it first came out and was super psyched at my find. I also saw her at the Black Cat. I’m sad I missed this and always wondered why she wasn’t releasing more music. I hate to hear of label drama. I hope she gets lots of press with this new album. She’s quality.

  • Dee

    I am, apparently, sooooo late…so sad I missed her..>Res Rocks my socks!
    Thanx for sharing, Stone!

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