Music

Dilla Month: Interview with Stacey Wilson for Philly Loves Dilla

by Reginald Duvivier

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Stacey ‘Flygirrl’ Wilson is one of the rare breed of people whose existence helps shapes the fabric of a city. From her art to the events that she plans, she ‘s someone who not only does her best to help advance the best of Philadelphia, but to help push forward the culture that unifies all lovers of hip-hop and good music. We at The Couchsessions had a chance to talk to her about an event she is helping to coordinate to celebrate J. Dilla’s life, “Philly Loves Dilla” on February 15th.

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Tell us about yourself.
I’m Stacey Wilson. I’m also known as Flygirrl. For the past 15 years, I’m an Event Producer/Planner/Promoter, a Graphic/Web Designer and a televised and published Visual Artist/Illustrator.
I love to create things and put the pieces of the puzzle together to produce great things whether it be an event, a painting or a logo. I’m also known for a 13 year weekly event I had [along with Questlove, Yameen Allworld and Mike Nyce] called Tastytreats. I’m also a Philadelphia Creative Ambassador….

You’re a visual artist, but it seems a lot of your work involves music or musical artists, why do you think those mediums work well together?
Music has always been a major factor when it comes to inspiration and evoking some kind of feeling out of me.. And as I grew as an Event Producer/Promoter, music was more a part of my life than it had ever been.When it comes to incorporating music and the artists into my work, it just worked. The artists, their lyrics or just their spirit somehow ended up on my canvas. I think people choose to listen to certain music to get in a certain mood. And that mood can be expressed through creating art.

You’re someone who’s been involved with spreading the gospel of J. Dilla for a while. For instance you had your art featured in one of the first documentaries about him. What is it about his music that’s helped it stayed the test of time, particularly in hip-hop when people tend to forget the past for the present?
Cudos for knowing my piece was in that documentary about him. Shout out to B Kyle for getting me involved on the project. I think it’s quality music and a loyal fan base. Dilla is inspiring and quite incredible. And the ones who know, know. When I first started to really learn about all he has done I was blown away. Aside from all of his incredible albums, he’s been a part of so much amazing music that i think most don’t even realize. His catalog is insane and consists of hits by artists such as Janet Jackson, Common, The Pharcyde, Busta Rhymes, Brand New Heavies, The Roots to name just a few. The songs he produced are timeless and classic and what he did in his career is nothing short of inspiring.

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Even though Dilla was from Detroit, he worked with a lot of Philly artists. What’s it about Philly that just draws music minded people towards it?
Talent and reputation. Even when you think you know most of the Philly artists that have come out of Philly, you learn that there is more. You learn about musicians that are backing damn near every major concert touring, you learn about producers, writers etc that worked on major albums that you love. Philly is a special place when it comes to music. When you go down the list of artists that have been bred in Philly, it’s kind of amazing. From Hip-Hop to Soul to R&B and more.

What are some of your favorite Dilla tracks?
To pick a few – Two Can Win, Don’t Cry, all his work on Common’s Like Water For Chocolate, Got Til’ it’s Gone by Janet Jackson, Runnin’ by The Pharcyde and so many more.

And finally, why a tribute?
We enjoy showcasing some of our favorite artists that have exceptional catalogs by producing an event with a multitude of tributing elements. We like to create an experience for the people. There’s also a charity element where we donate a part of the proceeds to various charity organizations that are connected to the tributing artist. We really try to make each one special. It’s important to continue to celebrate the great artists that are out there, dead or alive. And I think we do it in a way that really makes it a beautiful experience.

We always have an exceptional line up of Dj’s like Questlove, Pete Rock, Rich Medina, Mike Nyce, Scratch, Dj Cash Money and Mr. Sonny James, we have live artists such as Ameerah K Art, Chuck Styles and Serena Saunders painting live art of the artist and we have a video tribute playing on the two ceiling to floor screens behind the dj’s. We’ve tributed Dilla, Michael Jackson, Guru and James Brown. There’s plenty more to tribute and we’ll get there one by one. We already have a few planned for Spring and Summer! Stay tuned! #PhillyLoves

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