Before we start, have you
anything to declare?
Oh yes, I have a few items.
In case you haven't heard, Amber and I had the audacity to cover
Donna & Barbra Streisand's NO MORE TEARS (ENOUGH IS ENOUGH).
I hope Donna likes our version. Please check us out at http://www.facebook.com/zelmadavis
Also, I'd like people to know that I'm a real singer, not a model,
and I have never lip synched a live performance.
If you weren't a real singer
I wouldn't be here, Zelma, believe me! (laughing) As for NO MORE
TEARS, I bought the single on iTunes on its first week of release:
I'm mad about the Solar City mixes and, strange as it may seem,
Bruce Roberts learned about your new recording of the song from
me. He loves it.
I'm delighted to hear that
Bruce likes our version of NO MORE TEARS. Thank you for sharing
it with Bruce, I really appreciate it.
How are you?
I'm wonderful, Sebastiano. Thanks for having me. I love the site.
Coffee, tea or...?
What are the latest additions on your iPod?
Donna's CRAYONS, Ultra Nate's
ALCHEMY: G.S.T. RELOADED, Haki Madhubuti's RISE VISION COMIN,
DJ Hen Boogie's A HAPPY PRESENT FROM THE PLANET EARTH, Jeanie
Tracy's EVERYBODY UP, and some Million $ Mano remixes.
So tell me about CRAYONS.
Is it the kind of record you were expecting from Donna? Which
are your favorite tracks?
It's exactly what I expected. Brilliance. Donna is always a trailblazer.
I happen to love BE MYSELF AGAIN, STAMP YOUR FEET, and BRING
DOWN THE REIGN.
Do you remember falling in love with music or is it a part
of you that's always been there?
Music is a part of me that's always been there. I grew up in
Liberia, West Africa. There was always music around me, in church,
on the radio, both African and foreign artists. My mom brought
a lot of music home when she traveled to the U.S.
Don't tell me you first
sang in church like Donna! What do you think singing gospel may
have taught you?
Singing in church gave me confidence
and a bit of flavor.
The first time you heard
I was nine years old. I knew
this is what I wanted to do. Donna was crisp, clear, soothing.
I wanted to be her.
So maybe for you she was
a role model and not "just" an amazing singer, am I
Absolutely. I had never seen
a woman so powerful and confident. By the way, Donna's neice
Taihisha is also a lovely gal.
Have you ever seen Donna
Yes, of course. Three times! My favorite show was in Atlantic
City, New Jersey. She tore it apart.
Do you remember buying her first record?
I remember my Mom buying Donna's first album for me in the late
70s. I wore the grooves out.
Is there a particular Donna song you wish you had recorded
- with her?
Yes. I wish I had recorded HOT STUFF with Donna.
Q Magazine recently compiled a list of the Greatest Duets
Of All Time. In spite of its legendary status and worldwide success,
Donna and Barbra's NO MORE TEARS wasn't even mentioned. Why do
you think it's so hard for some critics to see the undeniable
greatness of some disco/dance music?
I don't know. Most of my favorite records are disco/dance. I
never understood the backlash against the genre.
Were you nervous before recording your own version of the
No, I wasn't nervous at all because I've been singing NO MORE
TEARS regularly, at home, for nearly 30 years. I was quite comfortable
recording our version.
What is the most appalling thing you've ever listened to?
Homophobic and racial rhetoric.
Is talent a gift or a goal?
Talent is a gift. To increase the level of ones talent can be
Do you have a favorite movie?
THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL (1951) and STYLE WARS (1983).
What is your drug of choice?
What's on your bedside table?
THE FOUR AGREEMENTS by Don Miguel Ruiz, THE JOYS OF YDDISH by
Leo Rosten, and a photo of my girls.
Donna (and Gershwin) not being available, who do you wanna
have dinner with?
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the first female president of Liberia.
Liberia must be a wonderful
place... Do you go back there every now and then?
I left Liberia in 1982 because of the Civil War. I haven't been
What is your favorite color?
What is it that makes life worth living?
My husband, my daughters, and music.